|Wide Games Limited
| The Good
Stealth gameplay is solid
Voiceovers are pretty good
| The Bad
Graphic engine doesn't take advantage of the Xbox
Camera can cause trouble
In Prisoner of War, you play as Captain Lewis Stone,
an American pilot during World War 2. Flying over Germany
on a mission, he gets shot down and finds himself in a prisoner
camp. As the headstrong Captain, you must use stealth to find
a way to get out the camp. But, things aren't so simple as
just sneaking out - you need to speak to the other prisoners
to get information, acquire items like a crowbar or bootblack,
and come up with a plan to get out.
Unlike other stealth titles, like Metal
Gear Solid 2 and Tenchu, you have to work during
limited time periods as the camps are set up on a schedule.
If you need to sneak into a building during the afternoon
break or after Lights Out, you'll need to be sure to keep
one eye on the clock. In the lower left hand corner is a radar
that allows you to see guards field of vision, which can help
in avoiding being caught. Often, when you need to perform
a task, you'll need to talk to the other prisoners for tips
and suggestions, or even to get them to run interference for
you. Some will do it for free, but most will reacquire money.
But money is actually just contraband found around the camp.
Not all missions involve you escaping - some require doing
even the smallest of things, like sneaking into an office
to play a tape over the public address system. And, if you
get caught or shot by the guards, expect any items on you
to get taken away. Luckily, there's always someone around
who'll get the items back or sell you new ones.
When sneaking around, the player can perform a variety of
actions with the A and X buttons, depending on the situation,
including sneaking under buildings are using items you have
on hand. You can scale fences, or hide up against walls and
use stones to distract guards. The Y button is used to crouch,
which is useful in certain areas as some walls are lower and
certain entrances require walking while crouched to get in.
I won't kid you - the game's graphics engine isn't that impressive.
While functional, the graphics for the camps and soldiers
are blocky and weakly animated. When people talk, they look
like puppets, but that may be partially due to the fact that
everyone is designed with an almost cartoony look to them.
Everyone, ranging from the guards to the prisoners, seem to
look more like caricatures than actual representations of
World War 2 era soldiers. The camps are large and have decent
detail, but I wish that there was just a little more done.
More detail and depth. Just a little more polish and maybe
some better utilization of the Xbox's power would have been
The voice acting is top notch, even if it feels campy, propaganda-laden
and a caricature of most World War 2 films and even Hogan's
Heroes. There's a lot of spoken parts here and they all
are done well. Sound effects and audio clues are executed
well and the music is really good.
For the most part, everything about the gameplay is executed
well, but I will say that the in-game camera can make sneaking
about a lot harder. From time to time, the camera seems to
locate itself in a place that forces you to address it. Hopefully,
you won't have a guard or spotlight nearby when it happens.
Also, you'll find the guards unrealistically nice, as no matter
how many times your caught or shot at, you're allowed to roam
freely. I would have liked there to be some serious repercussions
to getting caught one too many times.
Prisoner of War is one of those games that fans of
stealth and World War 2 era games will want to look into.
While it may not look as shiny and polished as other games
(Buffy or Enclave),
it does provide solid gameplay to keep players going back
for more. Rent if you're interested but not sure.