The long awaited medieval hack-and-slash action that the Brits couldn’t stop raving about is finally here. Enclave is a great game with a few small flaws, but certainly a worthwhile adventure for veteran gamers. The story puts you in one of two positions–either as a reluctant champion of Light or a rather jealous minion of the Dark. The story unfolds and tells us a tale of an epic struggle long ago that split the world apart with powerful magic and created The Rift, which separates the Light and the Dark.
The story is slightly more original than most but it’s your typical good versus evil medieval affair. There are 12 different characters to play as, and nice expansive levels make up the meat of the game. I might also add that you cannot use the Dark characters until you complete the game as the Light characters first. This is no small task, though, as the game is extremely difficult and sometimes seems unfair, as assassins will pick you off with a well placed arrow to the head before you even know their location–and there are no quick saves or halfway points, either. Personally, this doesnt bother me; quick saves generally make games too easy anyway. Enclave offers a worthy challenge to veteran gamers, and it’s a hardcore game for hardcore players.
Enclave’s texture quality is some of the best I have ever seen on a console game. The dynamic lighting and deforming backdrops also add a level of realism; good use of particles and pixel shading make the game a marvel to look at. Most of the characters animate well and their detail level is commendable.
Your typical sound, and nothing too special on show here, but it gets the job done. The soundtrack fits the game perfectly with beefy grunts and sword clanking making it robust and worthy of the graphics…but it’s nothing you won’t have heard before.
This is the first place where I found some flaws. Playing in the third-person perspective with the right analog stick controlling the camera can make for some crazy angles during melee combat. But, once you get the hang of it, its not so bad and you can keep the problematic camera issues to a minimum. Another flaw are the limited options available for controller configuration. I recommend configuration two since this control scheme is much like Halo’s and, if you own an Xbox, you have most likely played Halo and will be somewhat comfortable with this particular layout. (Note: The alternative is using the right analog stick to jump by pressing it down)
The game is feature rich and allows you to assume the role of 1 of 12 characters (6 Light and 6 Dark). There are an abundance of weapons and armor to collect and each weapon or piece of armor you equip effects the look and performance of your character, and to some extent his/her mobility. Another notable feature is the way the world around you is fabulously rendered and looks fantastic. The game world is a very expansive place that yearns to be explored, but sadly the linear style of Enclave prohibits this to some extent.
This game is a hardcore hack-and-slash fan’s dream, yet it falls short with lack of multiplayer and a few frustrating camera issues. If you consider yourself a hardcore gamer, then you deserve to test your skills with Enclave. If you are not too sure if you’re up to the challenge, then give it a rent. But be warned: THIS GAME IS HARD, and at times YOU WILL get frustrated. Hang in there, though, the end result is well worth the journey.