RETRO – The previous Prince from the Sands of Time trilogy is back! Coinciding with the movie release of Prince of Persia, Ubisoft published a forth adventure with our seasoned hero, its events situated between the first and second episode.
What happened to the Prince between Sands of Time and Warrion Within? Why he has become such a bitter, almost cruel, dark hero at the beginning of Warrior Within? Well, you won’t find the answer to this particular question in Forgotten Sands, but you will still take part in a brand new adventure with our “old” Prince.
Brothers in Arms
In Forgotten Sands we will learn, that the Prince has an older brother, Malik, who tries desperately to stop an invading army besieging the family castle. For this purpose he awakens an ancient undead army, hoping to control them against the invaders. Of course it’s a foolish move and our young prince has to put a stop to the evil force which controls the undead.
The story is interesting, but this time isn’t so well shaped up, then in the first trilogy, or Prince of Persia 2008. Besides the Prince there’s only two other protagonists: Malik, and a sexy female Djinn, with an enormous bosom. There are some cut scenes, but not much narrative beside the Djinn explaining things to our hero, and some clashes between the two brothers. Still, after a while the story picks up, and gets more interesting.
Ye oldie Prince is back
In 2008 the gameplay of Prince of Persia vastly changed: mainly with the combat, some changes in the platforming parts, and even the difficulty (we couldn’t die actually, which was funny). Some enjoyed the changes, others found the game too easy, and the combat dull after a while. Well, Forgotten Sands is a comeback to “ye oldie Prince” gameplay, which was honed all right, but still there’s not much surprises in the game.
The combat is reminiscent to Warrior Within, only a little clunkier, as if our Prince just learned to be the mean killing machine of the second episode. There are sometimes also some noticeable slowdowns in the combat: our prince reacts to our input slower, than he should.
Overall the combat is still fun, and those who liked the original trilogy over the 2008 episode will be delighted. Just don’t expect our hero to be so fast and furious as in Warrior Within. Oh, and don’t expect the bloodbath of WW either: even Two Thrones was bloodier.
Prince of Persia’ll make you: jump, jump!
The jumping and running section is pretty much similar to the trilogy as well, there’s only one major change: we can freeze water and use it as different kind of frozen poles, or water walls. First encountered this feature felt as a gimmick, but after a while it procured so much fun and it is so well incorporated in the gameplay itself that I had a blast while jumping from one frozen pole of water to another.
Like in any other PoP, the game is harder and harder as we progress, and this is true to the “watery” parts as well: we must froze and defrost water to progress – one bad move and our Prince dies, so we must pay attention and have perfect reflexes. There are also some puzzles here and there, which are usually idiot proof, with some harder ones thrown in.
Same old Persia
The graphics in the game are okayish, with some nice textures, disgusting skeleton monsters, and well drawn boss monsters. Still, some commented on youtube that the game is ugly – well it may felt because the environments are rather dull, with not much artistry used in them.
It’s ancient Persia all right, but sometimes it feels somehow lifeless and boring, in other parts of the game it’s more varied. After two Assassin’s Creeds and a very pretty cell shaded Prince of Persia 2008 Forgotten Sands feels somehow outdated. It feels strange, since Ubisoft used the engine of Assassin’s Creed II for the game.
Unforgettable or best to be forgotten?
Very smooth, varied platforming gameplay, with the excellent water froze effect thrown in it, not really revolutionary, but still well designed combat, a serviceable story and nice, but a little dull graphics are the main ingredients for this adventure of the Prince.
It’s not really special, but still a pretty good game. Shame, that Ubisoft didn’t want to take any risks, and try out new things with it. Still for the aficionados of the Prince it’s a must have, and those who would like play a pretty good (if not really special…) action-adventure title, should consider buying it as well.
+ Fast “Prince” action
+ Freezing water is clever
+ Prince is back
– Something is lacking storywise
– combat clunkier
– Isn’t really the “SoT” Prince
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Genres: Action, adventure, platform
Publication: August 2010