Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Review The central story of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is one accustomed to poetic licence and dilution. The original 16th Century Chinese novel Journey to the West was itself an amalgamation of supernatural fables based loosely on a 7th Century Buddhist monk's pilgrimage to India.
Centuries later, in 1942, a heavily abridged English translation popularised the story as Monkey: A Folk Tale of China. But, of course, the fabled journey of Tripiktaka, Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy became familiar to us less scholarly mortals through the cult 1970s TV series Monkey – perhaps the most contentious treatment of all as a Japanese production with an all-Japanese cast.
It's hard to see the light
It seems perfectly natural, then, that the first videogame translation takes place 150 years in the future, amid the post-apocalyptic wastelands of the United States. Fleeing their mysterious enslavers, Trip finds Monkey wearing that famous subjugating headband, and with it forces him into helping her - her quest now one of freedom rather than enlightenment; her enslavement of Monkey born of selfishness rather than divine providence.
A beautiful blanket of vegetation camouflages a perilous continent populated with battle-ready mechs from a long-forgotten war. Trip's genius hacking skills can't alone combat the horde of mechs, whose primary function remains the extermination of all humans, and so enslaves the brutish, brawny loner, promising to set him free once safely home.
You know the drill
Thus begins Enslaved’s ten-hour long buddy adventure. Part written by Alex The Beach Garland, and directed and starring Andy 'Gollum, Ian Dury' Serkis, it's clear from the outset that Enslaved's ambitions lie in furthering the storytelling capabilities of videogames. But while Serkis produces one of gaming's finest performances as Monkey, the collaboration between Garland and developer Ninja Theory proves far less successful in realising its ambitions.
Next page: Naff narrative
I don't know, I thought her work on Mirror's Edge was awful. I'm not sure how much of the story and characters were her fault and how much was foisted on her by the developers, but I thought the totalitarian regime running the city was incredibly cliched and the characters all stereotypes.
still a nice game to play.
Yes everything that was said in the review is true however i found it really playable and is one of the few games i've managed to sit down and just play through constantly! I don't think it is worth buying as i completed it in like 2 days, however i think it is at least worth a rent! Admitidly i didn't want to trade the game back in 2 days after buying but when the dust settles i probably won't play it again! still a nice little game to get gamer points on! i managed to grab 840 from this game alone! :)
Not to mention
the very entertaining Overlord games.
"first videogame translation" of Journey to the West?
The Japanese/Chinese/Taiwanese have been making them since the 80s. This is possibly the one with the ugliest characters though.
such a shame as the concept of a post-apocalyptic version of the Monkey story sounded awesome
they should have got Rhianna Pratchett to do the writing - she worked on both Risen and Heavenly Sword with Serkis and although the Heavenly Sword gameplay got a bit repetative, the story and dialogue was highly entertaining and kept you going to complete it.