Pipe Dreams – Enslaved II

From the very beginning of this series, when I wrote the first five Pipe Dreams topics, I knew that this had to be done. Due to E3 and GAME related happenings it just took a bit longer than expected to finally vent. However, delays aside I think we can all agree that Enslaved II has be a thing as soon as possible.

Highly quality platform games are few and far between on the current generation of consoles, especially ones with interesting and compelling storylines. Be warned, if you have not completed the game you may want to go polish it off before continuing, here there be spoilers. The ending of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West involved a beautiful and compelling twist which questioned the nature of the game’s dystopian future setting and the main characters’ actions and motivations all the way to the final second.

Even to this day I wonder who I side with, Trip or Pyramid, because both parties are saving the world in their own way. Trip wants to rebuild the world using the past as a reference to avoid the same mistakes and form a utopia out of decency and truth. Whereas Pyramid gives people an escape from the world they’re in, free of war and mechs, where they are once again a community and can live out their days the way they should always have before the war destroyed it all. Both save people from the grim, disturbing future they have come to exist in but also require sacrifice and difficult decisions. I still don’t know which option I would take were the choice presented to me. There even still remains ambiguity as to whether or not the members of Pyramid even constitute as slaves, or if they do if it is any worse than what Trip does to Monkey for the entire game in order to reach her overall goal of a perfect world. It’s magnificent.

It helps that there was a very talented team behind the game. Ninja Theory have earned my respect as game developers after Enslaved, but also to have Alex Garland write the plot (who also incidentally wrote a Halo film adaptation for $1,000,000. A venture which I’m guessing has not turned out as brilliantly given that happened back in 2005.) and Andy Serkis provide the motion capture and voice acting for Monkey, not to mention a sweet cameo in the finale, just helped to make this amazing project one of the single greatest platform games I’ve played in a long time. We’re talking PlayStation 1 era long time here.

The most heart-pounding beginning I have ever played in a platformer.

Now what we need here is a sequel – or a prequel I suppose could also work. Monkey was always very mysterious and ambiguous about his past, which would setup a perfect plotline linking the death of his parents and the war, right up until the beginning of Enslaved when he is locked on the slaver ship. Even better, though, would be a sequel involving both Trip and Monkey rebuilding the society they envisioned. Destroying the remaining mechs and freeing others to show them the real world. Watching the mass of humanity now free accepting or rebelling against the new world and Trip and Monkey’s new civilisation. Freedom is only half the battle; tranquillity does not come from freedom, it comes from joy and acceptance. Enslaved II: Woes of the West would most definitely be on my “Must Buy on Launch Day” list, as I long time ago I sang Enslaved: Odyssey to the West‘s praises, but the reception from the cash register was not as high as I hoped. Critics and players seemed to love it, but the sales were not as substantial as they deserved to be.

Ninja Theory, Namco Bandai, Andy Serkis; please, I implore you, don’t let this franchise die before it has a true chance to flourish. I understand that the first can stand alone as a monument to next generation platforming done right, but I want more – the characters, the environment, the cultural and moral ideals behind it, I want it all. Call me greedy, call me optimistic, but I really want more.

That’s it for this episode of Pipe Dreams. My name’s Duncan Aird and I approve these dreams.


Do you have a suggestion for future Pipe Dream posts? I want to hear it! I think it would be awesome, and make my job a lot easier, so please do leave it as a comment down below. However, if you would prefer to use that social networking addiction we all have constructively then you can also Tweet your thoughts to @ReadyUp with the hashtag #RUPipeDreams, or just put a post over on our Facebook Page. The options are endless! Except those three are pretty much all of the options… I look forward to each and every one of your opinions! Especially if you thought that Trip was a total badass.


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