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Hollywood, it's a funny beast. Mel Gibson's controversial Passion of the Christ sold out by the cinema-load, trading on the correct assumption that America's many devout Christians would find a film based on the sufferings of their teacher unmissable. But many moderate Christians complained that, far from celebrating Jesus' message, it was little more than violent pornography. Now Hollywood is responsible for the adaptation of C.S. Lewis's Narnia books. But reports emanating during production suggest that the deeply personal, Christian message of the author has been lost in translation - the fantastical setting of the series has led producers to see it as the next Lord of the Rings/ Harry Potter yearly blockbuster, a genre apparently impervious to religion.
It's testimony to the creative strength of the novels that they can stand up on their own two feet, with or without their allegorical backbone. And if they make for good spectacle in the cinema, the wisdom of our time holds that they will make for an equally impressive videogame. Luckily, the story of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe would translate well to a videogame even without a film being made - four heroes, each with differing strengths, pitted against a horde of mythical monsters in a struggle between Good and Evil. The game is the work of Buena Vista games, the interactive entertainment arm of the Disney empire, which is the force behind the film. This close relationship seems to have paid off for the game, with assets being shared even more freely than in your average film-game adaptation. The game also features footage, music and voice acting from the movie for that fresh out the box office feeling.
Gameplay will see you swapping between Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, defeating monsters with unique techniques and special moves, and tackling a sequence of ever more challenging puzzles. Two players can share the action together, as you struggle to end the wintry regime of the White Witch and free Narnia forever. A place on the throne of the parallel kingdom is yours if you succeed, sons of Adam and daughters of Eve.