Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is an intriguing game to me. One reason is that it’s loosely based on the 16th century Chinese novel that it shares a title with. Not having read the original novel, my interest was more a curiosity whether I could pick up on influences rather than looking for major plot points. From Wikipedia: “[T]he plot revolves around someone who forces the help and protection of a warrior.” The dynamic between these two main characters is the driving force of the story.
Within the first few minutes of the game, you are introduced to both Trip and Monkey and their unique relationship. Monkey just wants to be freed from captivity, and Trip is trying to get back home, several hundred miles to the west. After escaping from a prison ship crashing into a decayed version of New York City overtaken by some kind of mechanical army, Trip slips a mental ‘leash’ onto Monkey’s head. Basically, it allows her to cause intense pain unless he does what she tells him to. It’s also tied to her life signs: if she dies, he dies too.
The first level also does an excellent job of introducing gameplay mechanics at a consistent but not overwhelming pace. Combat is quick, if a bit simplistic at first. Monkey, true to his name, is an excellent acrobatic climber. These segments reminded me of the 2008 reboot of Prince of Persia (which I enjoyed quite a bit).
The second level you’re introduced to how Trip’s abilities will affect gameplay. She has little EMP grenades that can temporarily disable your robot enemies so that Monkey can get in close and take them out. You can also split up and have her distract ranged enemies to progress across the environment.
Full disclosure time: I only played a couple hours of this game before Breath of the Wild came out (which is spectacular, by the way). Hence, my opinion is not 100% complete, but I feel comfortable enough recommending the game based on what I’ve played so far. Pick it up in a bundle or on sale, but give it a whirl, especially if you liked Prince of Persia. I definitely plan on finishing it eventually, once I’ve spent a while adventuring around Hyrule.
Until next time!