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    jp's GameLog for Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (PS3)

    Wednesday 2 January, 2013

    Whew, finished!

    I've really enjoyed it (despite all the warts and minor problems the game has). And yes, all those flashbacks are explained at the end. The ending is actually quite sad, I was surprised by this. Yes, you rescue the slaves but it's not what you thought it would be like and actually hearkens back to a moment - very early in the first chapter that I hadn't really thought about and which seemed quite odd in retrospect.

    Over the course of the entire game there are really only three human characters: Monkey, Trip, and Pigsy (who is fantastic). Other than the first and last chapters there are other human characters at all. In the first chapter, as you escape the slaver ship, you see other human characters that die except for one - slave number so and so (I didn't notice he was a slave on my first playthrough) whom Monkey intimidates into telling him where his equipment is. The slave then dies. I didn't realize (in my first playthrough) that the slave died because he told me something and that he was killed "remotely". I had assumed that Monkey had snapped his neck and that I'd missed it because it happened so fast. I hadn't realized that that would be the last human character I'd see for the entire game (well, other than photos of Andy Serkis in flashbacks).

    So, I felt the ending was somewhat sad because I was expecting to, at some point, run into other "survivors" or humans. I had assumed that the slavers were some sort of post-apocalyptic gang (ala Mad Max) rather than a shadowy organization with entirely different goals (as revealed in the end).

    It's an interesting juxtaposition - the game is colorful, lush, and beautiful but it's the sort of beauty that makes you sad because you realize that it only exists because there are no humans. It's desolate. The player is essentially an archaeologist marveling at these ruins of an ancient civilization that is his own. Other than the mechs - the game is remarkably empty of animal life as well.

    Another thing I realized, as I watched the final cut-scene, is how many different elements in the game reminded me of characters, scenes, etc. from other sources. Some may have been inspired by, or included as an homage, or may simply be the product of my own craziness... here's a brief list:

    a. Monkey - Reminded me of Vin Diesel's character in Pitch Black and sequels.

    b. Trip - Reminded me of the character from Heavenly Sword - both lithe redheads. I haven't played Heavenly Sword, but the fact that it was made by the same studio (Ninja Theory) isn't a coincidence in my opinion.

    c. Pigsy - Reminded me of Pey'j from the game Beyond Good & Evil. I think it's just the pig/boar thing since Pigsy has a crush on Trip while Pey'j's relationship with Jade was more fatherly. Maybe they both had a similar sense of humor?

    d. There's a brief moment in the game (Chapter 4?) where you see a deer that runs away when you approach it. This reminded me of some of the scenes from the movie I Am Legend where you see wild animals in a NYC that has become overcome by nature.

    e. The ending - Matrix. No, it's not all a dream or illusion, but many of the themes are there.

    I'm still unclear as to how important the Chinese tale (Journey to the West?) is. Other than Monkey (and the cloud he can ride), I have no idea. I guess I should read the original tale, no?


    Just curious, you mentioned that this wasn't your first playthrough. What made you go back and play it again? I played Enslaved a few months ago and absolutely loved it. Also, Pigsy, like all pig-characters, reminded me of the similarly-spelled Piggsy from Manhunt, the murderous chainsaw-wielding pig-masked man who scared the crap out of me and ruined pig-characters for me forever after.

    Thursday 10 January, 2013 by dkirschner

    So, I played it through, and then almost immediately went back and replayed certain sections. Mostly for trophies, but also for things I didn't quite understand. I was also curious about some of the upgrades I hadn't picked up along the way and wanted to try them out. seems like there's something about videogames and pig-like characters? :-)

    Thursday 10 January, 2013 by jp
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