Prisoner of War
Genre Action -> Adventure
Today's Rank 0
USA
Date N/A
Publisher N/A
UK
Date 2002-07-19
Publisher Codemasters
North America Retail Box ArtPrisoner of War attempts to recreate the heady antics of World War II's Allied escapees in a plotline which combines Nazi secret weapons, tunnels, disguises and daring breaks over the wire. Players must take the game's hero, US airman Captain Lewis Stone, through a number of camps including Stalag Luft and Colditz, completing a large number of mini-missions which culminate in full-scale escape attempts. The game is structured to mimic the daily life of prisoners: roll calls must be attended, dinners eaten, and failure to turn up results in camp-wide searches by Nazi guards and their attendant Alsatians. Codemasters have done well to create a believable atmosphere for the game. Camp layouts are faithful to the real locations and the sense of claustrophobia is strong. In essence this is a Metal Gear Solid 2-a-like--there's little opportunity for shooting and stealth is the name of the game. Guards have razor-sharp senses, resulting in many trips to the cooler for a night's solitary detention after an abortive attempt to steal something vital from a locked storeroom. And therein lies the major problem with Prisoner of War: it can get very repetitive very quickly. Without a clear plan of what to do and how to do it capture happens often and can become very frustrating. This is a game that rewards the patient player; gung-ho tactics have no place for the average PoW. Graphically, the game looks great; the effect is only spoiled by the stilted cut scenes, which never seem to flow properly and break up the plot in a rather annoying fashion. Sound is quite sparse and some of the voice acting, especially for the Allied characters, is weak and wooden. By contrast, the Germans all have 'Allo 'Allo-style comedy accents guaranteed to bring a smile even after being caught for the umpteeth time. Players looking for quickfire action would be well advised to steer clear of Prisoner of War and head for the superb Medal of Honor: Frontline, but for those looking for something a bit more cerebral, Prisoner of War provides hours of stealthy, silent entertainment. --Chris Russell
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