Impressions: Pigsy’s Perfect 10

My first play through of Ninja Theory’s Enslaved resulted in a favorable experience and an overall grade of B (Enslaved Review ).  It didn’t take much convincing for me to drop a few more bucks to keep that warm feeling going when the DLC of Pigsy’s Perfect 10 was released.  In fact, it was one my more anticipated add-ons for the last few weeks of the year.

As the title suggests the DLC focuses on a completely separate and unique story from the point of view of Pigsy – the foul-mouthed, hygienically-challenged and reluctant hero from the original adventure.  The tale begins prior to his involvement with Enslaved.  As it turns out, this rotund character has been dealing with his own set of problems as he continues to fight for survival in the wasteland that was once Earth.  Unlike the more desperate tale of Trip and Monkey, Pigsy’s problems equate to loneliness.  With his trusty sidekick Truffles (a floating computer-like monitor that communicates with simple bit-based facial expressions) they set off in search of the necessary parts needed to complete Pigsy’s perfect companion.

The land they traverse is infested with the same mechs from Enslaved, forcing Pigsy’s combat and stealth abilities to take front and center.  Armed with a fairly accurate sniper rifle and a hand that doubles as a grappling hook, Pigsy swings his way from the incredible heights of an immense mech junkyard to an underground mech factory.  Where Monkey’s brute strength was a force to be reckoned with, Pigsy’s machismo is substantially less intimidating.  As a result you’ll find yourself (as I did) dying much easier and more frequently than I ever did while playing as Monkey and escorting Trip back to her family.  One or two hits from the swipe of a mech or shot from a turret and you’ll be starting the level over.  Thankfully, the auto-save is fairly generous and you’ll never be starting up too far from where Pigsy last met his demise.

Because of his pig-like gait and limited amount of health, you’ll need to rely on strategy and proper use of his tools if you ever hope to complete his story.  Pigsy’s grappling hook – which replaces Monkey’s natural simian abilities – is used more often than not and provides for a great way to gain the advantage of height by which he can snipe the various mechs from a safer position.  As his quest progresses he is “reminded” by Truffles that he has a number of additional tools that will help him get past sections of the game that see an increase in the level of danger.  The Distraction device, when thrown, projects a timed holographic image of Pigsy that provides for more stealth-like passage while the EMP takes on an aggressive approach and allows Pigsy to shock his opponents long enough to put them down for good with a necessary head-shot.  The Ally blast gives Pigsy an opportunity to turn some of the more deadly mechs into friendly compatriots that turn on their robotic brethren while the Bomb acts as a mine that can quickly remove barriers necessary to move forward in the game.

The tools of Pigsy’s trade are an important part of this DLC  and are conveniently made available as you navigate through the various levels of the game.  They also play a huge part in allowing Pigsy to be more stealthy than risk his life in direct enemy confrontation.  Each of these tools have an unlimited reserve but do require time to recharge before allowing for repeated use.  They are also logically mapped to one of the four d-pad locations: up, down, left and right.  Making the appropriate selection should have been no more difficult than switching to Pigsy’s scope view from his sniper rifle.  Unfortunately, for me, this is where things got strange and an unusual glitch nearly forced me to end Pigsy’s adventure earlier than what I would have wanted.

As Pigsy’s tools are added I was, still for reasons unknown, unable to select either the EMP or Bomb tools (respectively mapped to the left and right d-pad).  The other tools, Distraction and Ally (mapped to the top and bottom d-pad) worked without problem.  At first I thought there was a method to this madness yet all attempts at variation failed to provide me with the complete, and much needed, tool set.  Thinking something had gone terribly wrong I began to resort to saving and restarting, powering off and back on, all to no avail.  As my grip tightened on my trusty PS3 controller out of frustration I took to the internet in search of answers.  Surely I couldn’t have been the only person experiencing this odd and frustrating “glitch”?  My searches went unrewarded and, after roughly 2 1/2 hours of gameplay (nearly half of the total DLC) and an hour on the internet, I finally gave up.  I was literally forced to stop playing the game.  Leading up to my shutting the console down for the night I was able to painstakingly complete numerous levels of the game with only half the amount of tools that should have been available to me.  I liken it to constructing on a house with nails . . . but no hammer.

Resorting to the insane theory that if I just walk away from it, give it a day or two for things to resolve themselves, I moved onto other games and attempted to put the entire event out of my mind.  Stranger than the actual glitch, this theory of mine presumably worked.  A few days later, unaware of and not notified of any game DLC update (I have PlayStation Plus that alerts me to such automatic updates) I decided to give things a second chance.  Low and behold all four tools became available  and were ready for use.  Oh happy day!

Pigsy’s Perfect 10, although not perfect DLC, is a helluva lot of fun – unusual glitches aside.  The visuals of the game continue to be of a quality that Enslaved originally enthralled me with, while the cut scenes have added a touch of cartoon-like cell shading  This time around the mood of the game is much more lighthearted – thanks in strong part to the humor and laugh-out-loud comments Pigsy makes throughout the 4-5 hour campaign.  When all is said and done you’ll realize that not only was this DLC a great reason to revisit the world of Enslaved but it also included a heartwarming (or, possibly heartbreaking – you decide) tale of love and friendship.

Highly recommended for any and all Enslaved fans.

Written by Bill Braun

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