Now, I’d better start by making an admission. I’m not a great gameplayer. I mean, I play games a lot, I’m just not great at them. Any setting higher than ‘child’s play’ and I’m struggling.
However, even for someone as inept as me, Shrek the Third was relatively easy to get to grips with. There’s a pretty straightforward opening sequence that helps you get to grips with the controls and then you’re on your way, with Donkey appearing occasionally to offer words of encouragement.
Initially, the game play consists of slapping people until they fall down, at which point they emit a kind of fairy dust. As you collect this fairy dust, you’ll see the power gauge in the top left corner of the screen fill up. Once it’s full you can use it to boost your, err, slapping power.
As the game progresses you find that you’ll swap characters, sometimes playing as Puss in Boots. Why he sounds like a horse trotting through the game I don’t know. He uses his sword to knock his foes over – no bloody sword fights here – and then, again, he collects the fairy dust to boost his power but, this time when he uses it, his enemies are blinded by love, temporarily at least.
The major flaw with this game is the way the camera sweeps through each scene. Instead of a fixed point behind each character, it changes viewpoint so often and so quickly, that it can make accurate control very tricky. On occasion, you can be jumping in one direction, then the camera sweeps through 180 degrees and, unfortunately, so does the direction you’re jumping in. Perhaps the creators thought it would look cinematic.
Another gripe is the way the characters, and that’s every single one of them, insist on swaying from side to side while they wait for your next move. It even goes on in the cut scenes. Is the whole cast of this game pissed?
And why does the game – which is an animated – look so poor when compared to the source material – which is also animated? It’s understandable when Superman is not being the spit of Brandon Routh in the game of the film, but is there really any excuse in a computer-generated game of a computer-generated film? Sadly, there’s no real humour in the game either – just playing as the characters from the film isn’t funny!
If, like me, you don’t fancy taking on anything too challenging, then you might (it’s a big might) enjoy this. It’s not totally unpleasant, and certainly younger children could have some fun with it. However these days, I expect my games to look, and go, much better than this offering.
Shrek the Third is available on the 360, PS2, PSP, Wii, DS and PC.