Enslaved: Odyssey To The West Journeying To PC

By Nathan Grayson on October 11th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

Wait, you dropped your glasses and also if it is not too much trouble I would like to eat you.

I don’t know about you, but I actually thought DmC: Devil May Cry (that’s the new one, for those not well-versed in entirely redundant acronyms) was pretty great. Dumb, stupid, and also dumb but very pretty, its brand of stylish bravado won me over with a mix of fast action and sly, creeping smiles. So then, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. It was developer Ninja Theory’s previous game, and it’s been console-only for agonizing eons. It is, however, a lovingly crafted, exceedingly well-acted tale set in an actually-beautiful-looking-for-goddamn-once post-apocalyptic world. I played it on one of them Exbawkseseses back in the day, and I really liked it a lot. Maybe you will too when it comes to PC later this month.

The action-adventure – which is rooted in ancient Chinese classic Journey to the West – is finally embarking on an odyssey to PC as part of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West – Premium Edition, according to Polygon. Presumably, that will also include DLC side story Pigsy’s Perfect 10, which is actually pretty strong in its own right. The whole package will be out sometime later this month.

I’m looking forward to having another go at it, too. Gameplay-wise, think Uncharted but with an emphasis on serviceable melee over hunky, clunky gunplay. Characters, however, are the real centerpiece of this one’s show, with the interplay between Monkey and Trip making for an excellent duo dynamic. Monkey’s the muscle given that he is likely the son of Gears of War and a mountain, but Trip outwits and initially controls him with a device that’ll fry his brain if she dies. It’s a solid setup, but what happens afterward is what turns the tale into a real heartstring-plucker. Also, Monkey was mo-capped by Andy Serkis, aka Gollum, who really should just be every game character.

So yes, anticipation is warranted. Do that.

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61 Comments »

  1. Phantom_Renegade says:

    I played it on the xbox, but couldn’t get into it. The world was beautiful, characters and story interesting, but those controls…I really hope they fixed that. Especially given that they’ve had such a long time to work on the game, I’m expecting a bit more then just a port. Don’t really need new content, just fix the controls. Make the melee combat fun and the gunplay not suck.

    • hemmer says:

      I couldn’t get into it either when it came out. The gameplay is very mediocre, but it’s solid and not particularly hard.
      But then I just replayed it a few months ago and breezed through it.
      Have to agree with lowprices, the storytelling touches many of the same buttons as TLoU does, even covering some similar themes.

  2. Premium User Badge

    lowprices says:

    Enslaved is well worth a look. The platforming is a bit underwhelming (you cannot fall even if you try), but the combat is fun. Think The Last of Us by way of Beyond Good and Evil. It’s not a technical powerhouse like TLoU, but it shares the same very good understated storytelling (albeit with robot monsters instead of fungus zombies. VIDEOGAMES).

    Also I really enjoyed DMC. Lots of fun, if too easy.

    • The First Door says:

      That was my main problem with it. The world was fantastic, I just wish they’d let me fall off it sometimes. Otherwise, the platforming sections are just pointless.

    • Premium User Badge

      welverin says:

      Well, all of the hate for DmC seems to have come from fans of the series that had decided it would suck long before it was released. Primarily because it wasn’t developed by Capcom, but by a western developer, and because the change in Dante’s appearance.

      The reason I wanted it was because it was developed by Ninja Theory, I liked Heavenly Sword and Enslaved that much.

  3. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    It has a variant of the Monkey King and is therefore through scientific reason superior to any game that does not contain a variant of the Monkey King.

    • Niko says:

      Yes yes, there should be more Monkey Kings in games.

      • The Random One says:

        But Rat Kings are superior to Monkey Kings. Therefore the best three games of all time are:

        1. rat chaos
        2. Space Station: Silicon Valley
        3. Enslaved

        • Niko says:

          Rat Kings are only superior to Mouse Kings, Vole Kings, Gerbil Kings and Hamster Kings, that’s a fact. Plus, Monkey Kings are incredibly powerful and can transform into King Kong Kings, which is demonstrated in a highly educational documentary film by Stephen Chow called “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons”. According to the film, King Kong King can only be defeated by Buddha’s Palm.

