A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is a violent game -- a third-person adventure that's placed in a brutal post-apocalyptic world. However, its protagonists are clearly good guys fighting against evil, and the enemies are machines and monsters instead of humans. That said, the hero, Monkey, uses weapons to slice, smash and impale creatures. Some of the finishing moves are particularly violent, such as jumping up and smashing down on the enemies.
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What's it about?
Set 150 years in the future, ENSLAVED: ODYSSEY TO THE WEST tells of a Monkey, a strong warrior who escapes a slave ship and teams up with Trip, a technologically savvy young woman. The two work together, venturing through a wilderness to find the oppressive force that imprisons the remaining humans on this desolate world. Their adventures include battling mechanical creatures big and small and using the environment to traverse dangerous obstacles. The game is played from a third-person perspective and includes many memorable action sequences, platforming and puzzle-solving elements. Loosely inspired by the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West, the script was co-written by famed novelist and screenwriter, Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 Days Later), and is one of the game's greatest strengths.
Is it any good?
For a game that didn't have a lot of buzz leading up to its release, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West shines with intense gameplay, high-production values (including great graphics, convincing voice talent, and a good soundtrack) and a story worth getting into -- not to mention evolving character development, especially the relationship between Monkey and Trip. The controls are fairly easy to pick up, but the camera angles can prove frustrating at times, especially when it's too close to Monkey's back and you don't get a sense of where the enemies are or where you'll have to jump next in a platforming sequence. But overall, this game is a surprising and gratifying pick for fantasy fans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in the game. The enemies that are battled and sometimes graphically killed are robots and fantasy creatures, as opposed to human beings. Does this make the violence more palatable?
Trip, the female protagonist of the game, appears scantily clad -- but so do many of the male characters. Does this make the sexualized appearance of the heroine less troubling?
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