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Enslaved Finale: Back to Reality

My final session of Enslaved has one of the highest notes of the game, but the ending is disappointing. The narrative simply doesn’t resolve in a satisfactory manner. There’s a couple of pretty nice fight scenes, although I fight much sloppier and still do fine, which is not a great sign here. But it’s overall disappointing. There are some nice things about this game, but the narrative and gameplay simply don’t come together into some truly good. Spoilers within.

We start with the title card for Chapter 13: Grand Theft. Our three heroes approach the Leviathan in the sub. The giant mech weapon has four legs shackled to the ground. We have to set explosives at each leg to get it free. The plan is to have Pigsy go to the command center while Trip controls the power. We dock in Leviathan and I get control. It’s a giant machines that Pigsy is deeply and creepily impressed with. We climb up a walkway and Trip goes to a terminal. She programs the dragonfly to find the seals on the legs, and then I have to follow dragonfly up. Pigsy CS goes up first and I get control. I have to jump through gears and past fires in what is a pretty striking jumping scene. I get to a point where flames block way and Trip CS shuts them off. At one point, I have to blow up a blocking gate (after Pigsy throws the explosive), and then go up old shaft to find the leg. To free it, I have to blow four couplings off by shooting a set of explosives Pigsy threw. Pigsy implies there’s a timer here and one of the explosives fades out before I shoot it and has to be respawned, but there’s no apparent logic to the timer. I have to climb around a bit to find an angle to hit them all at but I do it. I’m still really annoyed by the DDA with the explosive cells — just spawning more missiles when I run out totally breaks the narrative and makes me feel like the game is coddling me. In CS, the coupling disintegrates into the water. Pigsy runs to the next one while I stop to get a glitch (more farm stuff) before I continue.

The alarm is going off, and Trip says she’s going to try to stop the security before the mechs burn through the hull.  There’s another run past gears and another round of blowing up barriers. I get second coupling pretty quickly and then we run to next one. Trip has to shut off another flame barrier, and I have to swing through a few more fires. Along the way, I get a bunch of currency. I take a lift with Pigsy back down and we get back to Trip. Together, we head back to where we came in with the sub and to a different door. Pigsy continues to wax elegiac and sexually about the Leviathan. Once past the door, we get to the power core and go past it. Trip opens another door and stays behind as Monkey and Pigsy go through. There’s more climbing to get to coupling and it takes forever to shoot this one because of the spinning gear that blocks it. I jump to the other side of room and get the last coupling easily. All four legs free, we head back to Trip in the power core. The alarm is sounding again. We go down in elevator and arrive as Trip CS mans the consoles and points out the coming mechs. She sends Pigsy to the control room. Monkey says he’ll fight off the oncoming army while she routes power to each of the legs.

I get control back, but I don’t know what to do at first. I just start climbing around and accidentally get to the right platform. The game here is I have to defend these power cores (total of 4 by end) that she brings up in stages from invading mechs trying to destroy them. It’s a series of non-trivial fights. I get past the first two pretty handily, but then die twice at the third power station. (The big shielded mech can’t be button-mashed so well.) Once I get through the third one, I beat the last wave pretty skillfully. We cut to Trip CS powering up the Leviathan. We then cut to Pigsy in the control room. He CS sits in the control chair and accidentally blows hole out of base while moving the controls around. He begins walking the Leviathan and then cut to it lumbering across the desert. We return to Trip and Monkey in the power area. Trip says she knows what she did was wrong and she deactivates Monkey’s headband, freeing him. Monkey observes that he can now just leave. She sadly says he can if he wants to. Monkey says he wants it back on, and after an awkward, she reactivates it.

This takes us to Chapter 14:  Pyramid. From inside the control room, Monkey, Trip, and Pigsy see the gleaming white pyramid up ahead. Leech mechs launch through the air towards the Leviathan from the pyramid as Pigsy shoots them down. I have to take care of the ones that get through. I get a last chance to upgrade, so we’re clearly near the end. I get control and go out to the outside of the Leviathan. The task is that I have to shoot leeches off of the hull before they drain the Leviathan’s power. Once I’ve shot the leeches, I have to fight off some mechs and then climb to a different part of the ship. We repeat that a couple of times. It’s a series of  good fights that are decently hard. In particular, there’s a nice third fight where leeches and mechs come at once and have to be managed against each other. Climbing all over the ship is also quite dramatic. We cut to a CS of the Leviathan’s cannon shooting giant mech scorpions coming at us. I hit a brief bug running around the mech – a door is stuck closed for a moment. I run back out to the surface as Pigsy fails to kill a last scorpion mech.  It climbs on the ship and now it’s my giant problem. I have to fight off normal mechs and then shoot a gas pipe open under the scorpion. Once the gas is loose, I have to shoot the gas to blow it up. This just damages the scorpion. I then climb up a set of hydrolic towers Trip opens to shoot the scorpion’s arm. I hit all the marks, but this also  just damages it. The scorpion lurches up in CS and I die at the very end of CS in a CHEAP SHIT twitch moment where I have to move just about as soon as I get control back. I run back down to a platform. The scorpion follows and continues attacking the ship. I repeat the previous scene almost verbatim:  more gas to blow up, more arm weakness points to shoot, and yet again I die at the end of the CS by not jumping immediately. SO CHEAP. The scorpion’s still not dead, so I have to climb a different way and shoot the tail. I do so but it’s STILL not dead.  Monkey CS says he’s going to rip its tail off with his hands. I get control and run to a flagged spot. Once there, I hit B to take it down and I kill it in a very dramatic CS. The team rejoices in the victory briefly, but then five more scorpions rise. With no weapons left on the ship, we have no hope, so Pigsy is going to self-destruct the ship to destroy them. Trip screams no, but Pigsy tell Monkey to get her out. He does as she screams her protests.  They CS jump out of ship as scorpions swarm the Leviathan. Pigsy’s hurt by the marauding scorpions, but he blows it up killing them all.

We fade to black and come up on the Epilogue. Monkey and Trip are walking in the desert towards the pyramid. They arrive and there’s a CS of them inside the pyramid. It’s an army of slaves in a bright white room.  Some man-like thing appears to be organizing it at a terminal in from of us. A hologram of man appears on a screen. He says he’s the organizing thing and Pyramid is his name. He says he’s enslaved no one – he rescues them from the wasteland. Pyramid is the memories of one man who lived before the war, and he is that man. He says he is an arc, I suppose in the Noah sense. Monkey realizes that these are the glitches he has been seeing. Pyramid says that the slaves are citizens of that virtual world; he is giving them a virtual paradise. Monkey responds that Pyramid’s destroying the real world for the sake of the old one. Pyramid has Monkey to put on his mask to see what they see before saying anything. Monkey removes the mask from the man-thing to reveal an old man, and then puts it on. He sees that virtual world (although we don’t) and he says it’s beautiful. But then the mask fails and when he removes it, he sees Trip attack Pyramid and destroy him. Once he’s dead,  Trip tells Monkey that she doesn’t know if she did the right thing. He doesn’t answer, but I will — umm, YES! Maybe you forgot how the robots incinerated your family and tried to kill you, Trip? Or maybe how that slave was killed at the very beginning of the game for collaborating with me?  The pyramid goes dark and all the slave lights go out as the slaves start to wake up. We fade to black and the credits roll. It’s kind of unsatisfying if that’s the end. And it is. That kind of sucks. Oh well. That’s Enslaved. On to the next game.

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