Electronic Theatre Preview: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

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Electronic Theatre ImageThe Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe is a videogame title by Buena Vista Games of the film, soon to be released, by Disney and Walden Media,  based on the books written by C. S. Lewis. It follows the Adventures of four children, Peter, Edmund, Lucy and Susan, from the time that Lucy first goes into the Wardrobe and finds the magical land of Narnia, through the story as the children help Aslan rescue the land and it’s people from the clutches of the White Witch and her cruel winter. With SONY having signed up exclusivity rights for the home console versions prior to Christmas, the Xbox and GameCube versions are due to arrive early next year.

            Similar to the Game Boy Advance edition, the gameplay follows a fairly basic Third-Person Action/Electronic Theatre ImageAdventure formula. Running around, attacking various creatures and solving small puzzles in your path, you can swap between all four children at any time, who all have different strengths and abilities.  The fighting is done quite well, as the characters can also combine their powers to produce stronger attacks, which are varied depending on which characters are used. There is an extensive amount of enemies, all of them based on the many varied Mythical Creatures featured in the Motion Picture. Everything that needs to be done is instructed for you, including who needs to do it, so there are no challenges on that score.

            The battles don’t appear to be quite as epic as what you would expect from a title such as this. Fairly slow and a little clumsy, he other children rarely participate in battles, often just standing back and letting the character you have selected do the work. During the major battles against lots of enemies, the army of the White Witch is shown running past in the background while a few enemies fight against the four children in the foreground. As mentioned above, the children can combine their abilities so you can fight with two swords or use fire arrows against foes, which is unique with this type of game.

            The graphics do look fairly good; people are portrayed very well and the sceneryElectronic Theatre Image looks realistic. The graphics look good with a lot of attention given to the people and creatures, with the cinematic landscapes just giving a finishing touch. However, there’s no lip-synching which is rather disappointing. A new, AAA title such as this could certainly represent the children with more realism.

            All-in-all, this looks to be Lord Of The Rings for children, a cross-genre Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets. It may live-up to being a game of a film and be just as epic and breath taking as it counterpart, even if the base audience does seem to be children; a little unsatisfactory for the serious Action/Adventure gamer but for first time younger Action/Adventure players this would be ideal. Definitely one to watch over Christmas, due for release on November 25th, 2005 on PlayStation2.






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