Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (2010, PS3) – 8/10 third-person action game review

Cast / crew
Writer: Alex Garland
Writer: Tameem Antoniades
Andy Serkis: Monkey
Lindsey Shaw: Trip
Richard Ridings: Pigsy
Music: Nitin Sawhney
Dramatic Director: Andy Serkis
Dramatic Director: Tameem Antoniades
Development Director: Nina Kristensen
Technical Director: Mike Ball
Creative Director: Tameem Antoniades

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (2010)

A lucky break sees Monkey escape his captor’s bonds only to find himself plummeting to earth aboard a falling transport vessel. He’s not the only one, though, as a girl is racing toward the escape pods just ahead of him. While they both manage to escape, Monkey comes to after the crash landing to find himself in a situation he thought he’d just extricated himself from: enslaved; but this time to the girl who commands, needs, his help.


This is a great, fun game with a more interesting than usual story and characters let down by an intrusive lack of fluidity of the in-game camera and stuttery character traversal of uneven terrain. There is also a significant sound bug (on PS3, at least) and the game also crashed once. Yet the simple but satisfying combat (enhanced by the metal-bashing sound effects when they work), simple but satisfying gameplay, striking art direction and emotional investment in the characters are more than enough to overcome the technical deficiencies. The story offers up some funnies (one of Pigsy’s late lines in The Dam excepted), some intrigue (why were they on the ship at the start? Why did she do that? Why did he do that?) and solid audience involvement with characters brought to life, once more (after Heavenly Sword) by Andy Serkis; this time backed up brilliantly by Richard Ridings.

This game contains mild swear words, adult dialogue and violence against machines only, strong violence and unpleasant scenes in game over cut scenes.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.


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