Those Pevensie children. Not content with becoming royalty within the magical realm of Narnia after passing through an enchanted wardrobe, they then go back to their relatively mundane real world lives for the noble pursuit of completing their education and living our their childhood. Only to find themselves dragged back a year later by magic in a railway station. It's far from jolly hockey sticks when they arrive, however. Over 1,300 years have passed in Narinan time, and their royal influence has long faded into legend. Oops. Fifteen minutes of fame has never been so painfully appropriate...
Fit for a prince
With the Pevensie children of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy taking a slight bump down of importance from their more regal endings of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is a multi-character 3D action adventure romp that allows you to take part in the events of the film and the book it's based on. Taking an isometric viewpoint, you're given control of one protagonist usually from a set of four who you can actively swap between.
Each character has their own weapons and abilities, so taking advantage of these to solve various puzzles and overcome foes is key to making your way through the six massive stages, which contain dozens of individual missions.
To permit each of the selectable heroes (there are a total of 20 throughout the game, including the ability to play as Prince Caspian himself) a chance to shine, the game often splinters into numerous routes which make use of certain party member's skills. For example, Lucy and Susan's projectile weapons may be used when trying to take down distance bound critical targets, while the diminutive Trumpkin can roll through small areas that others are too big to fit through.
Let's go clubbing
The mix and match of character abilities is an element that allows for some nice variation between stages, as you find yourself doing a number of tasks from the very beginning of the game. Being thrown straight into defending a siege, within minutes you're retrieving items, taking part in melee battles, destroying war machines, firing arrows into ships and facing off against armoured bosses.
Another pleasing aspect of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is that you can team up with other non-playable characters and temporarily use them. Horses and gryphons can be ridden into the fray, as well as commandeering giants who you can then use to fling, stomp and club opponents - and it's all as fun as it sounds.
The Artificial Intelligence isn't bad either, given numerous characters will be aiding you on your quest to defeat the evil King Miraz. Colleagues will follow and mimic you where necessary to help with certain puzzles which require simultaneous actions. If you've a friend at hand, they can join in at any time and assume control of another character, which is especially a blast during the able combat which is robust enough for multiple moves and blocking: something necessary to master as Miraz's forces get trickier throughout the game, a few even requiring a little brain over brawn to defeat.
A right royal romp
Given the game's close development with the movie's creators, it's no surprise Prince Caspian looks and sounds the part, mixing footage from the film with in-game cutscenes to help tell the story (although not to spoil all of its elements if you've not seen the big screen adaptation) and the majestic score is also taken straight from its source material, lending a grand feel to your quest.
With its nuanced and polished presentation, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is bound to capture the imagination of anyone with a passing interest in the series. Complete with its variety of gameplay styles, impressive large scale battles that have dozens of characters all fighting it out simultaneously, and more, this is one film tie-in that offers an ample share of regal entertainment.