Prince of Persia is a game following a legacy of fantastic titles. The sands of time trilogy was by far one of the best set of games on the Playstation 2, Ubisoft had a lot to live up to, but instead of creating yet another sequel, this game is all new. All new story, all new setting, but most of all, all new Prince.
The game is set in ancient Persia, it drops you in after a short cinematic where you take control of the Prince, whose name is kept secret throughout the entire game. Then you meet Elika, a girl who accompanies you throughout the story. You come across many environments and settings while you fight corrupted enemies striving to put the evil god Arihman back where he came from and to cleanse the world of his corruption.
The PoP games have always looked pretty, and the Sands of Time trilogy was one of the best looking games on the Ps2, but this game blows them out of the water. Using a completely different style of graphics they’ve improved upon it tenfold. The game looks like it takes place in a painting, the backgrounds and scenery are spectacular, combined with the incredible detail on the characters clothes and expressions in a cell shaded type way that creates a combo of style and beauty that will entrance you for the entire length of the game.
The game play hasn’t changed much, it retains much of the feel of the Sands of Time trilogy, with subtle changes to the acrobatics, however the combat has been completely rehashed. The acrobatics are essentially the same, wall runs and jumps all make a return but the new Prince has a shiny new toy. The Princes gauntlet allows him to slide down walls using his gauntlet to slow his fall. Elika also plays a part in the acrobatics, she can use her magic to double your jump, allowing you to reach places the Prince alone would have no hope of getting to, and she herself is very capable and agile.
The combat is greatly different to that of the previous titles, while before the Prince would have to fight off hordes of enemies, now you take them on one at a time, in fantastic cinematic duels. You have four main combat options, Sword attack, Acrobatic attack, Gauntlet attack and Magic [Elika] attack. All four of which can be chained into combo strings, allowing for much variation in battles.
Elika plays a great part in the game control, she allows you to double jump during acrobatics, and she plays a great part in combat with her magic attacks. She isn’t one of those secondary support characters that get in the way; she loyally follows you around without bothering the flow of game play except for when you press the Elika button although she does occasionally surface for other reasons. She is essentially your safety net, if you fall when jumping or wall running, she catches you, and if you’re knocked off a ledge she catches you. If you get defeated in battle, she knocks them away with magic so you survive but with your opponent regaining their health. In this game, you cannot die. The whole point to this is to continue the flow of game play, for a game over screen often frustrates even the best of us, causing us to give up on the game. But here you can keep playing for hours without even noticing the passing time.
Prince of Persia is a platformer at heart, and while the previous games entailed lots of enemies to hack through and frustrating puzzles, this instalment lacks those primary features that made us love Prince Of Persia. Throughout the game you encounter less than 5 puzzles; you’ll miss sitting thinking over a lever puzzle like crazy but the platforming makes up for the lack of logic needed for the game. The combat is only missed about halfway into the game, when the one on one battles slowly become repetitive and tiresome.
The sound is beautiful; it’s calming and relaxing and fits the style and scenery of the game perfectly with tense suspenseful battle music it all slides together perfectly. The voice acting is great, you’ll learn to love the Prince and his cheeky banter, and he’ll make you chuckle a fair few times before it’s over.
The game is unsurprisingly easy, once you get past the initial clumsy fall you sink into the controls wonderfully and you’ll breeze through the entire game in 10 or so hours, its easy enough for the casual gamer but satisfying enough for the hardcore fan. With only one difficulty setting it would have to be. Unfortunately there isn’t much replay value in the game, except to go back and get achievements or trophies you missed; there will be no real incentive to play through a second time.
The game is wonderful, a must buy for gamers out there. It’s one of the best games in our current generation and by far the prettiest. It’s worth a buy or at least a week long rent and you will enjoy every moment of it. Ubisoft have created yet another masterpiece in the series and I cannot wait for the sequel.