When you look at previous Xbox console launches, each has come with some pretty great launch titles. This generation we had Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Yakuza: Like A Dragon usher us into the Xbox Series X|S life span, whereas the Xbox One had fantastic games such as Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome. Even the Xbox 360 had the vastly underrated Kameo: Elements of Power - but each launch has its dark horses, and Shrek dropping alongside the original Xbox is one of them. So to celebrate the original film's 20th anniversary today, let's take a look back at it.
Luckily, to combat this we had little games such as Halo: Combat Evolved to keep us entertained, but Shrek came at a time when hype for the movie was astronomical. While we've had other launch duds, those are never usually tied to one console. What makes Shrek so unique is that it was an Xbox exclusive when it launched, until it later game to the Nintendo GameCube a year later.
Now, it can be argued that the game is aimed for kids, and you'd be right, but the game received a Teen rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board for "comic mischief" and "mild violence" - a TEEN rating. Out of the dozen or so games that launched alongside the original Xbox, Shrek pulled in 2.6% of the console's revenue and became the ninth best-selling game for its launch month.
But what makes it so bad? Well, the game currently sits at 49 on Metacritic, which you could argue is mixed, but for a game that was touted as a launch exclusive and Microsoft's first stab in the console market, it's always been a weird choice to usher in a new generation of gaming. Having played the game ourselves, we can tell you it's ridiculously short, has poor camera controls, and provided very little in terms of challenge - aside from one herding mission which honestly almost broke our younger selves.
The game actually had a bit of hype around it if our memory is serving us correctly. It featured an all-new story and had Todd McFarlane collaborating on the project, who you may know as working on comic book heroes such as The Amazing Spider-Man and Spawn. Unfortunately, it fell into the trap of being just another movie tie-in game and will always be known as one of Xbox's first ever games. The best thing to come from it is the fun streams (check out Easy Allies' great one above), as people blast through the game in a few short hours.
The sequel is a pretty good game, though - you should definitely check that out!
Do you have any fond Shrek gaming memories? Let us know in the comments below.