What do you get when you combine the writing expertise of the man who wrote The Beach and 28 Days Later, the platforming of God of War and Prince of Persia, time tested and true combat mechanics, the best facial motion capture technology there is, the man who played Gollum on the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and a dedicated development team? Enslaved, Odyssey to the West!
While the exploration and team mechanics are actually rather bareboned, you never run into quite the same situation twice, and despite the game mechanics never really being new, it never feels repetitive due to a constant sense of progression. The combat eschews limitless combos in favor of a functional few attacks. You'll learn a counter attack, evade attack, and power attack available after performing a long combo, which you can save for stronger enemies, and you can level up most of your attacks, such as making them attack multiple enemies at once. In this game, it's not how many attacks you have, but how many ways you can approach the situation.
As far as the story goes, the plot is bare bones, but what really shines is the character interaction, complemented by the first time, IMO, that facial capture has been done RIGHT! Actions speak louder than words, and in this game, the character's subtle gestures tend to speak more than their dialogue. Body acting and voice acting is absolute top notch in this game.
What really shines for me is the ending. Whereas many games start off with the most epic boss encounter, this one ends with one. The entire last chapter, as well as the last boss fight, is one long, drawn out crescendo that NEVER gets dull, due to a constant sense of progress that throws every last card on the table.
The game may be short, but trust me, there's immense replay value here. There's never a dull moment, plenty of variety, and the story never gets old. 10/10.