The Ending to Enslaved: What the hell did I just see, and why does it make me angry in my Soul?

Spoilers ahead. Alot of them

So, you all know the basic setup: Post Apocolyptic Earth, destroyed by our own war machines, people eek out life in small communities avoiding the Mechs, which still run on autopilot, persuing their prime directive - Kill The Enemy. Which is all humanity in this case, as no one is left to lead them.

Our protagonists are Monkey, a gruff ubermensch scavenger who lives by his wits and by scavving ancient weapons and tech, and Tripitaka (Trip) a young technological wunderkind in a tubetop and slutty pants from a peaceful farming community. Both of them are captured by the Slavers from "Pyramid" far into the west, who utilize powerful technoligy from before the world ended, and even manufacture their own. Pyramid is mysterious, faceless, and well equipped, it's members decked out in military fatigues, Baklava's, and slave head bands because they are all slaves controlled by the neural interface (this is not a spoiler, Tripitaka uses one to control monkey and use him to help her get him)

Now don't get me wrong, this game is Excellent. It's never too difficult and highly linear, but it's fun and it doesn't wear out it's welcome, and it's small cast is impecabily voiced and has great chemisty - it's a shame Pigsy is introduced so late in the game, because when your partnership becomes a Trio and we no longer rely on the "Protect Trip from the automated turrets!" crutch of the first act, the game -really- shines. It has good set peices, and thought it does get a bit predictable later on and the bossfights can be lackluster (similar to slightly flawed masterpiece Arkham Asylum) the pacing is great and races you towards a climactic showdown you really feel like you worked for.

And then the Epilogue plays

WHAT. THE. FUCK?

Let me repeat this for emphasis. WHAT THE FUCK?

Here come the spoilers.

TsunamiWombat:
Spoilers ahead. Alot of them

So, you all know the basic setup: Post Apocolyptic Earth, destroyed by our own war machines, people eek out life in small communities avoiding the Mechs, which still run on autopilot, persuing their prime directive - Kill The Enemy. Which is all humanity in this case, as no one is left to lead them.

Our protagonists are Monkey, a gruff ubermensch scavenger who lives by his wits and by scavving ancient weapons and tech, and Tripitaka (Trip) a young technological wunderkind in a tubetop and slutty pants from a peaceful farming community. Both of them are captured by the Slavers from "Pyramid" far into the west, who utilize powerful technoligy from before the world ended, and even manufacture their own. Pyramid is mysterious, faceless, and well equipped, it's members decked out in military fatigues, Baklava's, and slave head bands because they are all slaves controlled by the neural interface (this is not a spoiler, Tripitaka uses one to control monkey and use him to help her get him)

Now don't get me wrong, this game is Excellent. It's never too difficult and highly linear, but it's fun and it doesn't wear out it's welcome, and it's small cast is impecabily voiced and has great chemisty - it's a shame Pigsy is introduced so late in the game, because when your partnership becomes a Trio and we no longer rely on the "Protect Trip from the automated turrets!" crutch of the first act, the game -really- shines. It has good set peices, and thought it does get a bit predictable later on and the bossfights can be lackluster (similar to slightly flawed masterpiece Arkham Asylum) the pacing is great and races you towards a climactic showdown you really feel like you worked for.

And then the Epilogue plays

WHAT. THE. FUCK?

Let me repeat this for emphasis. WHAT THE FUCK?

Here come the spoilers.

Okay, just wanted to say... that's trippy. As in peyote mushrooms trippy. Oh, and it's Balaclava, not Baklava. I had a mental image of them wearing desert on their bodies...

No. It's not trippy. It's completly out of left field, overdone, and utterly outside of the thematic qualities of the game up till that point. I can't help but feel that the whole game, this explaination was just a crutch so Monkey wouldn't be depicted killing any other humans cause that'd be icky and bad.

I like games where you write your own story.

Like just today, I led the mighty klackon empire to victory against the tyrranical sauron; after a long and bloody war, as plasma fire rained down upon their capital, the sauron pleaded for their lives.

I relented in my bombardment.

But only long enough for fifty million marines to land, exterminating them to the last.

Was that a game or just what goes on inside your head?

Because either way sounds awesome.

I admit the ending was a surprise, but there's a few things to understand about it first that you can't really just know if you just head straight through the game. The clues are there all along, you just have to look for them.

Enslaved's ending explained:

I personally didn't think it was that bad.

Arkley:
I admit the ending was a surprise, but there's a few things to understand about it first that you can't really just know if you just head straight through the game. The clues are there all along, you just have to look for them.

