I'm going to try to do this as tactfully and diplomatically as humanly possible.

First, let's get something established: I really liked Heavenly Sword . I really like Enslaved: Odyssey to the West . For most gamers, I would recommend both. For the Enslaved review, I was forced to make mention of the technical misgivings but preferred to focus on the positive and outlined my reasons for doing so. Other reviews have done something similar, as you can see at Made2Game , TQCast , and File Front . It's about the adventure itself; the drama, the emotion, the characters, the atmosphere, the performances, and the world design. It's great that so many have appreciated such effort by developer Ninja Theory; I certainly appreciate it as well, but I would've been remiss had I not mentioned the obvious technical flaws.

I also believe that some gamers unfairly persecute Ninja Theory for going multiplatform, without actually giving Enslaved its just due. That all being said and established, I believe the game is a great example why studios with truly cinematic and ambitious visions should focus entirely on the PlayStation 3. Many note similarities between Enslaved and Naughty Dog's Uncharted 2: Among Thieves , which is arguably the best game of the generation and was recently dubbed the Greatest PlayStation Game by a group of UK pollsters. Now, studio talent aside – because I can't comment on that – one looks at Uncharted 2 and notices none of the bugs, hitches and glitches found in the Unreal-powered Enslaved . Naughty Dog's production is polished to a high-mirror sheen and is almost entirely flawless, and those guys have repeatedly said they simply couldn't put it on the Xbox 360.  It just wouldn't work.

Now, one may say, "oh, Ninja Theory is no Naughty Dog; even if they did focus on the PS3, they probably couldn't produce something so amazing." Fair enough. But is it accurate…? Heavenly Sword came out in 2007 and critics and gamers still point to it as an example of overall slickness. The voice/mouth animation syncing is still the best of any game out there. Enslaved …not so much. Granted, we shouldn't sugarcoat HS's technicals; they do show their age if you look at them now, but that production did not have the technical foul-ups we see in Ninja Theory's latest. Can we possibly draw any other conclusion based on the evidence? Is it anything but 100% accurate to say that if Ninja Theory had stuck with the PS3, and had stuck with utilizing a specially-designed engine for the system, Enslaved would be AAA quality on a technical as well as artistic scale?

Honestly, I think too much is made of the argument that the Xbox 360 is holding designers and developers back but in this particular case, I can't see it any other way. Lastly, if you look at PS3 exclusives – or really, most any top-notch exclusive for any platform – you don't see bugginess or glitchiness. God of War III ? Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots ? Uncharted ? Heavy Rain ? There may be a few very minor glitches here and there but for the most part, they're about as polished and stable as one could hope for. Same goes for Halo: Reach . It just seems as if the multiplatform projects suffer more, and it also seems clear that the PS3 is the only machine capable of delivering the sort of experience Ninja Theory wanted to deliver. Maybe I'm missing something but I've tried to think about this from most every angle…and this is what I have to believe.

Related Game(s): Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

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SayWord
SayWord
11 years ago

I am forsure going to try out enslaved because I loved Heavenly Sword. But the demo kind of turned me off by the over hype it has been receiving. People conparing the graphics to Uncharted 2? Maybe in terms of colour but they are no where near as good as Uncharted 2 was, and I have to say Heavenly Sword does look better. Then we have people say its the Unreal engine and not NT, hmm… How come Batman AA ran amazingly smooth on the ps3? I don't know if it is because Namco didn't give enough funds for a proper ps3 port or NT just didn't care, if its the latter shame on you NT shame on you.

laxpro2001
laxpro2001
11 years ago

haha for some reason the color reminded me of Uncharted 2…

****Spoiler****

Especially when you get to Shambala at the end

*****End Spoiler*****

Sorry if you saw that Coverton 😉

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

You can still make smooth enough experiences with Unreal. As you said, Batman was good, Bioshock 1 and 2 are great and from what i have seen of the single player of Medal of Honor, its looking like they made fine use of Unreal as well. Its not completely useless, NT just dropped the ball this time around for sure.

coverton341
coverton341
11 years ago

Hahaha! Why you gotta call me out 😛

JPBooch
JPBooch
11 years ago

Your right, games suffer when they go multi-platform. Unfortunately, HS made no money and they had no choice. More unfortunately, they are releasing this game in a stacked Fall lineup and it probably wont do well either.

