This console and PC trip through the Wardrobe is a mostly run-of-the-mill action adventure that might hold some measure of appeal to fans of the film, but not so much anyone else.
The biggest problem with this multiple-character system is that the artificial intelligence is completely useless. You can only control one character at a time, so there's always at least one character being controlled by the AI. Most of the time, the characters just follow you around and don't do anything helpful. It's frustrating when you're trying to get a shot off with Susan, only to have a bunch of enemies attack you while the other children stand there doing nothing. Likewise, the AI doesn't know how to use any of the characters' special abilities. It would be extremely helpful if Lucy could automatically use her first-aid ability when a character is about to die, rather than have to switch characters each time you need to use that skill.
When you aren't fighting enemies or solving puzzles, you'll spend a lot of time collecting coins, statues, and bonus items. Coins can be used to purchase new abilities and upgrades for each of the characters. You can buy health upgrades, special moves, and cooperative attacks at any time, although some abilities only become available later in the game. You can unlock bonuses like movie clips by collecting other bonus items and statues. All this collecting feels tacked on here, though, and at times it just makes the game feel awkward. In an early level you can get coins by hitting pieces of furniture, so you have to run around the house beating the crap out of chests of drawers and end tables, which just seems ridiculous.
The game does a decent job of emulating the overall presentation of the movie. The characters are all modeled after the actors from the movie, and although they look a bit plastic, they are fairly detailed and animate well when attacking. We saw a bit of slowdown in a couple of areas, but it isn't sustained or pronounced enough to be much of a problem. The biggest visual problem is the fixed camera angles. You don't have any control of the camera, which can be really frustrating when you're trying to see what's going on around you. The sound is about average. The soundtrack seems like it's lifted directly from the film, and it works well in the game. The sound effects are pretty weak and are repeated so often that you'll quickly get sick of them, especially some of the more annoying screeching and grunting noises that enemies make as they attack.
The three console versions look about the same, although the Xbox version is slightly sharper than the other two. The game looks the best on the PC if you have the hardware to max out the resolution, although some of the lighting effects make the characters look even more like shiny, plastic dolls than they do in the other versions. The controls are simple and easy to pick up on all three versions, so it's just a matter of your preference there. The PC supports a gamepad, which is really the only way to play this game, because the default keyboard controls are rather awkward.
If you like the movie and the book, you'll probably enjoy The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe game for the five or six hours that it manages to stay entertaining. And if you have a friend or sibling that wants to play, he or she can simply pick up a controller and jump in at any time for some two-player cooperative action. The best thing that can be said about the game is that it makes good use of the license, and it feels like the developer actually put some thought into the design, rather than simply taking the characters from the movie and slapping them into a basic button masher. On the other hand, if you don't care one way or another about the license, you won't find anything here that hasn't already been done better in plenty of other games.