Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

The year is, like, sometime in the future. And, as any discerning gamer knows, the future always comes in after a catastrophic global war and some sort of robot apocalypse. So there was apparently (I mean, obviously) a catastrophic global war, and some sort of robot apocalypse. Now, everything’s tumbled about in ruin, the robots are enslaving the scattered and decidedly shabby remnants of humanity, and it turns out that night time doesn’t happen anymore. That bit’s new. That bit’s also not really ever explained, but I’m guessing it’s probably something to do with radioactive fallout or the planet having ceased its rotation or the moon exploding or something. Maybe I’m making too much of it.

Anyway, stuff starts happening when this guy, Monkey, and this chick, Trip, contrive to escape an airborne slave transport just before it crashes. Hilariously, Trip then pretty much enslaves Monkey with a magical Headband of Ironically Unpredictable Post-Enslavement Re-Enslavement + 5, so he’ll escort her home. Apparently nobody asks nicely for favours in the future either, but I guess all that global war and robot apocalypse and no night time business probably put their tempers somewhat on edge. I know I can get quite grumpy if I haven’t slept probably.

Enslaved Odyssey to the West

So Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is kind of a mashup of a bunch of other stuff. There’s a bit of Prince of Persia-style platforming (the 2009 one; in other words, it’s impossible to fail, and seems like a largely superfluous game mechanic that just gets in the way between one place and the next, and the controls are occasionally sketchy), and a bit of… actually, it’s Prince of Persia again (hitting stuff with stuff, with just a couple of combos, but bashing X over and over works too). There’s kind of a cover system, and sometimes you get to play with a hoverboard. There are also loads of floating balls of energy that you can collect, and Trip – by some inscrutable futuristic means – is able to instantly transform these into upgrades for your weapons and shields. I know, I can’t work out why someone else hasn’t picked them up already either.

Enslaved Odyssey to the West

From time to time, the two characters have to cooperate to negotiate situations, via a basic popup command interface. This includes, for example, Trip using a broadcasting device to distract enemies so Monkey can move into close combat positions. It’s not much and maybe doesn’t quite fulfil its potential, but it’s kinda interesting and helps to develop a realistic sense of co-dependence, which works in the context of the relationship between the two. 

The dumb platforming, minor control problems, simplistic and repetitive combat and a slow start aside, the game manages to be quite a lot of fun. This is mostly because the story’s not too bad at all, the characters are likeable enough and their interactions are mostly believable, the graphics are gorgeous, and the voice acting is superb. It’s such an arbitrary thing to say about a game, perhaps, but when voice acting is done properly, it can make such a huge difference to a game’s immersion. So everything packaged together just works, and you’ll probably forget about its shortcomings because you’re too busy being entertained. Which is kind of the point. 

Discuss Enslaved: Odyssey to the West in the forums

  • v1ru5_1

    Er …"and it turns out that night time doesn’t happen anymore. " did you play the game? there is a night scene o.O

  • dude

    Tarryn, plz try to be a bit more serious when you're doing a review. Word's like stuff, guy, etc… As well as using words like I, know, I, can, get, if, I and probably in one sentence is horrific.

  • Like, totally, yah

    "So Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is kind of a mashup of a bunch of other stuff."

    Cutting edge journalism! Thanks for my daily lol

  • Terribyl

    I'm like, totally edgy, totaly like a mtv presenter turned "pro" gamer. I mean like, people just totally don't get my often tongue in cheek and ironic masterpieces.

    Did I mention HALO3 yet?

    I'm the best. You loved my article.

  • Duke Dude

    …"enslaves Monkey with a magical Headband"… Did you seriously say that? Trip even explained how the head band worked and you said that?

  • Ratha

    Watching the trailer does not warrant the right for a review.

  • Artemis

    Another award winning piece of journalism from Ms Byl.

    "… and the voice acting is ****ing superb."

    Doesn't get any better than that!

    A hot bath and some chamomile tea helps with the stresses of womanhood

  • FIddler

    They do't pay you to write these reviews, do they?
    Cause if they do, my 3-year old's looking for some part-time work.

  • Neo

    Where's the link to discuss this review in the forums? I don't like this front page banter. My short comment is that the score doesn't reflect what was said in the review – and that's annoying.

  • Nic Simmonds

    Link added Neo

  • Lol

    Love the comments. I avoid everything on MyGaming, that has Tarryn's name at the top like the plague. I just skip to the comments as soon as I see it. I'll rather spend the whole day watching Egoli-reruns than spend two minutes reading her drivel.

  • strawb3rry

    never been much of a tarryn fan to be honest, and now it seems she's caught a bout of the 'hipster bug'. It's just as that "Terribyl" commented above: trying to be "edgy" and "ironic".

    Wonder if she wears thick-framed specs? hmmm

  • rsk

    lol can't believe she is still at it, pathetic.

  • KarnFest

    WTF! I want my 2 minutes back!

  • Zolmaster

    Geez, if I had known all I needed was the vocabulary of an 11 year old to write reviews and articles as a gaming journalist I wouldn't have wasted my time getting a degree!

    Seriously Tarryn, after that bollocks you wrote on the back page of NAG I didn't think your writing could get much worse…

    For a decent review, please see here:


  • primo

    review is terrible… sorry.. worldwide reviews of this game are 80% upwards.. good game!!! im busy playing it..

  • Grumpy Llama

    This article did nothing to help me formulate a feel for this game. It was tacky and poorly researched. Please stop trying to be 'edgy' and aim for factual and informative! I appreciate this may be your style, but I'm telling you most readers with any spending power are older than 14!

  • muppet

    @ primo

    Opinions are subjective. There are reviews for Enslaved that are as low as 60%, so don't knock this review just because it doesn't match your or someone else's score.

  • Hasj

    First two paragraphs of nonsense. Check.

    Use of the word "superfluous". Check.

    Shortening of actual words, i.e. "kinda" when using "kind of" in the next paragraph. Check.

    'Funny' made up phrases, "Headband of Ironically Unpredictable Post-Enslavement Re-Enslavement + 5". Check.

    Use of the word "arbitrary". Check.

    Yeah. That's Tarryn van der Byl.