Friday, 16 September 2011

I'm a slave to this game!

Once again there’s a storm of games incoming, this time towards winter and Christmas. I've ordered the likes of Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Ace Combat Assault Horizon (the demo released earlier this week, was a little strange, I'll come back to that in a later post). That’s not counting Assassins Creed Revelations and of course; Gears of War 3:

That’s right, my web shop sent the game out too early so I've got to play it almost ten days before the release. So far my impression has been very positive. The controls feel lighter and much smoother than before. The graphics are jaw-dropping and are very colourful and vibrant for the Gears series. I've been playing multiplayer since I'm planning on playing the singleplayer with three friends. The multiplayer is mostly populated by bots now, but I'm sure there will be turning up more and more human players after a while!

The review this time is Enslaved, which basically is a cross between platforming and fighting. The game takes place quite far into the future in a post-apocalyptic setting, though not the typical grey and dismal one, Enslaved is actually very colourful and full of nature. You start on a slaveship carrier which you must escape and end up being controlled by a young girl (hence the title that she enslaves you with a headband), she demands that you help her find her way home.

The city you end up in at the beginning is actually New York, but it is abandoned and overgrown many years after our society lived there. Humans have been slaved and killed by robots which have taken over the world. What I love about Enslaved is that the characters actually don’t know anything about our time, so things like cranes, cars and such are just ancient, strange objects for them. Even the city is unknown to Monkey (the rather wild looking playable character) and Trip (the red-headed girl which enslaves Monkey) which are the main figures in the story.

Gameplay wise Enslaved is varied, it changes between Monkey having to fight the robot creatures which inhabit the environments to climbing and scaling through buildings. The climbing is very spectacular often with a sense of huge scale and heights. The Unreal Engine 3 once again shows it’s amazing power. The fighting is very solid and feels heavy. Different types of robots require various methods to killing them. There is even some shooting involved, but thankfully it stays mostly to hand-to-hand fighting. The boss battles are also fun and varied, so is the hoverboards you get to ride in some levels. I like the fact that Trip takes care of herself a lot and doesn't require you to constantly be with her.

The feeling of crushing a robot after a long fight with a horde of them, then climbing up an old skyscraper and swinging from ledge to ledge gives you such a rush to continue on playing. The game increasingly adds more difficult enemies and puts you in tricky situations like crossing a minefield or protecting a riverboat with a stationary gun. The game is very varied and you won’t tire of throughout the time it takes to complete.

I really enjoyed Enslaved, the game looks fantastic, the fighting is solid, the game is varied and fairly lengthy and it delivers an interesting story with two very different main characters. The climbing sections could have been a bit less automatic in their style, with more freedom to climbing where you want, but is still enjoyable thanks to the spectacular views over overgrown cities, canyons and mountains. All in all, a really entertaining game with gameplay focusing on something else than gunplay.



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