  4. K33L3R says:

    Looking forward to this, played it years ago on the xbox and loved it, going to have to wait however because I have a backlog of seven games :-(

  5. james___uk says:

    Excellent! I recommend this game myself, great story, characters and a really cool imaginative setting, I loved it

  6. Ovno says:

    Ahhhh Tripitaka

    • tossrStu says:

      THE NATHAN OF MONKEY WAS IRREPRESSIBLE *blows on fingers, flies away on a cloud*

  7. Premium User Badge

    c-Row says:

    Great to finally being able to play this on PC. I wouldn’t mind them adding some HD textures in the process, too, but that’s not a necessity in this case.

    • DanMan says:

      Well, I’d be more inclined to buy it, if they spruce it up a little. It’s a 3 year old PS3 game after all. Interesting nonetheless.

  8. Dowr says:

    They made a DLC devoted to that stupid pig-man?

    • Premium User Badge

      RedViv says:

      It turns the stealthy brawly jumpy game into a stealthy sneaky snipy game. Which is pleasant!

  9. Jiggeh says:

    Wait, this article wasn’t being sarcastic? I for one thought the game was a completely dull and repetitive mess, with an off-puttingly dumb “story” starring two rather unlikeable and unsympathetic characters. It wasn’t challenging but I still couldn’t finish the game simply because it was so damn boring. Well, more power to you if you’re able to enjoy it, I guess…

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      I only played the demo, but I hated it. I played the demo three times just to be sure I wasn’t hating it unreasonably.

      I wrote up my thoughts on the demo, though I was in a bad mood after playing it three times, so beware of excessive snark (including the L word).

    • DapperDirewolf says:

      I had the complete opposite experience, however two friends of mine had a pretty similar opinion to yours. Funny how starkly different the opinions are on this game from anyone I have heard of playing it. It was either really good, or really bad. Opinions, eh!

    • botd says:

      Came here to say the same thing. Entire game seems vastly overrated. Then again, I haven’t seen a good platforming adventure game in ages. Genre seems to have stagnated and died.

    • Damien Stark says:

      The “gameplay” (Uncharted style platforming + some mixed melee and shooting) was mediocre, but the development of the two characters and story were exemplary.

      It’s a slow burn though. You’re dropped in the middle of things not knowing the world history, and the two characters aren’t instantly likable. Over time, they become much more interesting – easier to empathize with but also more clearly flawed. As you learn the final bits of what’s going on, it’s a fairly powerful revelation.

      But it takes patience (a bit like a long running serial drama) and the gameplay isn’t going to help with that.

      Wanted to go find Tom Chick’s old review, as I recall him capturing it well, but that appears to be gone.

  10. Turkey says:

    I don’t have anything to say about the game, but “Enslaved” kinda sounds like the title of an Epic MegaGames game from the ’90s.

  11. Yosharian says:

    It’s a GOOD game. I enjoyed it a lot. Not sure how the controls will translate to M+KB though.

  12. maximiZe says:

    Might pick this up for five bucks. Knowing NT there’s no reason to get excited, but at least this one wasn’t written in-house.

  13. Tinotoin says:

    I remember this being natively 3D on the PS3 – hopefully it will have good 3D Vision support too.

  14. Premium User Badge

    Jackablade says:

    While this seems like it might be worth a look, I’d pay a lot of money for a game inspired by the campy 70s incarnation, complete with extra-campy English dub. Monkey is so ideally suited to a game, it seems bizarre that the only games we’ve seen have spun the story off in different directions, whether MMOs or futurey retellings or fekking Dragon Ball Z.

    • Maxheadroom says:

      Yeah I bought this for the 360 (admittedly out of a bargin bin) solely because of it’s Monkey roots

  15. Anguy says:

    This is great! It may be the only let’s play ever for a game that I watched the whole way through wishing to play it myself. I was amazed by the characters and I also liked the atmosphere and setting as whole a lot (That overgrown green city is just beautiful).
    Looking forward to the release!

  16. Spoon Of Doom says:

    I’ve played in on Xbox, and despite a few quirks, I loved the game to bits. I’ve always wondered why it flopped so hard when other, far worse games seem to do better. I fully recommend buying the game. Buy it so hard that they’ll make a sequel that smoothes out the edges.

