Enslaved is a funny beast. Overall I think it's a great game, but you have to be able to get past some (slightly) flimsy mechanics and odd design choices.
The gist of it is you play Monkey--an agile, super strong animal man who's use to living a solitary life--who is forced to work with Trip in order to survive. The ultimate goal is to get to her back to her village so she can return home.
See Trip's hacked a headband to control Monkey--so she can take advantage of his brute strength--giving Monkey jolts of pain when he doesnt listen to orders. Further, if Trip's heart ever stops then the headband will make sure to kill Monkey outright! Along the way the two must work together fighting dormant mechs in NY city. The relationship is, as expected, very strained. It's not as drab as it might sound though as I found it interesting to watch the relationship flex and evolve. Essentially it's Escape From (a lush green) New York, but 150 years in the future--and no Kurt Russell.Voice Acting
The voice acting is exceptional. Andy Serkis in particular does an amazing job portraying Monkey. The cutescenes tend to consist of close-up conversation that push the story forward. I felt like the mostly payed off and were well paced. It's refreshing to see something of this quality. Particularly the expressive nature of the faces and gestures, I found, are the most intruiging. It's a nice change of pace from the expressionless (face of) chuck in Dead Rising 2 or some of the folks in Halo Reach. That's not to say those games characters dont have emotion or expressivness, they just dont compare to the ones in Enslaved.Gameplay
The feel of the game is mostly responsive and movement feels good, but I did find the jump mechanic to be surprisingly laggy. When pressing the jump button, Monkeys animation kicks in and he slightly crouches, then pushes himeself into the air. The animation causes a delay that measures out to probably 1/2 a second. It's just enough to make it feel slightly off to me. Also, running and jumping doesnt seem to work like it should. There are these odd hotspots where the jump mechanic cant happen. It's odd.
The mechanics that involve getting around are very similar to that of Uncharted. Jumping from one far-off ledge to another seem to happen automagically once you're standing in the right spot, every ledge or grab-point has a slight glimmer to it to let you know where to go and the game doesnt allow you to fall off ledges from heights. Platforming is essentially very easy to accomplish since you cant fall to your death. It's a little like Prince of Persia but without Elika to save you because there is no falling.
It's also fair to mention that the game leans--more so than Uncharted--on environmental puzzles. They're mostly fun to figure out, make sense avoiding frustration and tend to be easy enough to figure out. There were two instances where I got really stuck--and one of those situations had a completely obvious solution.
Some people call these things the auto-win mechanic, and I think that's probably a fair assessment. It's up to you to determine if this is something that's a turn off. Personally I'm a fan of Uncharted and didnt mind it there or here. However there were times I felt it was holding my hands a little too much and I just wanted to tear loose!Conclusion
Enslaved is an exciting game! It starts out with a bang so you're drawn in instantly. If that doesnt do it then the excellently paced story probably will. The fighting is fun enough,though it might run a little stale by the end. It has some of the best voice acting and animated segments since Uncharted 2 or Mass Effect 2. Run time should hit around the 7-9 hour mark without much replay value.
If you're in the mood for a exciting action game then pick this game up.