Enslaved's ending explained:

This is exactly how I understood it. If you look at it in context the ending makes sense. It did feel a little rushed, but it still worked.

DJDarque:
This is exactly how I understood it. If you look at it in context the ending makes sense. It did feel a little rushed, but it still worked.

Exactly. Great finales often come with a plot twist, and the only good plot twists are the ones that are unexpected. The ending was largely unexplained and perhaps happened too quickly, leaving the player was left to figure it out for themselves, but that's how all of Enslaved is. Nothing is explained cut-and-dry. The characters don't just announce how they're feeling, no random NPC turns up to explain exactly how the war started, no audio logs of a scientist explaining how Pyramid works left conveniently on the floor. Everything is subtly conveyed and you figure it out yourself, or decide for yourself what you think might have happened. Frankly, I think it's great.

TsunamiWombat:
Was that a game or just what goes on inside your head?

Because either way sounds awesome.

Can it be both?

http://www.impulsedriven.com/masteroforionii

BAM.

thiosk:

TsunamiWombat:
Was that a game or just what goes on inside your head?

Because either way sounds awesome.

Can it be both?

http://www.impulsedriven.com/masteroforionii

BAM.

I love Master of Orion 2! Would that it still worked on my system. (Macintosh here). I loved dominating the galaxy with the Elerians or Psilons. MOO3, on the other hand, sucked donkey balls.

DJDarque:
I personally didn't think it was that bad.

Arkley:
I admit the ending was a surprise, but there's a few things to understand about it first that you can't really just know if you just head straight through the game. The clues are there all along, you just have to look for them.

Enslaved's ending explained:

This is exactly how I understood it. If you look at it in context the ending makes sense. It did feel a little rushed, but it still worked.

Your not getting me Brosephalon. I understood all of that. What I take it to task for is being so generic, so apathetically normal. They completly divorced themselves from the Journey to the West concept, knifed a few character traits and names from an ancient chinese epic, and slapped it onto a generic post apocolyptia with a generic big bag. Most egregious however is the fact that the ending lacks any sense of accomplishment or closure to it - Tripitaka loses everything, gains nothing, and any developed relationship between her and Monkey is only implied, never actually stated, aside from Monkies refusal to leave when she free's him - mind, they're on a moving Leviathan in the middle of goddamn nowhere in hostile slaver territory when she free's him, so where the hell would he even go?

It doesn't helped that this is all forced on us in an epilogue- the enemy is never really fleshed out and aside from the sight unseen massacre of Trip's unnamed home and unnamed friends, who leave suprisingly little blood behind by the way, you are given little reason to oppose them. So they hamfist what amounts to the ENTIRE STORY - because keep in mind these masks give you no information besides half a second of imagery, and their presence is not explained until this epilogue - into one cutscene. Your sense of accomplishment is nil because you don't beat the badguy - the game lets you WATCH while the badguy is beaten, and you've lost everything for nothing.

Had they cleaved more closely to the Journey to the West Concept and made it about Trip not only freeing but delivering the people from darkness by 'teaching them the way to enlightenment', in this case how to survive in the post apocolyptic world with technoligy and cooperation, I would've felt better. Instead all I get is a fade to black.

Many of the vaunted systems like Trip and Monkey working together to solve puzzles or Trip analyzing enemies to make them easier to kill are done, but the implimentation is shallow. There's only 3 or 4 enemy types in the game not counting the minibosses (6 or 7 if you do) so Scanning is more an element of story progression then anything else, the upgrade system feels fairly lackluster, and over all they did a good job but it feels like they could have, and should have, done more.

Ontop of that it's a short game, singleplayer only, with no real incentive to replay (I replayed Arkham Asylum three times even though it was linear). Had I spent 60 bucks on it, I would be very tee'd off. Hell, Arkham Asylum included challenge maps and leaderboards at least, and a hard mode with a key gameplay difference. Bottom line, if your going to make your game a focused linear singleplayer only game, it needs to drip with excellence (they come 2/3rds of the way to that here, they sit at good just shy of great), and you need a GOOD STORY that leaves me satisfied at the end. Here, there was no real story. The entire impetus gets stuffed into your craw all at once, and it's an incredibly boring and overdone impetus that does not mesh with the game at all thematically. If I had spent 60 bucks on this, I would be upset.

But I rented it out of Redbox, so that was nice.

PS: And let me iterate I very rarely devolve into expletive laden failboyist rants, but good golly miss molly this filled me with RAGE. They took a good game and then managed to crap all over it in the last three minutes.

