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Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

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Game Reviewed: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Developer: Ninja Theory
Reviewer: Dean Williams
Platform: Xbox 360 (also on PS3)
Category: Action Adventure
ESRB Rating: T
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Game Description:

“Enslaved: Odyssey to the West” is a third-person action adventure game with some platforming elements mixed in. The game begins with the player taking on the role of Monkey, a large, muscular nomad who has been taken captive by a group called the “Slavers”. Monkey soon breaks free of his captors only to be taken captive again, but this time by the slender, defenseless Trip. Trip needs Monkey to protect her on her way home. To get Monkey to comply, Trip places a slave headband on him so that he must obey her at all times. If Trip dies, Monkey dies.

Enslaved is a beautiful game. The events of the game take place in a post-apocalyptic world where battle robots called “mechs” infest the landscape. But rather than a world of light-lacking desolation, the world of Enslaved is bright and vibrant. Nature has reclaimed the once urban landscapes; creating lush jungles intermingled with ruined skyscrapers. There were many moments in the game where I simply stopped so I could look around and take in the marvelous sites.

Other than the impressive visuals, Enslaved is very simple. The game consists of elementary puzzle solving, jumping from poles and handholds to get from A to B, and protecting Trip from any and all dangers that come their way. Although the game poses very little challenge to experienced gamers, it more than makes up for it with its engaging and engrossing storytelling.

What Parents Need to Know

Violence

The violence in Enslaved is typical of most action adventure games. Monkey has a retractable staff that can also fire plasma and electrical stun projectiles. A majority of the gameplay consists of Monkey being surrounded by a horde of mechs, which Monkey proceeds to pummel with his staff. At times, Monkey can perform “takedown” maneuvers which trigger an up-close-and-personal view of the action, allowing the player to watch Monkey perform a complex attack. During some sequences, oil, which is clearly meant to be robot “blood”, issues forth profusely after Monkey delivers the final blow. Also, as Monkey defeats mechs and explores the area around him, he finds “tech orbs” which, as they accumulate, allow Monkey to upgrade his attacks, equipment, and overall health.

Language

There are multiple instances of coarse language in Enslaved. H--l, s--t, g-- d--m are all used many times as exclamatory phrases in response to oncoming dangers.

Sexual Content

There is very little sexual content throughout most of the game. However, there are a few suggestive lines in the last third of the game when a new character, Pigsley, is introduced. He makes three specific suggestive comments in the game:

- “It’s just your hand...is right on my...penis”
- “This machine is more incredible than my wettest dreams!”
- “I get off on [this machine]...I mean really get off on it.”

Other than these suggestive comments, the only other sexual content of note is that Trip’s top exposes some cleavage.

Spiritual Content

There is no spiritual content of note in Enslaved.

Reviewer’s Thoughts

I found Enslaved to be a particularly engaging game from start to finish. I would have preferred that the developers apply a bit more freedom to the choices one can make in the game, but I was surprised that even though I performed the same actions over and over, the gameplay never became stale. I felt my adrenaline pumping right to the very end. The storytelling in this game was magnificent, and my only qualm was the suggestive comments made by Pigsley, which simply seemed unnecessary. Enslaved is a fun game w/ a great story, but the aforementioned content should be considered when deciding if this game fits into your family’s entertainment guidelines.



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