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Oct. 11, 2001

GW Xbox > Xbox Previews > Preview Page



Digital Illusions

TDK Mediactive



Take one green ogre, several fairy tales, add humor, shake well, pour into console.

There's nothing better than waking up to the fresh smell of a giant, green man double jumping off walls and beating the crap out of Humpty Dumpty (shaken, not stirred). Who is this green monstrosity? Why Shrek of course, from his box office smash movie. The movie itself had such a great success, that it blew away Atlantis, surprising both industry and audiences alike. Luckily, before it became a hit, TDK Mediactive picked up the license for Shrek to create an original video game.

The story, however, will not follow the movie. TDK is looking to make the game original, and they sure are doing well. Thanks to a mixed-up spell from the evil sorcerer Merlin, Donkey is trapped in the infamous magic mirror…now it is up to our favorite green ogre to help his faithful sidekick. Shrek sets out to face Merlin, but he will need the magic mirror's now depleted powers of teleportation to get to Merlin's Black Tower Fortress. In order for the mirror to regain its magic, Shrek must perform good deeds across the land. There are a total of 36 missions (over 4 distinct worlds) to be completed in order for the mirror to work properly again. Along the way, he will face some very twisted fairy tale characters that are being possessed by Merlin and his evil magic mirror.

This brings us to what is perhaps the first standout feature of the game, the amazing visuals. Shrek, himself, looks simply amazing, and the levels have a sort of cartoonish and original look. The buildings look like they have been plucked out of the fairy tale world of Shrek as well. The cool look of the movie has been recreated with the Xbox technology, and even uses some of the actual graphic assets from the movie production. Bumped map textures, wonderful lighting effects and shadows, its all there, baby.

The game (according to producer Ken Fox) is attempting be a cross genre affair, with elements of platforming and brawling. While gameplay will conisist of a high degree of running around and solving puzzles, gamers can expect their fair share of fights. Of course all of those fights won't be one on one, forcing you to use the power of the ogre to… well, let's just say it won't be pretty.

Shrek initially appears reminiscent of Super Mario 64, running at a similar speed, but with more of a Mike Tyson action. What kind of tactics can Shrek use to pummel his opponents? For starters, punching and kicking, throwing them. That's not all. Shrek will be able to emit a gas from one end that can be ignited with his firey breath from the other end to toast your enemies into steak. As for the puzzles, they are pretty varied, from herding sheep to repairing the Hickory Dickory clock. Although the humor in Shrek is very much aimed at teens and adults, the game will certainly appeal to the younger crowd.

Enemies, soundtracks, and levels are trying to be built up as original as possible. The game will even feature character contributed by Todd McFarlane (you may know him as the creator of Spawn). Don't look for the characters you come across to appear like they did in the fairy tales you grew up with.

Although the gameplay may seem simplistic, the great graphics and large number (and variety) of puzzles may prove to be a blast for a range of audiences. Of course, having a twisted sense of humor doesn't hurt the game's chances of being enjoyed either. Find out for yourself, when Shrek drops alongside Xbox consoles this November.

Scott "VeX" Kuss
Like's the Ogre smell, and wears it well

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