Enslaved: Odyssey to the West Preview

We flip out with Ninja Theory’s Chief Creative Ninja Tameem Antoniades and discuss how beautiful the apocalypse will be.

By Rupert Higham, April 1, 2010


If this kind of thing is happening, you're not doing your job. If Trip dies, your head decorates that luscious scenery red.

Ninja Theory have a track record of working with professionals outside of the games industry, and Enslaved boasts enough talent to fill an A-list bash. Returning from Heavenly Sword, Andy “Gollum” Serkis has provided not only his industry-leading digital acting skills as Monkey, but has also co-directed events, and he’s joined again by musical polymath Nitin Sawhney who will write the score. New to the creative mix is Alex Garland – the British novelist and screen writer of 28 Days Later and Sunshine fame.


Familiar New York scenery was notable by its absence, but we're assured it will make the final cut.

We ask if it had been difficult to coordinate a huge development team with a wealth of outside talent: “No it hasn’t actually and the reason is that we’ve made sure they weren’t involved as outside talent. What we offered them was a creative collaboration to bring their own expertise. There’s a lot about games that they don’t know about. Alex for example, although he’s a massive gamer, he hasn’t worked on a game before and he had total access to the studio. We have pretty imbedded deep-set relationships with all of them.”

This level of closeness between writer and designer has led to mutual benefits for story-telling and game flow. “Alex’s depth and experience in story telling is vast, so while we though we knew a lot about story-telling, turns out we knew bugger all.” Such modesty has seen level designers have to rethink the placement of enemies, with every action requiring a reason that compliments the narrative and improves the dramatic flow.


Brittle stone cover is ripped to shreds by powerful enemy weaponry.

Enslaved is far from finished, with the promised emotional punch and dramatic love-hate relationship between Monkey and Trip left mostly to the imagination by place-holder voice work and incomplete facial animation. Understandably, much of the story is still under wraps but it will also be interesting to see how they broach the challenge of drawing personality out of a world inhabited by faceless droids.

The pedigree of the minds involved suggests that Enslaved is worth keeping an eye on. There are a wealth of factors at work here, both on and behind the screen. If Ninja Theory can successfully pull it all together, Enslaved will be one of the more remarkable multiformat releases later this year.

4 Responses to “Enslaved: Odyssey to the West Preview”

  1. Enarcade says:

    Shit this looks like a good game, i might have to go and buy this :) .

  2. charlotte says:

    does any one no if it is going to be split screen co-op for the x box 360.

  3. karl denielle says:

    This game is definitely a must try. The resemblance of the story may be compared with the movie “Terminator” but different once you try playing it. Two thumbs up for this game. I wonder if there is an xbox1 version of enslaved.

  4. Estella says:

    Walikng in the presence of giants here. Cool thinking all around!


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