The Chronicles of Narnia
follows the movie, which follows the book rather well. The story follows the four Pevensie siblings – Peter, Susan, Edmond and Lucy – who, while exploring a country manor they have been evacuated to after the German Blitz of London, discover a wardrobe that acts as a portal to the land of Narnia. The four soon discover that the world has been trapped in an eternal winter by the Ice Queen, Jadis, and that their discovery of Narnia was no accident…
Gameplay takes form as an Action RPG that is similar to something like Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles or the third Harry Potter game, Prisoner of Azkaban. In order to progress through each level, players must use each of the kid’s special talents. As the older brother, Peter is the “muscle” of the group and acts as your primary attacker. Susan is your long-range fighter, while Lucy is your party’s healer. Poor Ed is the least-useful of the group, and usually only comes into play when Peter isn’t around and you need a melee fighter, or you need someone who can climb, neither of which happen very often.
The overall action is very good and becomes quite addictive once you get into the swing of things. While you’ll encounter a lot of hack n’ slash gameplay, puzzles are a major component as well. Puzzles are of more of the action variety and usually require you to manipulate the environment in some way. Nearly every puzzle requires that you use the kid’s abilities in conjunction with one another. For example, in order to pass a log that is on fire and blocking your way, you’ll first have to have Susan throw snowballs at it to douse the flames. Sometimes you’ll even have to use her arrows to take out the source of the fire, usually an archer with fire arrows. After extinguishing the flames, you’ll then have to switch to Peter and have him destroy the log. A few areas even have you thinking about weight, as you have to use Lucy (the smallest of the four) to navigate frozen lakes to find a safe path for her siblings.
Some puzzles require the use of team-ups, where the kids will join together for a special move, such as my personal favorite move that had Peter picking up Lucy and tossing her headfirst into large blocks of ice. Like their unique abilities, all of these moves are very useful. Well, all except for poor Ed, who just seems like he’s along for the ride most of the time. But, if you ever need something climbed (or something for Peter to swing around in combat), Ed is always there.
A two-player “drop-in” mechanic is also included, so people can pick up the controller and join in the fun anytime. And, if they need to leave for some reason, they can exit out and let the A.I. resume control.