Monkey, Trip and Pigsy roadtripping to the west

I've understood, that Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is a post-apocalyptic re-telling of an old Chinese tale Journey to the West, written in the 16th century. That's what Wikipedia is telling me at least and who am I to argue with that, especially because I've not read the original tale nor do I know anything about it.

Monkey and Trip
In Enslaved you take the role of Monkey, a nimble, strong warrior, who's at first forced to help Trip after she attaches a slave band on his head. If Monkey wanders too far away from Trip, he'll feel considerable pain, so as he has no other choice, he has to accompany her on her road back to home, as the world is filled with killer robots and nasty slavers. Needless to say, that this unwilling companionship turns into friendship and love as the story goes. Later on in the story, you'll meet Pigsy, a fat sniper, who's also a mechanic. He's an old friend of Trips father and will help you with his bombs and sniper gun to rain havoc upon mechs.

The main character, and the one you play with is Monkey. He's the brawler of the trio, armed with a staff, that can be used to beat the mechs as well as a plasma and EMP cannon. As both, plasma and EMP rounds are limited, the usual way to take on the mechs is just beat them silly with the staff while trying to block their attacks with an energy shield. Trip and Pigsy are both supporting characters, while Pigsy does have an additional, short DLC mission, Pigsy's Perfect 10, where you get to play as him.

Pigsy as he's shown in his own DLC
Trip is helpful in causing distractions and scouting up the road ahead. Her dragonfly robot can mark up mechs, traps and turrets and her holographic projector is useful in drawing the enemy fire while you try to get into a good location for shooting the enemies or just try to get close enough to beat them. You do have to look after Trip though, as she's not quite the athlete Monkey is, so you'll have to sling her over obstacles she can't pass herself and in a couple of occasions, you'll have to save her from falling and so on. Pigsy comes into the picture quite a bit later though and he'll just mostly provide banter, sniping services and in a couple of spots bombs you can trigger by shooting at them. He also has a mechanical hand that also works as a grappling hook, which is quite underused, but gets more use in his own DLC adventure.

Enslaved is a pretty typical modern action adventure. The main emphasis of the game is in the action bits, as you do spend up quite a good chunk of the game beating up mechs and levelling up your abilities in order to be a better combatant. There are some small puzzles here and there, but they're mostly just trying to navigate through a rubble pile or trying to figure out how to kill a boss monster.  As such it's not a taxing experience, but it is a fun way to spend 10 hours or so that goes to the main campaign. Pigsy's Perfect 10 adds some 3 hours more to the game, but with a bit different gameplay, as his fight tactics use long-range weapons and tech devices, like EMP grenades, decoys and such.

Trio advancing towards a door only Monkey is strong enough to open
The developer Ninja Theory also tries to give more impact to the story and the characters. And in this, they do succeed relatively well. The characters are pretty likeable, even Pigsy who's a polar opposite of Monkey. Monkey is tall, agile, muscular and more of a silent type, whereas Pigsy is loud-mouthed, short fat guy. None of the characters is incredibly inventive, but they are pretty solid stock characters and overall the game is well written.

As this is an action game, I guess I should also add, that the action itself is also pretty fun and well executed. the controls are simple and intuitive and Trip and Pigsy add a small layer of additional tactical possibilities. Not much, mind you, as the game mostly is a brawler, but still.

It's relatively pretty brawler though despite being all post-apocalyptic and all.
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is available for multiple platforms, including  Steam, Xbox 360 and PS3.

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