But, I bet they still at least break even. Thus, making it worth it.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

$ > quality

Can't wait for GT5. Well, I kinda see DmC ending up just like Enslaved. An inferior game when compared to ps3 exclusives.

GuyverLT
GuyverLT
11 years ago

Enslaved is good but not as good as it could have been they haven't made a bad game yet, so maybe Ninja Theory learned something from this experience & fixes most of the technical stuff by the time DMC comes out.


Last edited by GuyverLT on 10/4/2010 12:07:22 PM

Nickjcal
Nickjcal
11 years ago

i thought the demo for enslaved was really good and now i wanna pick the game up. I deffanitley think if that game was a ps3 exclusive it woulda been a hell of a lot better. I kinda wish i could just see how uncharted 2 would run on the xbox. Just out of curiosity

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

I'll be getting Enslaved some time well down the line or perhaps for xmas but yeah that kinda thing makes me go "Not worth full price." But I am not one to tsk tsk Ninja Theory for going multiplat, and I'll tell you why. You missed one angle Ben, it's TIME for these folks who need to produce good games instead of great games so that the multiplat status makes them some money use a better multiplatform engine than the damned Unreal 3 one. It is made for PC and that is that.

Sure Rocksteady did decent with Batman but nobody else seems to be able to. And Batman was STILL better looking on 360.

It REALLY is a shame to dump the Heavenly Sword engine and not just optimize it and make a sequel. Obviously it would sell even more than the original, and NT would have a chance to show what they are really capable of instead of screwing around.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 10/3/2010 10:26:08 PM

godsman
godsman
11 years ago

Will the game sell one million in XBox and one million in PS3, probably. Will it sell two million each? probably not.

I think, I think ok… If it was PS3 exclusive, it'll draw enough publicity and gamer attention to boost the game past 2 million sales. Unless the main character is holding a gun, it'll never sell on Xbox, especially a multiplatform new IP. Even Alan Wake had piss poor sales on the 360. I don't see any reason to divide the dev team and split the sales figure as well for no benefit.

Judging by the demo, even if it's not complete, the gameplay reminds me of Uncharted too much, but with lower graphics. It doesn't make me want to buy the game, when I have something already, but so much more polished (Uncharted 2).


Last edited by godsman on 10/3/2010 10:26:43 PM

hellish_devil
hellish_devil
11 years ago

I totally agree. Ninja Theory is a great developer, and they can only develop at their fullest on the PS3.

And I think this will be asured when we see Insomniac multiplat game. I really like their games, but I think their multiplat effort will be (technically) not as good as their R&C or Resistances.


Last edited by hellish_devil on 10/3/2010 10:32:06 PM

B-RadGfromOV
B-RadGfromOV
11 years ago

But Insomniac has developed so many more games for PS3 than Ninja Theory has. And they say that 360 is slightly easier to develop for. So despite their inexperience on the system, Insomniac's game should be pretty equal on both the 360 and PS3, albeit a smaller game due to the DVD's space…

swapnilgyani
swapnilgyani
11 years ago

I generally do not mind companies going multiplatform in order to get more business, as long as they can maintain excellence. Three of my best experiences this gen have been multiplats – Batman: Arkam Asylum, Assassin's Creed 2 and Red Dead Redemption.

That being said, if a company has achieved that excellence while remaining exclusive, but has lost it by going multiplat, it's a cardinal sin!

I do still want to experience the artistic side of this game, I'll vote with my wallet by getting it used off ebay.

No doughnuts for you, Ninja Theory!

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Ugh, AC2 had just as much screen tearing as Enslaved if not more. Imagine if Ubisoft made AC2 an exclusive and called someone from Naughty Dog to help them fix the tearing. Then we would have excellence.

Temjin001
Temjin001
11 years ago

Heavenly Sword was an above average game that was borderline great. Netting a 79% aggregate Metacritic rating, it wasn't overly impressive then, and it would most certainly have rated lower if it released today.

The strengths of Enslaved were also the strengths of HS. Good story telling and art design.

And likewise, so many of the "issues" I read from Enslaved were also found in HS. Sluggish frame-rate and heavy screen tearing. THey actually wised up and removed the absolutely bandwidth sapping 4xMSAA present in HS. Sorry that decision was a conscious one. If they held themselves to a standard of fluidity over visuals the 4xMSAA would've been dropped in favor of 2xMSAA(or none) for the much needed increased performance.

