Enslaved Won't Be Getting A Sequel. Maybe That's A Good Thing?

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West was one of the unexpected surprises of 2010 -- a wonderfully colourful, well-told story full of enjoyable Uncharted-esque gameplay and some some remarkably well-done digital performances. Its story wasn't perfect, but those opening chapters (and that finale!) stick with me even today, as do its two mismatched protagonists.

So I was bummed to hear that developer Ninja Theory will not be making a sequel. But when I thought about it, I realised that I wasn't bummed because I actually want another Enslaved game -- goodness knows, we have enough lackluster sequels flooding the market already -- but because of what the decision says about the game's sales. Namely, that they weren't good enough for Ninja Theory to make another game. Not that many people bought Enslaved, and so not that many people played it, and that is a shame.

Ninja Theory co-founder Tameem Antoniades is quoted as saying "Enslaved should have done better. Right now we should have been doing a sequel and perfecting that sequel and doing what franchises do, which is get better over time."

We'll never know whether Enslaved really would have gotten better over time. But as I mentioned in my review of Gears of War 3, franchise iteration helps game designers iron out the kinks in their design and mechanics, but it can often prove anathema to the storytelling, filmic qualities of games.

Does Enslaved really need an additional chapter? Would we really have gotten more out of watching Monkey and Trip travel across another series of post-apocalyptic wasteland, meet another couple of scavengers, explore their complicated relationship further? I'm not so sure. Enslaved stands pretty well on its own.

Furthermore, without spoiling anything, I'll say that I found it refreshing that Enslaved had an actual ending. It t raised all sorts of questions, and it was anything but some weak cliffhanger leading into a presumed sequel.

All that's not to say that I wouldn't have immediately played an Enslaved sequel, should Ninja Theory have made one. But now that Enslaved is off the table, the studio is free to work on other projects, and Enslaved is still a worthy, complete work.

And hey, if you haven't played Enslaved yet (and based on its sales numbers, you probably haven't), you still can. It's available for incredibly cheap, and its colourful art, story and characters might provide a nice break from the dark destruction of so many of this fall's upcoming releases.

Ninja Theory Confirms No Work on Enslaved 2 [CVG]


Comments

    The problem I had with Enslaved was that they seemed to have forgotten it was a game. Story? Great. Graphics? Great. Cutscenes? Great. Andy Serkis? Fantastic as Monkey. Gameplay?

    Nope. Gameplay was somewhat uninteresting and repetitive and I finished the game so I could find out about the story/characters. Enslaved kind of reminds me of Uncharted 1, the story/cutscenes/characters were all great, but the gameplay is a bit iffy. Uncharted 2 came along and fixed up everything, and it's a shame that Enslaved won't get that chance to fix it up with an Enslaved 2.

      No gameplay is Enslaved? You're a hard man. I loved it, and even if it tending towards the hand-holding end of the gameplay scale I found that helped keep the pace of the storytelling. One of my favourite GAMES of last year.

        I really enjoyed the game also, but I somewhat agree with NotoriousR, the game is made up of platforming and combat.

        The platforming was pretty solid, but the combat system was non-existent, especially for a game that features alot of it.

        Basically it made up of 2 main combos, depending on whether the enemy had a shield or not, it's only lucky the staff actually had some alternate firing. At least with the skills upgrades they could have put abit more effort into combos like God Of War, Dante Inferno, anything else.

        Also, once I did finish it, I did think over how a sequel would work...

        +++++++++++ SPOILERS +++++++++++
        +++++++++++ SPOILERS +++++++++++
        +++++++++++ SPOILERS +++++++++++
        I wasn't sure if there are meant to be more pyramids in the world and also the fact that I would have thought the robots were somehow powered/linked to the pyramid also

        As it was said within the Matrix, the body can't live without the mind.
        +++++++++++ SPOILERS +++++++++++
        +++++++++++ SPOILERS +++++++++++
        +++++++++++ SPOILERS +++++++++++

          +++++GIANT FREAKING SPOILER+++++
          Pyramid wasn't just a place, but a person and man who was "pyramid" seemed to be just an ambitious individual and not a part of any sort of collective belief.
          +++++END GIANT FREAKING SPOILER+++++

    I guess I'm part of the problem: I did buy it, but only a couple of weeks ago, for 10 quid. Not going to make much profit off that.

    Still, looking forward to playing it at some point in the coming weeks. I'm looking forward to the interactive storytelling stuff and very pleased to hear that it reaches a solid ending. Too many story-heavy games recently have lost their punch by dragging it all out over multiple games (Assassin's Creed being a prime example).

    I would have liked a sequel where they added Sandy as a character. Though where they took the story would have to be really well thought out for it too make it after the ending of the first one.

    Awesome game with particularly nice animation. Deserved to do better than it did, but I'm not sure how a sequel would build on the story they've already told.

    I want to finish it. But I'm stuck on a stupid bridge where I'm supposed to use a moving car-thingy driven by Trip as cover but I just keep getting all killed and stuff and it makes me want to break things.