  17. sophof says:

    The animation was fantastic on this game and it helped to cover for the somewhat less exciting gameplay. That sounds very silly I know, but I enjoyed the journey *nudge nudge wink wink* of this game a lot. Especially the animation of the characters’ faces really help to make the story and the interplay between the characters feel alive.

    • rightyeauhuh says:

      The animation they did for the characters is really above and beyond what most games manage. I am kind of surprised the game isn’t brought up more often in this regard.

  18. Lemming says:

    It’s not mould-breaking, but it’s a solid experience. It’s certainly the stand-out game when it comes to big Hollywood names attached to video games: it’s miles better than Heavenly Sword and, judging from reviews, much better than Beyond Two Souls as well.

    If you know or are interested in the Journey to the West Chinese fable, there’s also lots to please here.

    I felt the ending was a bit flat, but the game itself is a fun, if simplistic romp and the easy game play will ensure that you have plenty of time to look at the lush artwork and enjoy the fairly competent story.

    BONUS TRIVIA: The voice/mo-cap for Pigsy is the very same Dungeon Keeper of Bullfrog fame: Richard Ridings

  19. szendroib says:

    This is one of those games that arent that refined as AAA titles, but they have a lot of heart. Both this game and Majin are like that, they are great hidden gems.

  20. Rao Dao Zao says:

    I heard lots of good things about this, so if we’re getting a complete all-DLC/etc version on PC I will be tempted.

    I guess it hinges on whether it’ll be prepped for mouse/keyboard or suffer controlleritus… (Yes, yes, I know I should just buy an XBox controller and be done with it, but that’d be too much like giving in.)

  21. Viroso says:

    This game feels a lot like much older games, like 16 bit platformers, but that’s not good. It feels like those games in the way that it doesn’t make much effort to make sense while driving you forwards. Think flying coins forming arrows, that sort of thing. It’s also very inconsistent, arbitrary. At some point you’ll want to wander off, and you visibly can, but then it’ll say you can’t and force you back.

    The platforming is about as bad as most newer 3D games, it exists just so you can look at it, it doesn’t demand you to do much more than press a direction and a single button, it’s all very automatic and magnetic. The combat isn’t that better either, you pretty much just smack everyone. That sounds like what melee combat should be, but just smacking everyone tends to get boring, there isn’t much to do but repeat a few moves.

    The game’s pretty, the characters have pretty faces, but that’s about it. Everything felt poorly put together, like the game was rushed, even the story. I feel that people who enjoyed it were distracted by something else in the game that I missed completely, because the rest can’t possibly hold water to most people.

  22. bit.bat says:

    Thats great news, I thought the game was great on the consoles.

    I also can’t wait to see what Ninja Theory does next, loved DMC too. Have they said anything?

    • HisDivineOrder says:

      Heard they were doing a tablet/smartphone game. Consoles have not been kind to them.

  23. Premium User Badge

    The Sombrero Kid says:

    dmc was good & so will this be.

  24. DapperDirewolf says:

    Really great game. Loved it.

  25. Premium User Badge

    strangeloup says:

    I really enjoyed this (and it was certainly less patchy than their debut, Heavenly Sword, which had some really great bits punctuated by some utter awfulness), but I’ve got it on the PS3, so there’s not an awful lot of point in buying the PC version as well.

    Full confession: One of the things that keeps me going through the game is that the main character is a pretty attractive buff guy with no shirt. I have no shame.

    • DapperDirewolf says:

      I was spurred on by the attractive metal robots. Phwoar.

    • Premium User Badge

      Mungrul says:

      I think I’m the only person I know who loves Heavenly Sword to bits. The biggest flaw its got are the terrible loading times. For a game like that, you want some of Naughty Dog’s magic instant reload tech.

      But hands down, it’s got my favourite implementation of motion controls ever, when you use SixAxis to control Kai’s arrows or Nariko’s cannonballs/rockets. I could spend hours picking off goons by aiming for limbs or groins with Kai’s arrows.

      And while Nariko’s outfit isn’t exactly what I’d call progressive, I love the story and her interaction with Kai.
      Plus the baddies are all deliciously camp and eeeeevil. You’ve got Serkis once more doing a fantastic job as main antagonist, but he’s backed up by Race Davies as Whiptail and a wonderfully creepy Steven Berkoff as Flying Fox. Seriously, Flying Fox never ceases to weird me out. There’s some superb character animation there.