As far as I'm concerned, the technical issues that NT is becoming known for has more to do with their standards and desire for polish than it does hardware deficiency's. Granted, if they'd have taken the time to research and invest into extracting the power of the Cell, whatever their next game would've been would probably have been something better than what Enslaved is today. But this was obvious from the beginning. We already knew that by NT going multi-plat they ruled themselves out of mastering the PS3.

But I'm not about to prescribe to the notion for a minute that the contrivances of Enslaved are anyone else's problem other than their own. They CHOSE the UE3. They've chosen it again for Capcom's DMC5 (instead of using Capcom's own MT Framework).

Really, their standards need to increase/or adjust by making performance a precedent over visual detail.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

You're right, however the frame rate issues in HS only occurred when they were clearly attempting an experience in madness by placing hundreds upon hundreds of enemies on the field at once. I think that with the PS3 architecture largely unlocked that at this point a scene like that final battle could be realized without such issues. I don't think it could be done on a multiplat with the Unreal engine though.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Bizarre isn't it. MT Framework is loads better than Unreal. You guys could have seen a DMC with graphics at least as good as RE5. But instead, you get more poopy screen tearing nonsense.

Why, oh WHY is Capcom murdering their own franchises?!! I bet the reason we haven't heard about RE6 yet is because they are looking for a Western Studio with Unreal 3 experience eager to slaughter another once great Japanese franchise.

Temjin001
Temjin001
11 years ago

BTW, DMC4 was created with MT Framework (just an earlier rendition).

I don't think Capcom's engine would do much better for multi-plat games in general either.
And like the UE3 situation, basically every MT Framework 360/PS3 multi-plat games runs better on 360 in some way or another. Sometimes majorly better when looking at a more recent example of the MT Framework with Lost Planet 2… ouch

I think for PS3 users, a multi-plat engine is almost always a lose-lose situation. It also bothers me that devs like Insomniac are bailing out on being PS3 only and moving towards the multi-plat marketing (like NT, Square, Konami etc)

Basically, it's only Sony's in-house projects where we can count on seeing the PS3 at it's best.

Thankfully, Sony's tremendous effort has kept me with them. And it would seem these days I trust their game productions more then any others these days. They really do have a great line-up of games.

And, quite honestly, if Sony hadn't put out the top quality games that they have over the last couple years, I probably would've jumped Sony's ship by now realizing that processing power and storage doesn't trump flexibility and more readily tangible resources.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

RE5 came out fine. In fact the PS3 version had zero screen tearing while the 360 version had some.

I think your entire analysis is wrong. You said your self Castlevania is close to GoW3 fidelity. Thats obviously multiplatform engine. Same with Vanquish. The problem doesn't lie exclusively with the engine. It's the developers. MT Framework works just fine with the PS3. SSFIV and RE5 proved that. Lost Planet is just a crappy game developed by a crappy team.

Bottom line is the PS3 doesn't always get screwed with multiplats, just a little more than half the time and it's because developers develop the game on the Xbox's GPU and then try to dumb all that code on the PS3's weaker GPU without taking advantage of the Cell/SPU's. If developers did what Kojima Pro did with Castlevania, and Platinum with Vanquish, we wouldn't see bad multiplats. You know this. You sound as if your blaming Sony and not the lazy developers who could be bothered to code correctly for the PS3.


Last edited by Jawknee on 10/4/2010 12:12:11 PM

Temjin001
Temjin001
11 years ago

I don't see what's so wrong about what I stated Johnny. Or even why you're so opposed to what I'm claiming.

You had stated that it's too bad we wouldn't see a MT Framework version of DMC. Where, in fact, we already have one. This suggested to me that you felt the MT Framework engine would be a much wiser choice for multi-plats. In the case of DMC, we have seen the MT Framework handle 60fps well enough on both platforms. Something we haven't seen the UE3 do on any prominent games (do you know of any?)

But as I stated before, I don't think the MT Framework, generally speaking, will be much of an improvement over UE3 in the case of multi-plats.

And for the record, the majority of MT Framework games do work better on 360. Even if, at times, it's only by a slight margin. Likewise, this has been the case with the majority of multi-plats. I do know you preference v-sync at the expense of frames.

But for me it's, frames > v-sync > filtering.

But really, by the readings I've seen, RE5 on 360 wins in more ways than one, and it's tearing is quite minimal–I don't really want to go into anymore detail here.

