Xbox 360

  All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


Shrek Forever After

Score: 70%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Activision
Developer: XPEC Entertainment
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Action/ Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Shrek Forever After replicates the look of the movie for the most part. Since most of the game is viewed from an overhead angle, you may not be able to instantly tell each screenshot is from a game based on this movie. During cutscenes, sometimes you're given a pre-rendered CG scene, and sometimes you're given the in-game graphics. Honestly, the difference isn't that striking, so you can definitely say they've done well in this department. Donkey's hair is fluffy, Shrek's skin is appropriately bright green, etc. Don't let the screenshots here fool you, however. The game is in overhead view unless you're watching a cutscene.

The backgrounds are nice enough that it's difficult to find the "puzzle" parts of it. They don't stick out like sore thumbs; rather, everything is the same colorful, cohesive environment. There are some charming little details, such as the toys that Shrek's children play with that are all strewn about his swamp tree home.

"I'm Walking on Sunshine" is one of a few pop songs that play during the occasional extended fight scene. By the way, if you want to know where some of your money goes when you buy this game, NPR has an interesting article here about just how ubiquitous this song is. It's a feel good song, but honestly, I always thought the use of the songs in the movies was a bit awkward, and it still feels awkward to randomly play it over fights here. I mean, why are some random fights a cause for such celebration? You can't fight the good vibes forever, however, so I eventually just accepted it as part of the Shrek world. Outside of the licensed music, an orchestral soundtrack that sounds like it was pulled straight from the movie is always playing. Of course, Shrek's homeworld has a light, magical tone to it, while the alternate world has a darker, more gloomy feel to it.

Voice acting is well done, even during the many tutorials and hints. This game does tend to confine dialogue to cutscenes and tutorials, but the occasional joke slips in, and the accents and acting are all well done and on par with the movie.


The very light and loose plot of Shrek Forever After involves Shrek signing a contract to get his old, exciting ogre life back. At least that's what I'm assuming, having seen previews for the movie. This game isn't big on filling in details about who's doing what, and for what reason. See, the contract is mentioned, but the actual deed of signing it and the conversation between Shrek and Rumpelstiltskin is never actually depicted. But you get the general idea as you go along that the contract was bad, Shrek needs to reverse it, and he can only do so by impressing the alternate reality version of Fiona.

Shrek Forever After is an overhead view beat-em-up with some puzzle elements. You can gain new abilities and new power-ups, but your roster is pretty much set from the beginning with Fiona, Donkey, Puss, and Shrek. It does seem a little awkward when you've been using them to fight for you from the beginning, yet Shrek acts like he's just met them in the story scenes. Oh well, this is a movie game, and it really isn't ashamed to show it with little goofs like that here and there.

Some of the powerups are mildly amusing, such as the disco ball that makes all the enemies dance, leaving them at your mercy. Likewise, some skills are amusing as well, such as the overweight Puss's waddling climbing skill, and Donkey's singing skill (most of his songs center around cats for some reason). Some of that amusement can be lost when you have to muddle through what seems like endless puzzle sequences, only to be confronted with endless battle sequences.

There is a multiplayer option, which extends the gameplay when you're tired of the single player option. For the most part, this just involves another player on screen, doing the same thing the single player does. But for some sequences, such as boss fights, it really pays to have an extra player there to speed things up.


Shrek Forever After has no difficulty levels, but it's a rather simple beat-em-up that doesn't seem to aspire to be challenging. Puzzles are about the only place you might get stuck. If these turn out to be the slightest bit challenging, you can buy ridiculously huge hints from the 3 blind mice. If the first hint's not enough, you can buy progressively better, more ridiculously obvious hints 2 more times.

You don't have lives, as far as I've seen. You can fall off cliffs, but the only consequence is that you'll be sent back to some place further back on the map. If one of your characters loses a life, you'll be booted back to your closest save point. But if you switch characters before they're knocked down to zero health, you have 3 more chances to avoid that small penalty. This is definitely a forgiving game in terms of difficulty.

Game Mechanics:

There's a touch of timing required to be really good at this game, but besides that, it's not very hard to accomplish anything. It's a classic button-masher, and button-mashing is well rewarded. There's no jumping, so there's no tricky platforming to worry about. Nope, anything you need to do is accomplished by moving and hitting an action button, so there's not much that can go wrong.

You really can't ask much more from a game with such a simple premise. You never really get stuck anywhere and attacks are responsive, although the battle system as a whole is quite repetitive.

Shrek Forever After delivers a wholly expected, unsurprising game based on the movie. It's not really compelling or addictive, but it manages to be a decent beat-em-up with a bit of multiplayer to extend the action. Like many titles of its kind, you'll probably be a little lost if you haven't seen the movie. And also true to the rest of its genre, you'll probably have no reason to pick this up unless you are a huge fan of the movie.

-Fights with Fire, GameVortex Communications
AKA Christin Deville

Related Links:

Windows Bob Came in Pieces Microsoft Xbox 360 Backbreaker

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated