NarniaWeb Review: Prince Caspian Video Game

Posted May 26, 2008 12:40 am by Glumpuddle

Prince Caspian Video Game: PlayStation 3
Review by GlumPuddle

Prince Caspian for PS3

Prince Caspian for PS3

Your enjoyment of the Prince Caspian video game will completely depend on what kind of fan you are. So, I had better start by talking about what kind of fan I am: I have never been a big gamer. I do enjoy the occasional video game, maybe once a week at a friend’s house, but it’s not something I could ever get into (I only bought a PS3 for the Blu-Ray player). However, I did get some enjoyment out of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” video game, which I got for Christmas in 2005. It was not a great game, but I had some fun playing as my favorite characters, and interacting with one of my favorite stories.

I feel about the same about “Prince Caspian.” It is a decent game, but you will probably only like it if you’re both a gamer and a die-hard Narnia fan.

Levels

The game has six levels: Cair Paravel, Ruins of Cair Paravel, Miraz’s Castle Infiltration, Miraz’s Castle Assault, Aslan’s How, and Battlefield of Beruna. Six levels may not sound like a lot, but each level has several lengthy missions. IGN estimates the total gameplay time to be 6-8 hours, and that sounds about right to me. The first level takes place many years before the events of the book/movie begin, with the Telmarines invading Narnia.

Characters

The thing that interested me most when I saw the previews for this game was that it has twenty playable characters: (To answer your next question…. Yes! You can play as Reepicheep!)

Peter in the video game

Peter in the video game

1. Peter
2. Susan
3. Edmund
4. Lucy
5. Caspian
6. Reepicheep!
7. Trumpkin
8. Doctor Cornelius
9. Glenstorm
10. Centaur (Cair Paravel attack)
11. Faun (Cair Paravel attack)
12. Minotaur (Cair Paravel attack)
13. Dwarf (Cair Paravel attack)
14. Giant (Cair Paravel attack)
15. Tree 1
16. Tree 2
17. Wimbleweather
18. Tyrus
19. Asterius
20. Griffin (briefly)

This is the aspect of the game I enjoyed the most. Every mission includes at least two characters (usually more), and you can switch at any time during a mission by pressing the TRIANGLE button. Each character is a little different, and has different strengths and weaknesses. Peter and Edmund are, for all intents and purposes, the same character, except Peter can use a grappling hook, and Edmund can use his electric torch. Lucy seems to have an infinite supply of daggers that she can throw. In addition to her bow, Susan also has a sword (I only used her when absolutely necessary, because I was opposed to Susan fighting in the film). Glenstorm is a blast, because he has the ability to run over enemies, and swing his sword while running full speed. Giants are slow, but they can cause a lot of damage. Playing as a tree is certainly fun and unique, but they only have two moves. Cornelius is slow and a pretty useless fighter (no weapons), but he can throw jars of green gas at enemies and put them to sleep. (I found this very odd until I remembered a line from the book: “I am a very minor magician but I can at least contrive a charmed sleep.”) My favorite playable character is a toss-up between Glenstorm and Reepicheep.

Reepicheep

Maybe it’s just because he’s arguably the most beloved character in the Chronicles and they nailed him in the movie, but I had an absolute blast playing as the swashbuckling mouse. He is one of the fastest runners and his attacks are swift and effective. The square button makes him take a fast swipe, and the X button makes him jump and strike. His only weakness is his inability to block attacks. Instead, the L2 and R2 buttons make roll backwards to dodge. This makes it more difficult to survive attacks from four or more enemies, but it also comes in handy sometimes: One time, I was low on health and being chased by a Telmarine, so I hit the R2 button, and Reep rolled backwards, stopping right behind him! I quickly swung at the soldier’s back and knocked him over. Strangely, Reep and Peter fight together at the Single Combat level. You first have to weaken Miraz by fighting him as Peter, and when Miraz is down, Reep jumps on his head and takes a few swipes at him. As a Narnia fan, I had a lot of fun playing the game as Reepicheep. It is a shame he is only in two levels.