In terms of developer talent being the greatest influential reason to the quality of multi-plats, I can't agree more.

We've both seen how good the LoS demo looks. And from what we can gather the PS3 version is at least as good, and maybe better, than the 360 release.

And, btw, LoS does look good, and yes, it's near GoW3, but from what I've seen from the LoS demo, it's still far away when we start looking at the specifics (the HDR model, the AA, better frames, better shadows, larger more advanced normal maps, post processing effects (snow/wind flurries etc), larger scale etc etc etc) LoS manages to do many things very nice, much more so than I'd ever expect from a multi-plat.

But to stay to the point of your concern, whether it's developer laziness, or multi-plat engines that don't equally accommodate, 360 owners rarely have to hold their breath to see if a multi-plat favors their platform. Simply put, whatever MS did with their hardware was better at accommodating the knowledge and limitations of most 3rd part devs we have today. It's sad it has been this way, but it's true. Sony has some very forward thinking hardware, it's just too bad so many have neglected to finely tune the tools they've been given. The end result: more multi-plats that run better for 360.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

You came off as blaming Sony for our mulitplat downers. The blame should lie with the developer. This claimed that MT Framework wouldn't be any better than Unreal, thats obviously not the case. Resident Evil 5 looked pretty much identical on both consoles minus some minor shadows missing on the PS3 version and screen tearing on the 360 version. Which by the way the PS3 has zero of it. Same with SSFIV. Identical. DMC4, was even said to be better on the PS3.

Really, i like you and your posts are interesting and i know you like to be fair but sometimes i can't tell if your serious or just re-posting what you have read on biased sites like DF. You seem to think the PS3 is incapable of achieving the same quality as the 360 when it comes to mulitplats. Its not the PS3's fault, its the developers and the choices they make during development. As if the Xbox has some magical ability to always one up the PS3 when it comes to multiplats regardless of what the developers do. Blame the devs and their coders and their choice in engine if they pick a craptastic one like Unreal. Not the PS3's hardware.

MS making it more "accommodating" for devs is also whats holding this generation back. You give people the easy way out they will take it. Theres nothing left under that hood, the devs see it as a cash grab so they focus their attention on it. "because its EASY to code for." If they say they chose the Xbox because its easier why shouldn't i or anyone else call them out on their obvious laziness and unwillingness to do the extra leg work to get their work running great on both consoles? In the end, gamers get screwed with mediocre games and shoddy ports. It would be much better for the industry and gamers in general if more developers did what Kojima, EA and recently Platinum and focused their development on the PS3 then worried about other consoles. Time and time again we read stuff about how porting a game from Xbox to PS3 always, ALWAYS has problems and the PS3 version ends up in the dumps while the devs who are using the PS3 as their lead never run into problems getting both versions running identical on both consoles. If not better on the PS3.


Last edited by Jawknee on 10/4/2010 8:49:07 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

"In terms of developer talent being the greatest influential reason to the quality of multi-plats, I can't agree more"

Bagh! i read this wrong upon my initial reading of your post. We agree on more than i first thought.

Temjin001
Temjin001
11 years ago

No problem, I misread crap all the time. Anyhow, SSF4 on 360 has 2xMSAA 😉

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Ha, i don't know what that means but i have played both on the same TV and i noticed no difference.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

I think adding "Odyssey to the West" as a tag line will cost them at least 100,000 copies. They should have just called it "Enslaved". That's a lot less gay.

Temjin001
Temjin001
11 years ago

lol

GuyverLT
GuyverLT
11 years ago

The name came from Chinese folk-novel that the game is based on called Journey to the west. Odyssey is just another way of saying journey.


Last edited by GuyverLT on 10/4/2010 12:24:50 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Meh, HS seemed mediocre to me. Enslaved is a step backwards in my opinion. They just wanted money and pulled a 2007 on us by making an Xbox game with Unreal then porting it to the PS3.

They have obviously saw a chance at some quick cash. Quality and artistic vision be damned. For this, NT will probably never win me over.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Not to say the game is bad, i understand peoples reasons for liking it. I am one of those people Ben mentions at the end of his review. It just shows a lack of passion. I couldn't see some one like Kojima releasing a game with tearing or technical hang ups. I can see they have an interesting enough story behind this game, my problem is they couldn't be bothered to tell it with out letting fixable things like screen tearing distract a player like me. Takes me right out of the moment when the back ground splits in two halves across the screen. Especially when its a great view. I wouldn't want to watch a movie that had screen tearing… anyone else?


