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By Johan Keyter 12 July 2010

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As the video game accompaniment to the fourth Shrek move, Shrek Forever After (SFA), the latest Shrek game does nothing to change the truism that big blockbuster movies does not equate a blockbuster video game. 

The game follows the plot of the movie (with a twist) and does a good job of telling Dreamworks' latest story. It stays true to the Shrek world and should provide worthwhile entertainment to kids and fans of the series. Don’t expect an eye-popping experience however as SFA will offer little appeal to non-fans.

Story

If you haven't been following the Shrek franchise over the years, here's a lowdown of the position the green ogre finds himself in during the fourth installment.

Shrek, now married to Fiona and living 'happily ever after' soon starts longing for the days when he lived in his swamp and was feared by all the land. He then foolishly makes a deal with the sly Rumpelstiltskin to give him one more day as the feared ogre.

He is tricked however and sent to an alternate reality in which he never married Fiona. To boot, he's stuck with a 24-hour deadline to earn 'true love's kiss', again or else he won't be able to return things to the way they were.

It's up to the player to win back Fiona's heart once again, and prevent Rumpelstiltskin from taking control of the realm.

Gameplay

Throughout the game the player takes on the roles of Shrek, Fiona, Donkey and Puss in Boots and uses them to complete various puzzles and challenges within the game. This style of gameplay has been seen in previous Shrek games and remains largely the same.

Each character has a unique attack and special ability (or taunt) and players can switch between the four characters instantly by tapping the triangle button.

To get through the puzzles in the game you have to be able to use your team to the best of their abilities. Shrek can push heavy objects around, Fiona can light objects on fire, Donkey has a powerful kick which is useful for breaking down doors and drawbridges and Puss in Boots is the most agile of the bunch, with the ability to climb walls and other obstacles.

You''re then tasked with going level to level, bashing enemies, finding power-ups and completing puzzles. While you won’t really be seeing anything new regarding gameplay mechanics, the game uses tried and tested methods to deliver an adequate, albeit bland, performance.

Multiplayer

The offline multiplayer aspect of the game proved more entertaining, with different players taking on the roles of the different characters. Solving puzzles with your friends or family is a lot more fun than having to alternate between the characters yourself. The game has no online multiplayer mode unfortunately but a total of four players can jump into offline co-op.

Some of the boss fights were also very well done with the players facing humorous and intricate enemies who need to be defeated by some quick wits as well as quick trigger fingers. They at least give the player a break from single button bashing for a few minutes, and involves puzzles that need to be solved before the boss can be defeated. It adds a little extra flavour to an otherwise bland production.

Audio/visual

One of the things we particularly enjoyed about Shrek Forever After was the cut scenes. Rendered beautifully they add a splash of that movie ''magic'' to the title and does a brilliant job of moving the story along.

The audio wasn't particularly impressive with pop songs taken from the movies played at various times throughout the game. The film's voice cast are also absent and while the stand-ins aren't terrible, you can definitely hear the difference.

Conclusion

At the end of the day Shrek Forever After is just another movie licenced game soon to be forgot by the general gaming public. While it is obviously not suited to older players (except if you're a huge Shrek fan) it should prove to be a fun and entertaining distraction for the kids, especially if they're playing together.

PROS
Stays true to the Shrek universe with stunning cinematics and story telling.
CONS
The gameplay quickly becomes repetitive and parts of the game has a lacklustre feel to it.
USER COMMENTS

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