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August 25 2010
Enslaved: Odyssey To The West - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
7/10/2010Namco BandaiNamco BandaiNinja Theory
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
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Trip and Monkey in Enslaved on PS3.
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Visually Enslaved looks gorgeous.

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Monkey is riding an, ermm, cannon?
Developers Ninja Theory were a company which Sony used as a poster child early on in the PS3's life cycle due to their game Heavenly Sword. It was a visual tour de force, and turned out fairly well, but struggled to sell in the volume that warranted a sequel from publishers Sony or developers Ninja Theory. Now that same developer is putting the finishing touches on Enslaved: Odyssey To The West which is due to hit the PS3 as well as XBox 360.

Set 150 years from now, the world has been ruined by war and ecological disaster with only a handful of survivors remaining. In Enslaved, players take on the role of Monkey, a strong and athletic, yet solitary figure, who been captured by one of the mysterious slave ships, which harvest the remaining population and take them out west never to return. Trip, a technologically savvy young woman who has also been imprisoned by the same ship, manages to escape. She quickly realizes that Monkey, with his raw strength and power, is her only hope to survive the perilous journey back to her home. She hacks into a slave headband and fits it on Monkey, linking them together if she dies, he dies... Her journey has now become his and Monkey must now travel west alongside Trip as they traverse a demolished world, under constant threat of capture and mortal peril.

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The post-apocalyptic world of Enslaved.
The story in Enslaved has been penned by Alex Garland (who wrote The Beach and 28 Days Later and is loosely based on the Chinese novel "Journey to the West". As you have probably already deduced this is a third person action adventure game where you will traverse lush environments which have become overgrown with nature since the war years before. In the game you will attack and defend with agile prowess using a combination of melee attacks, blocks and intense takedowns which allow Monkey to overtake an enemy to steal its weapon for his own use, rip the enemy apart piece by piece or destroy it in one satisfying final blow.

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Monkey handles all the combat in the game.
The key difference between this game and Ninja Theory's previous game, Heavenly Sword, is that while the combat in that game was very much action oriented with a focus on performing combos. In Enslaved the focus is more on strategy. Working together the two main characters in the game, Monkey and Trip, will perform feats and tasks together to defeat enemies. It could be said that while Trip has the brains, Monkey has the brawn.

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Enslaved will hit the shelves in early October.
Visually this game is quite stunning with some great texturing, character models and silky smooth animations all in evidence. Andy Serkis, whom we all remember as Gollum from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, has acted as the director for the cut-scenes and has also provided motion capture for Monkey while Lindsey Shaw has provided motion capture as Trip. Nitin Sawhney has composed the music for the game.

Time will tell how well this game plays. Heavenly Sword was visually stunning, something which Enslaved also seems to accomplish, however gameplay in their earlier title left something to be desired. Still, with a release due in early October we don't have too long to wait to see if this game captures our hearts. Get your pre-orders in now (preferably via the links at the top of this page!).