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Game of the Week

Enslaved? Castlevania? Er, NHL 2K11?

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Image credit: Eurogamer

Welcome to the new bookends to your week! If Out This Week is an aperitif, whetting your appetite for the coming gaming menu on a Monday, then Game of the Week is Friday's brandy and cigars, personally selected by the sommelier. Can we get sir's coat?

Our Game of the Week won't necessarily be that week's highest-scoring game. It usually will be, but we'd like to leave ourselves a little wiggle-room to pick Flawed Genius: Please Don't Ignore Me (8/10) over Ultra-Polished Franchise Update Unleashed (9/10). Game of the Week will simply be the game that's got us most excited and that we think is most deserving of your attention: our favourite, rather than the best.

If there's nothing at all we can recommend that week – hey, it might happen – we'll take the opportunity to highlight something from previous weeks that you (or we) might have missed.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

It was a tight fight between two great action-adventures, but although we loved the Gothic style and taut combat of the sumptuous Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, it's Ninja Theory's Enslaved: Odyssey to the West for PS3 and 360 that won our hearts and claims the inaugural Game of the Week title.

Why? Because it's lean and pacey where Castlevania is a touch flabby and overlong; because it's an original title showing us a brave (and enticing) new world, rather than relying on a treasured brand; and because it astonished us by presenting a story, characters, script and voice performances that don't suck. In fact, they're totally engrossing.

"Enslaved is a bit special," wrote Ellie in our 8/10 review (and she's a hard lady to impress). "Despite being a videogame, it does not feature a script which makes you want to rip your own face off and use it as a hanky... Enslaved is a solid, well-built offering which is a pleasure to play. The excellent storytelling, great acting and fantastic pacing elevate it above the ranks of your average action adventure, and indeed your average videogame."

True, the gameplay mechanics are competent rather than thrillingly deep, but we're confident Ninja Theory can improve that side of things if it's given a shot at a sequel – which will probably only happen if you go out and buy this one. So we heartily recommend you give it a chance. We all did with the first Uncharted, after all, and look how that turned out...

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