Prisoner of War (video game)

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This article is about the 2002 stealth game. For the 1988 action game see P.O.W.: Prisoners of War.
Prisoner of War
Prisoner of War (video game).jpg
Developer(s) Wide Games
Publisher(s) Codemasters
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Release date(s) 2002
Genre(s) Stealth
Mode(s) Single player

Prisoner of War is a 2002 third-person stealth game developed by Wide Games and published by Codemasters. It follows the story of Captain Lewis Stone, a downed American pilot who must escape numerous prisoner of war camps and return home.

Gameplay[edit]

Prisoner of War is quite different from other stealth games in that, although other stealth games utilise some small form of violence for the player to achieve his objectives, this game portrays little to no violence. For example, if the Nazi guards on duty, spot the player acting suspiciously, they will not shoot on sight. Instead, they will call on the player to cease his activity. If the player continues to disobey the guard, the guard will shoot him. There are other similar such scenarios for the player losing. If the player is near the guard when he is caught acting suspiciously, he will automatically surrender and lose. These scenarios open up a whole new dimension of ideas for the player to achieve his objectives, but the key aspect to the completion of this game is stealth. It also makes this game extremely difficult to complete. Furthermore the game does not provide the player any combat mechanics; the player is unable to fight or kill any of their opponents and is instead required to complete their objectives through the use of stealth and deception.

Character Interaction[edit]

In many escape attempts during World War II, success has been based on individuals working together towards a final escape. Prisoner of War is no exception in that the key to a successful escape attempt is through the player interacting with the other inmates in the camp. This interaction is portrayed in the game by allowing the player to choose from a number of dialogue options for which his fellow inmates will respond. Fellow inmates are always willing to help out and provide information either for free, or for a certain fee.

Player Inventory[edit]

Captain Stone has many items that he can use around the camp these include items useful for opening doors, such as keys or crowbars. There is also 'currency' which can be found in and around the camp. This acts as money and can be used to purchase information, or other useful items. To avoid detection, these things can be hidden in your 'Hiding Place' in your barracks. Captain Stone is, like any escapee, equipped with a journal to store useful information, such as maps, or current objectives.

Plot[edit]

The game begins with Captain Stone, who finds himself in a small holding camp with several other prisoners. He meets the other prisoners and goes around the camp doing tasks to help other prisoners who will, in turn, help him escape. He steals some currency, candy, and cigarettes, which he trades for some boot polish which he can use to darken his face and sneak around at night. JD is eventually caught and brought to the camp, and with the information JD gives Stone they hatch an escape attempt. After a well thought out escape they are soon captured by General Stahl. Stahl kills JD for refusing to surrender and Stone reluctantly gives up. This causes Stone to develop a deep hatred that stays with him throughout the remainder of the war.

Stone is transferred to Stalag Luft where he meets a friendly British officer and an unfriendly Polish officer who head the escape committee. After escaping through an abandoned tunnel, Stone is captured by a German patrol. He is sent to the infamous Colditz Castle.

Stone is placed in with the non-troublesome group of prisoners. He tries to meet a prisoner whom he briefly met at Stalag Luft who tells him that he must escape back into the Luft. Stone escapes through the sewers of Colditz and is captured outside of the camp and is thrown in with the other prisoners because the Kommandant does not want General Stahl to hear of his faults.

Stone is sent on a mission by the escape committee to steal secret German documents (of the rocket) and to take photos of a new V2 rocket that is being built in the camp, so that Allied bombers will not bomb the camp. The escape committee analyzes the document and conclude they do not have time to contact London by mail. They then decide to execute plan B. Stone is sent to call the bombers with the German radio. When the alarms sound, the prisoners prepare a mass escape and General Stahl orders the launch of the rocket immediately. Stone goes to the laboratory and hides himself from the Germans while disabling the rocket. General Stahl is disappointed in the performance of the rockets and goes to Colditz Castle to look into the secret experiments in the castle.

Back in the courtyard of Colditz, Lewis Stone is discovered in the trunk of the General's car. With the German officer mistakenly believing Stone to have accidentally wound up in another prisoner of war camp, he gives Stone double rations for brightening his day. The escape committee reveals to Stone that Harding was building the famous Colditz Glider in the chapel attic. Stone finds the necessary pieces to complete the glider and successfully escapes from the castle, killing General Stahl in the process.

Characters[edit]

Major[edit]

Nationality Name Description
 United States Captain Lewis Stone The main character in the game. Known for his feistiness and lack of respect for authority figures.
 Nazi Germany General Stahl Murders James Daly at the beginning of the game and continues to throw anyone in the Cooler. He is extremely intimidating to those under his command, who avoid him when possible.
 United Kingdom Colonel Roger Harding A British officer. He is both mysterious and arrogant. Later, however it is discovered that he is a SOE operative.
 United States Flight Lieutenant James Daly Stone's co-pilot who is killed when escaping from the first camp. He and Stone were best friends.

Minor[edit]

Holding Camp:

Nationality Name Description
 United States Private Paul Clancy A pessimistic Massachusetts man, was captured in Italy along with Sergeant O'Brien. A shadow of his former self, who has given up attempting to escape.
 Irish Free State Sergeant Jimmy O'Brien An Irishman with a taste for bribery. Would supply Private Clancy with tools in exchange for currency.