      Sure, the overall mechanics are basically ripped straight from God Of War, and not executed quite as smoothly, but there’s a lot to like in the game.

      • bakerman says:

        Totally agree. I actually had a fantastic time with it, mostly because of the fantastic story.

  26. Faxanadu says:

    No video… Why… Must I google it myself. :( Sorry, I’m just so tired today…

  27. Premium User Badge

    CelticPixel says:

    I look forward to playing it!

  28. SuicideKing says:

    That picture makes me think of The Hunger Games mixed with Terminator.

  29. jadejada849 says:

    I get paid over $87 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I’ve been doing,,,,●►●►●►●►▶ http://www.max68.com

  30. Metalhead9806 says:

    YES!!! Oh im so happy. Now all three of my favorite console only games will be on PC. Castlevania, Deadly premonition and Enslaved… Freaking brilliant!

  31. Chizu says:

    I loved Enslaved when I played it on ps3, just for the characters and acting alone. That so made it worth it, even if sometimes it was a little janky.

    Still, I had a ton of fun with it, and was never frustrated by it.
    I never played teh pigsy dlc properly, I started it up but it chugged hard on ps3.

    It’ll be nice to have the game on PC where it can actually achieve a solid framerate the whole time.

  32. Gamera says:

    You guys refer to games as being “like Uncharted” A LOT. I’ve never played Uncharted.

    • Damien Stark says:

      Prince of Persia and Tomb Raider get at the idea a bit as well.

      Lots of “press left to shimmy along this ledge, until it’s time to press jump which will make you leap over and grab the ladder, then press up until you’re on top of the cliff”, then mediocre third-person “run up and hit this guy, or if you have ammo press the shoot button to hit that guy”, but punctuated by some extremely well-done storytelling.

      Much of RPS tends to hate this sort of game. “Cinematic” games (eye roll), where they’re more focused on the creator telling you their story, rather than giving you interesting gameplay and letting you make your own story. But the voice acting, animation, character development, and gradual story reveal in this game won me over.

      I cared about these two by the end, even if the combat was a bit of a chore.

      • Damien Stark says:

        Bad form replying to myself, but the “cinematic” games thing reminded me of another good reference here: L.A. Noire.

        If you can set your expectations low for the gameplay and just get through it, the storytelling was fascinating and memorable. But most people (understandably) get hung up on either “I was promised an open world! This is just stupid drive-to-next-mission crap!” or “I don’t agree with the truth/lie/press mechanic, it’s dumb!”

        Same here, I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. You have to be willing to slog through some patience-trying bits of game, but there’s a payoff there if you make it.

        • phylum sinter says:

          It’s genuinely difficult not to find some fault with the autonomous nature of L.A. Noire, but I think the Tomb Raider reboot had, if you had a chance to do so, a huge amount of opportunity to run around and just “be a crazy, confused main character without extra objectives”. I spent dozens of hours running around with nothing but a bow equipped, and had loads of fun doing so and recommend it to anyone with a healthy enough wallet. Enslaved had glimpses of that as well, but it could have given in spades was that same level of space. It’s a wonderful spot to get lost in, find the invisible walls in and just run.

          What it didn’t deliver, which i accept and never expected, was a compelling outside-the-game script. It felt to me that much of the press wanted a real reason to contemplate the situation, but to me it was never even as purposeful as Indiana Jones -hardly even a tribute, actually. Correction: what is given is not less than that throughout, and occasionally a smidge more. Play it if you enjoyed any of the Action/Adventure games out on the consoles in the past 10 years, rent it if you’ve only played a little bit of the Uncharted series. Worthy in either case, though. Give it a shot, PC folks. I will again.

  33. BruceFnLee says:

    Enslaved was written by Alex Garland and has great 3D (even though 3D ran horribly on consoles)

    Buy this game.

  34. phylum sinter says:

    Honestly I want to play this on my PC because my xbox and PS3 could not handle even the versions that it was released on. I do know, however, that it will pimp out my 5850 at this moment in time and will gladly buy it a third time.

    I am not wishing for a PC victory or a developer redemption here, merely that I get the best version of a game i really liked twice already to be fully realized. Please don’t mute me.