An Odyssey Worth Experiencing - Enslaved - PlayStation 3 -
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An Odyssey Worth Experiencing

Why is it that most of our post-apocalyptic fiction looks like it takes place in a giant brown sandbox? Would the world really turn to grayscale if all of humanity passed away? Heavenly Sword developer Ninja Theory doesn’t think so, and for its new game, Enslaved, it’s turned to sources like the History channel’s special Life After People for inspiration as to what the world might look like if homo sapiens ever became an endangered species. As you can see from these screens, the game’s colorful environments are a far cry from your average post-apocalyptic backdrop.

We first announced Enslaved in issue 198 of Game Informer. Since then Ninja Theory has been hard at work polishing the title, and they were kind enough to stop by the office and show us how the game is coming along.

For those who are not familiar with the title, Enslaved takes place 150 years in the future, after several decades of war, famine, and plague have eaten away the Earth’s population. A scant 50,000 people are left in North America, scattered across the continent in small tribes. Some of these groups function like hippy communes; they live out an almost Marxist existence as its members scavenge for food and technology. The remaining humans might be able to repopulate the planet if it weren’t for the giant slave ships that troll the East coast, kidnapping people and taking them out west where they are never seen from again.

Enslaved’s camera jerks each time Monkey delivers a hit, which goes a long way to making the action feel more brutal

At the beginning of the game, one of these commune members, a girl by the name of Trip, is captured by a slave ship. However, Trip is smart enough to orchestrate an escape, and causes the ship to crash. This is where she meets Enslaved’s main protagonist, a loner who goes by the name Monkey. Monkey is a wandering survivalist who is used to fending for himself. Trip sees how resourceful and capable Monkey is, and attaches a headband on his head, which will detonate if he doesn’t do exactly what she says. Unwillingly, Monkey’s primary task becomes taking Trip back to her commune.

The gameplay of Enslaved is a mix of action, platforming, and puzzle solving. Trip is equipped with a robotic dragonfly, which she can use to scout out areas and help Monkey chart his plan of attack. Monkey platforms across crumbling skyscrapers as easily as his namesake might suggest, and there is a rhythmic flow to all of his animations. Monkey can also send Trip into areas he might not otherwise be able to reach. For example, he could toss Trip up to a second-level platform so she can drop a ladder to him. Trip will also be able to initiate a holographic display that will distract enemies. This will give Monkey time to find safe cover or sneak behind enemy lines and turn an encamped turret against its own kind.

Ninja Theory has already said that it’s planning DLC for the game that would give players reason to hang onto their copy well after they’ve finished the story

In the world of Enslaved, old war robots are scattered across the environment like landmines, and Monkey won’t be able to avoid them forever. Fortunately, when the action does come to blows, Monkey is equipped with a retractable staff. Players will be able to mix up the combat with a variety of heavy and light combos similar to Heavenly Sword. Unlike Nariko however, Monkey’s weapon also performs ranged projectile attacks. After collecting ammo for his staff, Monkey will be able to stun robots with electrical bolts, or disable them altogether with a flurry of plasma blasts.

Ninja Theory cares about making a good game, but more than that it’s clear the developer also wants to tell a good story. To that end, it has enlisted some of the most talented individuals from the entertainment industry. Scriptwriter Alex Garland (28 Days Later and Sunshine) has helped write Enslaved’s script. Andy Serkis – the actor behind digital creations like Gollum from the LOTR trilogy and King Bohan in Heavenly Sword – will provide the voice and motion capture for Monkey. And Nitin Sawhney, a film composer who also worked on Heavenly Sword, is even on tap for the game’s score. With this much talent backing an already skilled development house it’s hard to imagine that Enslaved is destined for anything less than success.

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  • this will be one of the sleeper hits of the year, And if it is half of what heavenly sword was (but I know that it will be double of what HS was) , this should be awesome.
  • Looks like a very interesting title. I love the art style and the colors of the in game world, very beautiful.

  • Didn't you do something for this game a long time ago?

  • There was an preview on it awhile back in one of the GI issues, yes.

  • I love post-apocalyptic settings, especially in games.  I do prefer the Fallout 3 / Terminator type atmosphere since it gives you a greater feeling of despair.  This art style almost appears to celebrate the near-extinction of humans, like Mother Earth coming back to claim what was originally hers.  That doesn't jive with me as well as it would Al Gore.  

  • ahhh man the graphics look great in this game....definitely getting this game

  • Thank GOODNESS this is also for the Xbox 360. I was lucky to have my PS3 for HS, but the PS3 days are over now lol.

  • I loved HS (aside from the vein-poppingly frustrating final boss) and will definately be picking this one up.  Definately a 360 purchase, for me.  Gotta keep up with my Acheivements.  Trophies are for PS3 exclusives. :)

    @IG-88:  Second paragraph of the article.

    @dan.feurer:  "5th" is just as bad as "First."  I hope they delete that comment.

  • I am definately going to check this game out

  • Hopefully the single player will last longer then the 6hrs that Heavenly Sword was.  I really do not want to play 60$ for another short lived experience.

  • looks great

  • DBZ fans, this game is based on the same folktale as that anime. Which I have to admit is what originally drew me to this title.

  • I'll be playing this one once it comes out.

  • So far so good, I think I'll be picking up this title.

  • this looks really cool, butt the name really stinks.

  • This is looking better and better every time I see it.

  • is this on PS3 or 360? cuz on the top where the stars are it says "PS3" but at the bottom above the pics it 360? just curious...i  have both so doesnt matter

  • sweet.

  • This looks like it has promise.

  • Monkey and Trip, best video game names ever!!!
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