Enslaved Demo Impressions: Not the Epic Game I Was Hoping For

The Enslaved demo has been recently released for PSN and I was able to get some playtime in for this highly-anticipated title from Ninja Theory, the guys who are behind Emo Dante.

We really didn’t get to see the true potential of what we’ve seen in the trailers because we’re in a dull ship interior most of the time. Once we get outside, the post-apocalyptic New York City looks nice, and the character models for Monkey and Trip are done well. The problem though are the framerate and screen tearing issues, which can take me away from the game.

Monkey is the big tough guy, and Trip is a tech-head. We first see them being held prisoners in a flying ship run by robots. Something goes wrong and Trip hacks the cell she’s in and escapes. Monkey escapes later and catches up to Trip, only after narrowly surviving the crash from an escape pod. The two end up in New York City, filled with human-killing robots. Monkey finds out he has to help out Trip because she has set a deadly collar on him, pretty much ensuring that he has to do what she wants.

From playing the demo, Ninja Theory has added elements of interactive cinema, made famous by Uncharted 2, by having your character be affected by the environment, but still be able to control him. I love these types of immersion.

The gameplay mechanics still needs some work. Your character, Monkey (played by Gollum’s Andy Serkis), can do the basic platforming techniques like jump, jump and grab ledges automatically in the same style as Uncharted. But the way he moves feels rough, and I hope it will be smoother when the final game comes out next month. The combat so far feels very bland and it doesn’t give me the satisfaction of beating down robots.

The visual style is great, but the actual graphics weren’t that impressive. The controls needs some more tweaks and tightness. The platforming is almost like Uncharted, but the platforming level design feels very easy.

Demo Grade: C+

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is written by Alex Garland (28 Days Later) and will come out October 5, 2010 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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