Enslaved: Odyssey to the West [Preview]
September 25, 2010
Those without PS3s have an opportunity to download the Enslaved demo today from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. You get to experience around 15 minutes of introductory game play. So after a quick 1GB+ download, I put the game through its initial paces. The story starts with you stuck in a pod on a prison ship where prisoners are graded ‘A’ or ‘B’ and controlled by the mothership using a slave headband mechanism. You notice a girl escaping from her pod and soon there after the ship’s hull gets breached causing damage to your pod that allows you to walk free. Your character almost feels ape-ish/monkey-ish with a small flowing piece of cloth that looks like a tail. He moves around pretty quickly and the standard movement controls apply.
Graphics are top notch in both cut scenes and within the game with very detailed colorful environments. I did feel a little disconnected when the camera panned back for a distant 3rd person view when scaling obstacles as the character moves a little bit too quickly. But it’s quite possible that the character is intended to move quickly. You eventually get to recover your weapons and get a taste of combat with combat mechs. Besides having a force shield that blocks bullets for a short duration, you have a staff that allows for quick and heavy attacks. Holding “X” down for a stun charge or “X+A” for wide area attack while “RT” to block and “LS+A” for evade movements help during combat. I did not notice a health bar but when hit by a combat mech or standing in fire, the screen turns reddish to indicate damage.
You are forced to make your way through the ship to find an escape pod as the ship is soon going to crash. Along the way you come across the girl from the beginning who is unhelpful. She first, refuses to open a door for you and then second, decides to launch the escape pod she has occupied while you hanging on to it on the outside. The next cut scene has you waking up with a slave headband on your head that the girl has put on you that she can now control with her voice. In short, if she dies, you die. And now you have to help her back to her home after which you are free to go wherever you want. It’s a little disheartening how a brutish and combat-oriented character just casually agrees to help her without putting up a more of a fight. I’m hoping the game dialogue will at least help voice his discontent in being forced in to the situation he is in against his will. But the premise of the game is co-operative teamwork between both characters so who knows how this will turn out in the end. The end trailer gives a look on different abilities and the one that caught my interest was the electrical hoverboard. Keep a look out for the game when it releases on October 5th!