Ninja Theory’s proposed franchise starter had several exciting elements attached to it from the jump. It took inspiration from the classic Chinese fantasy novel Journey To The West, featured cutting edge motion-capture performances from Andy 'Gollum' Serkis, and had a script by Alex Garland (Ex Machina). So a fusion of fantastic elements coming together for sure-fire success?
Sadly it wasn’t meant to be. The game undersold way below expectations, and the intriguing cliffhanger ending will be left unresolved, forever.
Ninja Theory had a similar lukewarm reception with their former game Heavenly Sword, yet Enslaved was a big step up as it expanded on its predecessor’s strengths (strong story and performances) and improved on the weaknesses (smoother combat and performance issues).
Most memorable though were its duo of protagonists, Monkey and Trip, a mismatched pair that grow with and endear the player as they travel across a long abandoned Earth, filled with nasty robotic threats.
The years have been kind to the title, Ninja Theory’s reputation grew vastly amongst gamers and journalists because of its rediscovery, and it remains the companies most championed game in retrospect. Shame not enough people bought it when it really counted though.