I've played through the demo of Enslaved and here are my thoughts on it.
You start off in this kind of ship, and it's going up in flames. You manage to escape from a kind of pod in which you've been imprisoned. You then navigate through the burning corridors of the ship, fighting off robot enemies, then you try to catch up to the last living person on the ship, a woman (who has put a crown on you which apparently "enslaves" you. If she dies, then you die) who gets into the last remaining escape pod.
That's pretty much all the demo has but it's the way in which it's executed that matters so here goes:
The game involves you playing as the protagonist, Monkey. As his name suggests, he is very monkey-like. He's swift, really active and his slick animations make controlling him a joy. You can make him effortlessly climb from one environment set peice to another. Imo the climbing is more fun and less of a chore than Assassins Creed's but on the other hand, it's not really a cutting edge mechanic though the animation is excellent.
You'll also have to jump over obstacles and my favourite bit... combat. Throughout the ship are these robots (they may have a name but unfortunately I can't remember it). My concern was that it would be like a typical sci-fi game in which you shoot some robots, perhaps smash a few, it makes a typical crunch sound as if you stood on a tin can, then you do it again thousands of times.
In actual fact, it is very satisfying. Very!
The weapon which you use is a kind of stick. Yeah, strange but it's a good one. The combat is simply awesome. The animation is great, the different attacks you can do are deadly and so darn sweet. But what really makes it good are the sound effects and the effect on the enemies. The sound effects are excellent! You actually feel the power Monkey weilds! The high pitched clanging of metal makes every hit satisfying.
Another gameplay aspect within the demo is the real-time, in-game actions that occur. I don't know if there's another way to put it, but as an example, when you're scaling the exterior of the ship you'll see it quickly zooming towards a tall building (9/11 anyone?) and you've got to quickly climb up to avoid being around the part which gets hit!
This truly gave me an adrenaline rush! The crash is inevitable and you really feel under pressure of time. And that's only one of several examples of things like this that occur in the demo.
Overall the gameplay seems very responsive, very addictive and generally enjoyable. It's similar to Uncharted in some aspects. Though personally I prefer Enslaved due to it's complete focus on the platforming elements, making it feel far more smoother.
In terms of visuals, I was not completely blown away but that being said I was rather impressed at points. The game uses the cheating techniques similar to games like God Of War in which the camera moves of it's own accord in some areas, disabling you from being able to see certain areas and forcing you to focus on certain areas that were purposefully designed well to impress you. But yes, it works. And to be fair, even when you have free-camera-movement you will see some pretty decent texture work (for a third person game), some great metallic/gold effects, nice shadows and of course, the backdrops. At first when I exited the ship, I was greeted by a wide draw distance containing a massive, beautiful cityscape! I assumed it was pre-rendered but really good looking nonetheless. But then shortly after, you are flown directly above it and you'll see every single thing in 3D. That really took me off guard and surprised me.
The only bad aspects of graphics were one of the npc's lacked detail. But that's all I can complain about really.
For a change, I was actually really drawn into the cutscenes .The facial expressions, lip sychronisation and general animation is among the best I've seen! The voice actors are good, Andy Serkis suits the role well ...though I still couldn't shake the feeling that he is GOLLUM!
But yeah, overall, I'm impressed and it's imo, the best demo I've played so far! I just got so immersed into it and when it was over I was disappointed but still hyped.
I'd recommend downloading this demo asap.
You'll like it, I'm sure.
Just a sum up:
Pros: Nice visuals, Cool platforming elements, satisfying combat, great cutscenes
Cons: Doesn't really revolutionise...well, anything
That's about it. I predict that the game is going to be high AA quality. Not too sure about AAA unless the game is consistent in quality and alsoi introduces fresh gameplay elements.