As I sat down to play the Enslaved demo recently I didn’t really know what to think. By now I have seen and posted tons of trailers and screenshots about the game and I thought that if it could have a compelling story that the gameplay mechanics appeared to be there. After playing the demo though I don’t think I am on the fence anymore, at least not about the fact that its definitely worth picking up when it drops.
The company behind Enslaved, is the same company behind the PS3 launch title Heavenly Sword and they are a company called Ninja Theory. I want you to listen to me when I tell you that Heavenly Sword was and still is one of best games on PS3. The game was beautifully done from almost every perspective, the graphics were great, the story was compelling and don’t get us started on the soundtrack. But alas it was lost in the shuffle of titles to come out at launch and because of it only sold about 1.5. million copies. To make it even worse, according to Sony they didn’t make any money of it and probably broke even at best. Because of that the planned Heavenly Sword 2 was canned and we haven’t heard from Ninja Theory till now. They are back in 2010 to take us on an epic journey with Enslaved: Odyssey To The West.
The demo starts of with what appears to be the first level of the game. Enslaved is set 150 years in the future after a terrible war has completely destroyed life as we know it on earth. You are Monkey, you are violent and angry and though you have an array of weapons at your disposal somehow you have been captured by one of the mech ships that now roam the planet seeking to eradicate all other existing life on Earth. As the demo opens, you are trying to find your way out of a containment pod when you see a women seem will her pod to open and while you plea for her to free you as well she does not and continues her escape. What she does do apparently is set off enough technical malfunctions to cause the massive ship you are now on to start on a downward spiral towards the ground and if you want to live you better not still be on it when it does. Luckily for you, here hack causes things to go haywire and your containment unit is thrown around and weakened enough for you to escape and then the race against time begins.
You spend most of this level chasing the strange girl who you saw at the beginning. As you make your way through the large ship you start hearing alerts about escape pods being deployed and you have found your way off the ship, maybe. After moving through a bit of the level and getting used to some of the jumping and platforming aspects you run into a combat mech. These are some heavily armed and nasty little robots who normally wouldn’t be much of a challenge, but you don’t have your weapons and so direct confrontation is not an option. You take a bit of a detour and capture a worker and interrogate him for the location of your equipment and after initially refusing he does tell you, though it does not come without consequence. This is when you get your first look at the power of the headbands which is activated in front of you and kills the man. You quickly move on, locate your weapons and then double back and make short work of that mech and several dozen more as you move through the level.
The only concerns I have is about the graphics and while they are not as sharp as Heavenly Sword, they aren’t Prison Break. We play games for the gameplay and the story and from the demo it looks like the game will deliver at a high level on both accounts. We won’t spoil the demo for you, but trust us its worth checking out. Our only real question is what took Ninja Theory so long, the game missed you as we say. Don’t take our word for it, download it today and see for yourself.