Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is definitely one of my favorite games of the year, but not entirely because it is one of the best. I fell in love with the game before even playing it, and while I did find some reasons to be disappointed in it, I thought it was great. The environment, the story, and the characters were all phenomenal, but the gameplay wasn’t always as fun as it could have been.
The game’s first DLC, Pigsy’s Perfect 10, does something rather remarkable, changing the basic gameplay in such a drastic way as to be almost an entirely new game. Replacing the main game’s melee-centric combat with slow, methodical sniping, the content provides a surprising amount of difficulty — and quite a lot of fun.
Pigsy’s Perfect 10 focuses entirely on the titular character, who had a supporting role in Enslaved. Pigsy lives out his days alone, with a floating monitor as his only companion. He decides that he needs a companion of a different kind, so he sets out to find the materials needed to make a “perfect 10:” a female companion that will satisfy his needs. This adventure turns into more of an ordeal than he was expecting.
In terms of story, the game doesn’t offer quite as much depth as Enslaved’s main story did. The three-to-four-hour story simply follows Pigsy as he gathers the components needed, puts together his perfect ten, then attempts to rescue it after it is captured. You’re not exactly given a huge amount of new depth into Pigsy, but an unexpectedly emotional ending helps to make the story worthwhile. It’s more of a lighthearted romp than the typically immediate tone of the main game.
An even greater change is in the pacing of the gameplay, which requires players to do some serious strategizing. Pigsy is equipped with a sniper rifle and four different types of powers: a decoy, an EMP, a bomb, and a device that turns enemies friendly. While it might seem like he’s more than prepared for any trial, the game really tests your ability to use these together. At times, you’ll have turrets firing wildly at you while multiple bots charge at you; with Pigsy being able to handle only two or three hits, it’s necessary to plan out every encounter and make surgical use of cover, powers, and headshots.
The most difficult sections (especially those near the end of the game) feel incredibly rewarding to overcome. While there’s no doubt that you’ll die at least a few times, no single section feels too hard or unfairly designed. There’s a great progression in difficulty so that once you do reach those extremely difficult later sections you’ll feel decently prepared for them. Still, expect a few deaths and perhaps a little frustration.
When you’re not engaged in combat, you’ll control Pigsy as he explored the environment. The environments aren’t drastically different from those in the main game, but one major difference is in the way that you explore. Pigsy is obviously not able to move quite like Monkey does, so he instead employs a grappling hook to reach high places and safely descend to lower areas.
Grappling is easy — simply walk near a grappling point and press a button to automatically move to that platform. While it’s easy, it’s also not particularly interesting; had the game given the player more control over grappling movement, progressing through the levels might not have felt as linear and, at times, unremarkable.
While the sound and graphics pretty much align with the quality of the main game, a special note must be given to the music, which does quite a lot to make this game feel as unique as it does. It has a completely different feel that fits Pigsy’s character well: the songs are lighthearted and the instrument choices really support that tone. Ninja Theory truly has some wonderful sound people.
This is a pretty fantastic DLC package, and the ten-dollar price feels just right for the length and quality of the content. It’s not the sort of thing that has huge replay value, and it’s hard not to feel a little disappointed by the implementation of the grappling hook, but the simple fact that it feels so vastly different from what we played in Enslaved makes it a must for anyone who owns the game.
The presentation is wonderful, with a great tone that makes the game feel extremely unique.
|How does our scoring system work?|
The gameplay is very, very different from what you would expect from Enslaved. Lots of methodical sniping and planning.
The music is especially noteworthy, helping to give the game its lighthearted tone. The voice acting is similarly high quality.
It's a DLC pack of fairly standard length, but the difficulty helps to keep it feeling fresh even if you won't return to it once you're done.
Pigsy's Perfect 10 is easy to recommend. Its stellar gameplay and vastly different feel make it a must-play for anyone with a copy of Enslaved.