Video Game of the Day is a daily show available on Amazon Alexa devices and here on this website. Each day, we briefly discuss the history of a single game, randomly chosen. If you would like to listen on your daily flash briefing, you can enable Video Game of the Day here: https://amzn.to/2CNx2NJ.

Transcript:

Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

There were a lot of trailers shown during the 2019 Game Awards but one that I think stuck out to many was that visceral graphical showcase for Hellblade 2. After the huge financial success that Hellblade saw, it can be hard to remember a time when Ninja Theory wasn’t on top. Although their quality has never been questioned, they just didn’t see financial success for a long time. Today’s game is one of those games. Today’s game is Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, developed by Ninja Theory and released on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2010.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is a loose sci-fi adaptation of the famous Chinese story “Journey to the West”. 150 years in the future, the world has been ravaged by war and the armies of robots created to fight in these wars have turned on their human masters. Players play as Monkey, forced into a slave headband by Trip, a girl who needs Monkey to help her return to her village by crossing the ruins of New York City.

Monkey has a number of platforming and combat abilities to help get Trip back home. The game mostly consists of climbing along precarious ruins as well as fighting mechs. Stealth is also an option, allowing players to cut down the number of opponents but brute force is always a viable backup for when stealth fails.

Enslaved received positive reviews upon release, particularly for its cinematic elements. The game’s score as well as its graphics were highly praised. The story in particular was called out as being one of the best on the consoles. The combat received more mixed reviews with some critics enjoying it for what it was but most saying it wasn’t as deep as God of War or as fun as Uncharted 2.

Despite the positive reviews, Enslaved suffered the same fate as previous Ninja Theory games, it just didn’t sell enough copies. They hoped Enslaved would be their first title to break one million copies sold but this was not to be. After a year, Enslaved sold only 730,000 copies worldwide and thus, the sequel they had planned to make had to be cancelled. Enslaved would see a port made for PC in 2013 but this port was cited as having numerous technical problems and sales are still under one million as of 2018. 

Thank you so much for listening! Archives and transcripts for each episode are on videogameoftheday.com if you’d like to hear more. Also, follow me on Twitter @vg_oftheday for more trivia about the games we talk about. Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for another Video Game of the Day!

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Devin "Katosepe" Sloane is a long time gamer and host of the show Video Game of the Day. He firmly believes Darklands is the pinnacle of gaming achievement and this is a hill he will die upon. Where his nickname came from is a secret to everybody.