Enslaved: Odyssey to the West was one of those games that was praised a great deal on its original release, but which isn't talked about all that much these days.
At least part of this is due to the fact that it's now three years old, of course, but it's hard to deny the high quality of not only Enslaved's gameplay, but also its writing (penned by Alex Garland) and performance (from Andy Serkis and Lindsey Shaw).
Still, if you missed out on it first time around, you're about to get another chance to try it for yourself -- and PC owners can get in on the fun this time around, too. A listing from the Australian ratings board outed the existence of the game recently, as did an appearance in a Steam database a few months back. Namco Bandai confirmed to Polygon earlier today that the new version of the game would be releasing later this month on both PS3 and PC -- but not, it seems, Xbox 360.
Enslaved is a retelling of Chinese tale Journey to the West, but more than that it's an interactive buddy/road movie, focusing on the relationship between the muscle-bound protagonist Monkey and his female companion Trip. Ninja Theory's Tameem Antoniades drew comparisons to titles such as Ico and Another World during its development, explaining that the tale is as much about the changing way the characters feel about one another as the epic journey they're on -- something that even extends to subtle changes in the characters' body language as the story progresses.
Working with a veteran writer such as Garland proved to be an eye-opening experience for the developer. Speaking at a developer session at the Eurogamer Expo back in 2010, Antoniades noted that Garland not only assisted with penning the game's story, but also with helping edit the game after it was "finished." Garland impressed the importance of "one scene, one purpose" on the team, Antoniades said, and continued to work with them long after the initial cuts of all the game's scenes had been shot.
The "Premium Edition" suffix suggests that the new version of the game may include the Pigsy's Perfect 10 DLC that was later bolted on to the original game, but Namco Bandai hasn't yet confirmed this one way or the other. Either way, it's a good opportunity to catch up on this excellent game, and to enjoy the impressive performances from the game's cast.