Shrek The Third review

  • Goofy moments will produce laughs
  • The difficulty won't frustrate young 'uns
  • Shrek sounds like Shrek
  • Mindless combat
  • Narcolepsy-inspired level design
  • Mostly grating "humor"

How far can you stretch the excuse that a game is designed for children? At a rating of E10+, Shrek The Third is just too simplistic. If a ten-year-old can handle Super Mario, surely they will be bored with the single button attack combos necessary to take on almost any foe.

The gameplay is braindead and repetitive: run up to bad guys hit them until they die. Sure, you can do a few special moves, or if you want to make things really easy do a powered up attack, but there is nearly no need to. Occasionally you have to do a jump attack (gasp!) or navigate a 15 second "puzzle." A boss encounter with a huge ice dragon can be overcome by picking your favorite attack button and mashing it because you'll win in a brawl.

The only breaks from the liberal ogre smashing you dish out come from Shrek's pal Donkey giving a little lip and a handful of minigames. Though both are short, they give the game some of the flavor and humor of the movies. During a catapult game you have to aim your choice of siege weapon at the towers and fire by holding down a button for the correct amount of time. Hitting special targets unlocks special ammunition (eg: cows or big spikey balls). Sure it's been done before, and it probably doesn't justify buying the whole game on its own, but they're a nice break from the monotonous bad guy bashing.

Although There are a few chuckles involving Donkey, and using Puss-in-boots' special "cute eyes" move to daze foes is good for a smile, the majority of attempts at humor are tired and lazy. Most of the laughs consist almost entirely of fairy-tale characters talking with "unlikely" voices: valley-girls or surfer dudes.

The game does a reasonable job at recreating the world from the movies, but the levels are very linear. Unless you're obsessed with increasing your coveted gamerscore, there isn't much reason to search out all the hidden items or find the sometimes devilishly hidden secret crayon drawings of Shrek doing things he's already done in the game. Yes, those are what they sound like.

There's really not much reason to recommend Shrek. It's possible a six-year-old could be amused by it, but at E10+, they shouldn't be playing it. And anyhow, there are plenty of other kid-friendly games that will challenge their brains and inspire their imaginations. And make them actually laugh. this one scores a point higher than the Wii version for being prettier, but that beauty is still only skin deep.

More Info

Jun 22 2007 - Wii, Xbox 360, PS2
Jul 20 2007 - PSP
Jun 22 2007 - DS, PC (UK)
Available Platforms: Wii, Xbox 360, PS2, PSP, DS, PC
Genre: Action
Published by: Activision
Developed by: Vicarious Visions, Amaze Entertainment, Activision, Shaba, Beenox
Franchise: Shrek
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+: Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor


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