Last edited by Jawknee on 10/3/2010 11:42:28 PM

GuyverLT
GuyverLT
11 years ago

You got a point there.

Rings0fUranus
Rings0fUranus
11 years ago

Screen tearing is my favorite part of most games nowadays.

FM23
FM23
11 years ago

Heavy Rain has some very big bugs/glitches…screaning tearing, voices cutting out, infinite loading that may force you to reset your PS3, etc…pretty noticable when the games story is the main focus. RDR got some big problems too.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

No idea what you're talking about. Every technical failing in Heavy Rain is extremely minor. Sounds like you got a crap copy.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

I never had any problems with Heavy Rain other than minor freezing in the beginning of the game and screen tearing. Quantic Dream should have fixed the tearing no doubt. Especially since its not a heavy on the eyes with action and gigantic set pieces.

That said, these bugs can be fixed before release. Uncharted 2, Killzone 2 and God of War III are proof of that.

MadPowerBomber
MadPowerBomber
11 years ago

i had a rather funny glitch happen to me with Heavy Rain early on in the game. The second time you play as the female character. I was walking up the stairs to the hotel room and she wouldn't turn to follow the stairs and eventually… just kept walking up them off into the sky. I watched it for about a minute while laughing, then made a video of it on my phone, and then watched it for a few more minutes before turning it off.

I like glitches like this. Unintended laughs are always pleasant.

___________
___________
11 years ago

allot of people had the sound problem, i did to it kept cutting out.
they patched that pretty quickly though, think it was 2 days after release.
still disappointing though, they spend 5+ years on a game and cant iron out serious bugs like that!

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
11 years ago

The only flaw I found in Heavy Rain was the infinite loading. It glitched about halfway through, so I left the game for the first day and finished it on the second. Yes, I beat Heavy Rain in two days, and loved it. I should go back to it sometime…
Peace.

PAKINIPS
PAKINIPS
11 years ago

I must have got a crappy copy as well then. Great game nevertheless

___________
___________
11 years ago

its got a helllllllllllllll of allot of texture pop in too!
im replaying it now with move, allot of small details pop in at the last minute worst level i have noticed is the driver center, and the 2nd mansion was really bad too.
not a big deal, but still disappointing considering they spent over 5 years making the game!
if you cant iron out small things like this in 5 years, than dam how long do you need!?
ND only had 2 years to make uncharted 2 and it is the most polished game i have ever played!

coverton341
coverton341
11 years ago

I don't usually pick spelling or grammar nits but this is driving me batty.

The words you are looking for are "a lot". "Allot" is a verb that means "to distribute between or among".

As for Heavy Rain, I had a bit of sound cut out the first night but the patch came out the second and I had no issues ever since.

Underdog15
Underdog15
11 years ago

@Coverton

You should also point out his misuse of than/then, had/have/has, and more….

tes37
tes37
11 years ago

Well I think it's safe to say Ninja Theory likes redheads. Trip looks like she could be Nariko's little sister.

I'm picking this game up with the Castlevania promo cash, so I'll be getting a discount. If it weren't for the discount, I would have some reservations about it.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

You should wait longer. I bet you this will drop in price pretty fast.

tes37
tes37
11 years ago

It's already $53 on Amazon and with the $20 Castlevania promo, I'm looking at $30. That Castlevania promo has been pulled however, but it's still good for those who ordered before they stopped offering it.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Oh nice, i guess thats a pretty good deal. Too bad i didn't know if i wanted Castlevania until now. I would have taken advantage. 🙁 oh well. 🙂

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
11 years ago

I thought $53 – $20 = $33? What?

tes37
tes37
11 years ago

The $3 was for your thoughts. Aren't you glad with inflation it's no longer a penny?

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Oh snap, i just checked my Amazon account. I forgot i had a $20 credit for pre-ordering Metroid Other M. Just ordered the Collectors Ed of Castlevania and MAG greatest hits. WOOHOO!

tes37
tes37
11 years ago

Are you getting a Move gun attachment for MAG?


Last edited by tes37 on 10/4/2010 12:31:25 AM

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

No probably not. Not big into accessories like that. Never have been. Besides, gotta save money for Vanquish, GT5 and God of War Ghost of Sparta. 🙂