Locations

Each level features a completely different location, and they capture the look of the film. I was most impressed with the carvings in the Stone Table room during the “Sorcery and Sudden Vengeance” level. They appear exactly as they do in the film. The biggest disappointment is missions that include large crowds of creatures, like the final battle. Besides your own character, the Old Narnian army appears to be made up of about 90% minotaurs. This was disappointing for two reasons: 1) Howard Berger did such a great job at making the creatures of PC different from LWW in that there was a lot more variety, and 2) Minotaurs aren’t even in the Prince Caspian book, haha.

Screencap from Prince Caspian video game

Screencap from Prince Caspian video game

Gameplay

For a game based on such an action-packed film, there isn’t that much fighting and most of the levels aren’t that difficult. Most of the game involves running around, solving puzzles, looking for doors, pulling levers, etc. When you do get to fight, it is a lot of fun, but after a while it starts to get old because there’s not much variety. There aren’t really any combos, and you don’t learn new moves as the game progresses. But be patient: The last half of the game has a lot more fighting than the first. Despite the lack of evolution, I still enjoyed the fighting because all the different kinds of characters have slightly different styles and uses. Reepicheep and Trumpkin are needed to crawl through small spaces. Glenstorm is perfect for running through large crowds of enemies. The faun and satyr are able to kick. Giants are useful for quickly smashing large structures such as trebuchets.

Stuck on a level? Here is a great strategy guide from Lunabean.com

Film Clips

In between levels, many clips from the film are shown that are not available online. Some of these clips include different takes and are edited differently than what ended up in the film.

1. “They vanished into history.” (game exclusive)
2. “The Narnians still exist!” (game exclusive)

3. Miraz Jr. is born, Caspian escapes.
4. Finding the Cair Paravel ruins
5. Meeting Trumpkin
6. Glasswater
7. Lucy seeing Aslan at the gorge, walking through the trees, Peter meeting Caspian
8. Planning the castle raid, flying in on the gryphons
9. Entering Cornelius’ study
10. Cornelius in prison
11. “Did you kill my father?”
12. Glenstorm leading the Narnians through the gate
13. Miraz pushing Tyrus
14. Escape from the castle
15. Calling up the Witch*
16. Caspian sparing Miraz
17. Peter killing a Telmarine
18. Caspian falling into the pit
19. The River-god
20. Triumphantly entering the castle

Clip #15 includes a line that did not appear in the film. Before Nikabrik leads Caspian to the Stone Table room, he says “Every solider knows that when your sword breaks, you draw your dagger.” This is one of my favorite lines from the book, and I’m not sure why it wasn’t included in the film.

Game Exclusives

The game includes two scenes that were reportedly shot exclusively for the game (View them here). Personally, I love these two scenes and think they really capture the spirit of the book.
Also, the C.S. Lewis Estate gave Traveller’s Tales permission to have the first level be an event not shown in either the book or the movie: The Telmarines’ attack on Cair Paravel. According to Lewis’ timeline, this occurred 983 years after the Pevensies’ disappearance from Narnia, and 305 years before their return. In this level, you play as a dwarf, a faun, a minotaur, a centaur, and a giant.

Bonuses

As you play, you will notice treasure chests spread throughout each location that take several seconds to open. These chests unlock bonus content. At the time of this writing, I have not unlocked all the secrets. I have unlocked one bonus level which takes place on the beach at Cair Paravel. You can play as either Peter or the Satyr, and have to try to stay alive for two minutes while a few dozen Telmarines attack you.

Video Demonstration:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds3oyNov_xQ

CONCLUSION

If you’re just looking for a great game, this one probably isn’t for you. But if you’re a die-hard Narnia fan who has access to a system and enjoys the occasional video game, this is probably worth at least renting.

The Prince Caspian video game is also available for PlayStation 2, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, and Windows-based PC.

Visit the official game site
View trailers
View Screen Captures and Scans
Read IGN’s review