      Persevere. A lot of people hated on the ending round my parts but I thought it was great, and well worth seeing.

        Persevere? But, but that would require patience and I used it all up on my kids.
        Hmm, don't suppose you want to come over and do the bridge bit for me? :P

          I think I remember having to Youtube that part.

          You're talking about patterns for the bridges?

          Don't forget - you can use both Monkey and Trip to distract the mechs for each other.

    Thats sad it would have to be one of the best games i have ever played wish they did more dlc

    This may be a bit off-topic but Enslaved is a perfect example of what people consider to be a game. To me, a game will always be an amalgamation of creativity and interactivity, no matter how far to one bias the game may lean. Like the first poster said, it had rather light gameplay but excelled in everything else. To me, to sell it short on one aspect is like saying an action film is less of a film than a drama. Films are made to tell stories but when the entire story involves shooting and fighting, what exactly is being told? We all accept a place for the action film, so why can't an equally large space be afforded a game with light gameplay but wildy creative and imaginative storytelling ability?

    I would rather see my games as creative works as opposed to products or mere entertainment, where i'm always looking for the best deals or the most hours of varied gameplay. As most mediums transcend this distinction, games should on some level as well. My point being that Enslaved is rather unappreciated because of this feature fixation most of us gamers have today (that and awful sales), can't we just enjoy it for everything it is instead of everything it's not?

    I really wanted to play this, I even downloaded the demo.

    ...I think it's still on my console?

    I don't know, it didn't happen.

    I loved this game, one of the best stories I've played in a long time. Would recommend to anyone

    i was put off by the whole generic apocalyptic setting. At first i didnt even know it had the Monkey characters.
    I was a Monkey magic fan, and if they had focused on a mature spin closer to the original ip, me and my mates would have bought it.

    I think story in games should provide context to the gameplay, to me that's their strength.
    If i want story, i find movies, tv shows are better for that. They introduce me to the characters and the world better, and then i feel like playing the game, so i can interact in that world.

      You really should just try it. It's dirt cheap now.

      I got it at about 50 bucks and don't regret it at all. Seriously. My only response to everything you said is "Just try it. See what you think."

    Enslaved was fantastic. But I'm glad there won't be a sequel. Not after that ending.

    A perfect example of keeping my funds aside for more blockbuster games - no matter how good this is.

    BTW, I will buy shortly.

    I really liked it. Not perfect, but still a cut above most games in many ways. But then, I like it when a studio get story in my game.

    I'm with you on the sequel. I'm kinda glad the story is left where it is - for obvious reasons, if you played it through to the end, but I would've loved it to have had the performance that allowed the option.

    In terms of gameplay, the early and late story gameplay was fine, but the middle section was just bad.

    Other thing I'd add is that the soundtrack was very disappointing. I think that's where Uncharted 1 had it all over Enslaved - Greg Edmondson's music lifted Uncharted to punch way above its weight, and gave it a real adventure movie feel.

    I'm a firm believer that soundtracks are an often unrecognised make or break factor for games. A great soundtrack can make an otherwise pretty lousy game bearable (looking at you, Dark Void).

    I wanted to like Enslaved but unfortunately it felt like a classic case of it wanting to be a movie, not a game. Anything to do with the characters and plot was fine. The gameplay was so strictly linear you weren't able to jump down a ledge unless you were in the right spot.

    I probably wouldn't have bought a sequel. I was elated that I traded it in at a higher price than I paid, increasing my mercantile skill.

    Awesome game. I probably liked the DLC even more.

    I brought it and loved it, certainly a sleeper title which didn't do as well as it should have, doesn't appeal to the mass market, i.e isn't a done to death man shooter which is over marketed.

    Shame really.

    Enjoyed the game. Haven't played the DLC but maybe I should.

    Enslaved was a good game. Very linear though, and combat could be frustrating. But in terms of graphics and set-pieces (the first level aboard the slave ship crashing into New York) was pretty damn cool. But, as others said, the gameplay itself wasn't brilliant. It didn't have the freedom of movement that Prince Of Persia has.

    I would definitely get a sequel, but again, with the ending that's there I'm unsure where they'd take it. I'm also quite happy with that being the ending to the story.

    I looked on Steam. It's not there.

    So, no purchase.

      Ohh so subtle.

      I hope you're also not implying that you wouldn't get it if it was on pc but it wasn't on Steam.

    After finishing the game, i still wanted monkey to rip trip's head off. God i hated her soo much.

    I got it for my birthday - still playing through it - doing about a chapter a week. It's fun gameplay - nothing too challenging - but the main attraction is the story.

    Playing this game was a great experience and it's a rare one. Even if there is no sequel, which arguably there prolly shouldn't be one, I hope Ninja Theory continues in that general direction of creativity.
    I'll definitely be interested in whatever they bring to the table in the future.

    I had a great time with Heavenly Sword and was expecting good things from Enslaved. It let me down in the 30 minutes I played it at my friend's house. The main reason it let me down was because it used the Unreal 3 engine and that annoyed me enough to turn me off the main parts of a game.

    Lots of people probably DID buy it --- used.

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