|System: Wii, PS2, PS3, X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Traveller's Tales||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Disney Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 23, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Another of the gameplay's problems worth noting is the objective system was poorly handled by the development team. Early on in the game, you're given a mission where you leave the castle and enter the battle going on outside. The objective? To "destroy the war machines". But no matter what you try and do to destroy these catapults, you'll get nothing done until you check the objective screen and see that the game says to do this by "meeting up with the giant". Such an implementation is really quite annoying; having to constantly check the objective screen to find out what you're really supposed to do breaks the game up, and wandering around aimlessly trying to figure it out for yourself is really frustrating.
Because the game essentially gives away answers to missions, like in the situation mentioned above, Prince Caspian lacks any sort of difficulty. There are no real puzzles to speak of throughout the game, and those that exist are pathetically obvious. For example, you may have to pick up an item and move it to another place. And yeah, that's about as fun and mind-bending as it sounds. Combat is as simple as pressing the A and B buttons in random combination, and enemies, while they don't die easily, are really stupid and pretty much just stand around waiting for you to hurt them.
Visually, Prince Caspian is a mixed bag. On the one hand, you've got some nicely-done cutscenes and some pretty neat-looking battlefields (although it's worth noting, the game does experience some occasional slowdown when there's a lot going on at once). But on the other hand, when you get up-close to some of the cutscenes, you realize just how bad they actually are. Sure they look nice at first, but the animation can be pretty horrendous. The opening scene is a great example. It looks pretty epic from up above, but as you zoom down, you'll see soldiers running around in programmed circles, or minotaurs randomly jumping up and down. Some shortcuts were taken with these animated scenes, and the dev team didn't do a very good job of covering it up.
The saving grace of this game may very well be the co-operative multiplayer. Even a boring game can be fun when you're playing alongside a friend, and such is the case with Prince Caspian. A second player can freely drop-in or drop-out as you play through the missions, and given the team-based setting of the game (there are always at least two characters "working" on a mission), this makes a lot of sense. It ultimately doesn't manage to yank this game up from the mediocrity of movie games into which it eventually descends, but it does potentially make this game worth playing -- for a little while, that is.
So, while the co-op play is fun, Prince Caspian really isn't anything all that special. It's a boring, repetitive, poorly-done movie cash-in. Not much was expected from it, and when you look at it that way then this game lived up to expectations. Perhaps if you're a big fan of the movie, this game is worth a rental -- other than that, you're really best-served letting Prince Caspian and his cohort of Narnians finish this fight on their own.
CCC Freelance Writer