Stalag Luft:

Nationality Name Description
 United Kingdom Wing Commander James Temple-Smithson Barrack Officer of Stalag Luft
 Poland Major Nicoli Radtke Escape Officer of Stalag Luft
 United Kingdom Lieutenant Peter Nesbitt Description below, helps to build the camp's tunnel system in chapter 4
 Free France Private Xavier DuChamp Description below, helps to build the camp's tunnel system in chapter 4
 United States Second Lieutenant John McCormack Description below, helps to build the camp's tunnel system in chapter 4
 United Kingdom Sergeant Harry Fox Is the camp's scrounger
 Belgium Private Olivier Vermaas Will help you, but for a price. Believed to have been dragged into making Stone pay a fee for his help
 United States Private Henry Plunkett Will be of assistance, but for a price. From the middle of the U.S, finds Europe a bit "weird"
 United Kingdom Flight Lieutenant Jonathan Fielding He'll do what you say, but only if you give him some cash. Friendly and packed full of phrases, like Worthington.
 United States Private Mickey Malone Runs a dice game
 United Kingdom Private Charlie Wilson Runs a stone game
 United Kingdom Colonel Roger Harding Snappy but focused, this man is on an important mission. A member of the E.C.
  • Private Xavier DuChamp, an expert on the location of the camp's tools and buildings.
  • Second Lieutenant John McCormack, a valuable friend in escape. Knowing how to avoid guards, but not always knowing where everything is.
  • Second Lieutenant Peter Nesbitt often knows what is going on in certain areas of the camp for example, where prisoners have gone and generally what is happening.
  • Major Nicoli Radtke and Wing Commander James Temple-Smithson are both members of the Stalag Luft escape committee, and update Stone with ways to escape from the camp.
  • Sergeant Harry Fox is a typical South London man who can sell things for currency, he often has plenty of stock, unlike Private Dwight Johnson of Colditz.

There are other minor characters in Stalag Luft, but their role in the game is not so important as those mentioned above.

Colditz:

Nationality Name Description
 United Kingdom Major William Kingsley Escape Officer of Colditz, description below
 Free France Group Captain Henri Dubois Barrack Officer of Colditz, description below
 United States Private Michael Kapowski He was in Colditz in the third Chapter but he moved to a Concentration camp in the fifth Chapter, description below
 United States Lieutenant Cameron 'Doc' Winters Description below
 United Kingdom Second Lieutenant Reginald Worthington Description below
 United States Private Dwight Johnson Is the castle's scrounger
 United States Private Luka Beratti One of the trio, he seems to be a bit different from Logan and Williams: he likes the nurse.
 United States Second Lieutenant Dick Williams Part of the trio mentioned below, it seems to be very hard to distinguish Williams from Logan (except for their position in the War)
 United States Flight Lieutenant Ricki Logan The trio want a bit of currency, but almost always willing to help.
 United States Private Tony Caponi Runs a card game
 United Kingdom Corporal Douglas 'Sure Shot' Spears Runs a stone-throwing game
 Free France Corporal Vincent Bernier Believed as a spy due to some clues, but is actually one of the allies, not a German
 United Kingdom /  Nazi Germany Staff Sergeant Daniel Crown (aka Captain Hans Zimmermann) Is really a Nazi spy posing as a member of the RAF.
  • Lieutenant Cameron "Doc" Winters is a small man from New York, capable of knowing where everything is in the camp, although he has a conscience, and often defers to Private Kapowski when he is going through locked doors.
  • Private Michael Kapowski, is very confident and can get through almost any locked door. He disappears in the last mission though, presumably taken to a Nazi concentration camp.
  • Second Lieutenant Reginald Worthington is a well-spoken friendly man, who makes it his business to listen to the mutterings and rumours spreading around the camp.
  • Group Captain Henri Dubois, a tall Frenchman who has the responsibility of being the barrack officer at Colditz.
  • Major William Kingsley, the Escape officer. He is very careful and quiet.
  • Private Dwight Johnson is another man who will swap goods for currency, his stock is always almost empty though.

Ranks of the people in the game[edit]

Order of importance Name Information about person/rank
1st Hitler Dictator of Nazi Germany at the time. He does not appear anywhere in the game
2nd General Stahl Leader over the whole of his army (plus the weapons research facility and the camps)
3rd Kommandant Stalag Luft and Kommandant Colditz Leader of the war camp, has complete power over the prisoners and the officers and the guards. Will see through any disguise.
4th Senior Lieutenants More important than Lieutenants. Will see through any disguise.
5th Lieutenants/ officers Quite important, some prisoners have the same rank, but for their side. The Officers will not see through any disguise, but Lieutenants can be fooled by a lieutenant disguise
6th Guards Poorly paid and worked hard, they watch over the POWs and they enjoy only a few more luxuries than the prisoners. Will be fooled by any disguise.

Camps[edit]

  • Holding Camp: Summer 1944 - Escaped, recaptured, and then deported to Stalag Luft.
  • Stalag Luft I: Autumn 1944 - Escaped, recaptured, and then deported to Colditz Castle.
  • Colditz Castle: Winter 1944 - Escaped back to Stalag Luft and then captured inside the camp.
  • Stalag Luft I: Winter, early 1945 - Escaped and back to Colditz.
  • Colditz Castle: Spring 1945 - Escaped.

References[edit]

External links[edit]