PPS: 7 or 8/10, but I still advise Rental.

TsunamiWombat:
-Wall of Text snip-

I'm not saying you can't have your own opinion, but I personally liked the ending. I like when stories leave things ambiguous and not so cut and dry. It lets you take what you want away from it.

And brosephalon? Really?

LadyRhian:

Okay, just wanted to say... that's trippy. As in peyote mushrooms trippy. Oh, and it's Balaclava, not Baklava. I had a mental image of them wearing desert on their bodies...

How embarrassing.

The baklava desert.. rolling dunes of greasy pastry, as far as the eye can see.

LadyRhian:

thiosk:

TsunamiWombat:
Was that a game or just what goes on inside your head?

Because either way sounds awesome.

Can it be both?

http://www.impulsedriven.com/masteroforionii

BAM.

I love Master of Orion 2! Would that it still worked on my system. (Macintosh here). I loved dominating the galaxy with the Elerians or Psilons. MOO3, on the other hand, sucked donkey balls.

MOO3 was one of the two biggest disappointed of my life, the other being starcontrol 3. (i've had a happy life).

I would be astounded if there were no way to play such classics on a macintosh.

So, the problem with the ending is...?

I think the ending was nice, though it lacked a bit of a sense of closure in my opinion.

faspxina:
So, the problem with the ending is...?

I think the ending was nice, though it lacked a bit of a sense of closure in my opinion.

Exactly! No CLOSURE! That infuriates me!

They did a good job emotionally investing me in the characters, then left a bad taste in my mouth with the ending, enough to color my enitre experiance with the game.

"What was the point?" rings out the most.

TsunamiWombat:

faspxina:
So, the problem with the ending is...?

I think the ending was nice, though it lacked a bit of a sense of closure in my opinion.

Exactly! No CLOSURE! That infuriates me!

They did a good job emotionally investing me in the characters, then left a bad taste in my mouth with the ending, enough to color my enitre experiance with the game.

"What was the point?" rings out the most.

I think it would be more interesting if they had focused a little bit more on the "inside the Pyramid" scene, make it playable, explorable, letting us see the things Monkey was seeing through the mask. Even if it's just to drag it a bit more, it would make the last scene feel much more dramatic.

I also think one of the problems is that the last boss battle, while awesome, didn't felt like one, mainly because:
you're fighting a robot that represents nothing but another mindless minion of the true enemy (aka Pyramid);
you're not fighting Pyramid;
you have no idea that the game was about to end so soon.

While robots are the main threat of the story, you can't really hate them as much as you would hate the man who has the means to stop them, but decides to make everything worse, by using them for his own benefit instead.

faspxina:

TsunamiWombat:

faspxina:
So, the problem with the ending is...?

I think the ending was nice, though it lacked a bit of a sense of closure in my opinion.

Exactly! No CLOSURE! That infuriates me!

They did a good job emotionally investing me in the characters, then left a bad taste in my mouth with the ending, enough to color my enitre experiance with the game.

"What was the point?" rings out the most.

I think it would be more interesting if they had focused a little bit more on the "inside the Pyramid" scene, make it playable, explorable, letting us see the things Monkey was seeing through the mask. Even if it's just to drag it a bit more, it would make the last scene feel much more dramatic.

I also think one of the problems is that the last boss battle, while awesome, didn't felt like one, mainly because:
you're fighting a robot that represents nothing but another mindless minion of the true enemy (aka Pyramid);
you're not fighting Pyramid;
you have no idea that the game was about to end so soon.

While robots are the main threat of the story, you can't really hate them as much as you would hate the man who has the means to stop them, but decides to make everything worse, by using them for his own benefit instead.

This as well. Combined with the Kamikazi death of Pigsy, it felt cheap and rushed.

I felt kind of the same way, what with the abruptness of it all. But then again, I never had much hope for the actual story.

The characters were fantastic, the dialogue was probably the best written and acted that I've seen in any game in the last 10 years, but the actual story was paper thin. Help Trip get home and escape from evil robots. It didn't even have a proper villain.

I guess I didn't feel cheated by the end because I didn't feel invested in the plot, I felt invested in the characters (if that makes sense).

Also I'd imagine they didn't show a "this is what happened next" because they're sequel baiting. Although, the question of brainwashing vs. harsh reality (red pill vs. blue pill) is still something I find interesting enough to end a story like this on.

What exactly was your problem with the ending?

You never stated why you didn't like it.

I thought it was great.

Not that I;d ever play the game but you probably should have been a little more tactful with the title

 

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