Enslaved is the best game you haven’t played last year.
It is not the best game of the year, but the odds are you just haven’t played it.
I loved the land Enslaved presented me. Most post-apocalyptic landscapes we see in film, comic, or game are blasted, barren deserts. Although you see wreckage of giant machines hinting at a great war, lush vegetation has reclaimed man’s cities. Grasses and trees crack pavement, vines pull down skyscrapers, and flowers bloom on abandoned war engines. This is a world where man has nearly succeeded at destroying himself, and nature has shrugged and continued.
The characters of Monkey and Trip kept me engaged through the game. Through casual conversation as Monkey helps Trip through obstacles, you see his progression from resentment to deeply caring for her. Early in the game, Trip sees a crumbling New York skyscraper and says, “Maybe hundreds of people used to live here.” Without a trace of sarcasm, Monkey replies, “Maybe even thousands.” Monkey and Trip are not only voiced well, but their expressions are animated naturally, and add much emotion to the story. The greatest success of Enslaved is that it shows you what the characters are feeling instead of telling you.
More than many games, the experience of Enslaved sticks with me. I can’t remember the last game that got me to stop playing for a minute to enjoy a sunset over a crumbling bridge, or laugh at a joke about hair gel. Days after playing, I still thought about the game’s nagging question, how far would you go to save what you love…and should you?
Enslaved was played to completion on the Xbox 360. Not all achievements were earned. Click the stars for a rating explanation.