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Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands Game Review
Prince of Persia Game Review
May 27, 2010
Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands Game Review
© Mania/Bob Trate
Jake Gyllenhal’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time movie is just around the corner so developer Ubisoft has decided to drop a new Prince of Persia game on us. We got a chance to play through The Prince’s latest adventure and here are our thoughts.
Single Player Campaign
Before we get started a few things need to be mentioned. First, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands has absolutely nothing to do with the 2008 Prince of Persia game. Ubisoft has put that particular storyline on hold for the time being, which sucks because that game ended on a cliffhanger. Second, this is not a game adaptation of the Prince of Persia movie coming out this summer; game and movie have nothing in common except that the main character is the same. Finally, in terms of the Prince of Persia Sands timeline, The Forgotten Sands takes place right between The Sands of Time and Warrior Within. Oh and one more thing, this review is based on the Xbox 360 version. Got all that? Alright then, let’s roll.
Like previously mentioned, The Forgotten Sands takes place between The Sands of Time and Warrior Within. In this adventure The Prince has set out to visit his brother Malik’s kingdom but when he arrives all hell is breaking loose due to an invading army attacking the kingdom. With Malik on the end of a loosing battle he decides to raise King Solomon’s Army and use them to defeat the invading army. As you can guess this turns out to be a terrible idea. King Solomon’s Army is led by a genie named Ratash, who isn’t about to be controlled by anyone. Ratash decides he rather use the army to wreck havoc across the kingdom and grow stronger by turning everyone into sand. With an army of the dead now threatening to take over the kingdom The Prince has no choice but to help his brother and put an end to Ratash and King Solomon’s Army.
Along his quest to put an end to Ratash, The Prince gets help from a genie and thanks to her you receive the ability to rewind time. If you remember the 2008 game you know that the turning back of time was replaced by having the Elika character magically save you every time you screwed up a jump. That took away some of the fun because if you failed at any point you would always get saved. Rewinding time in The Forgotten Sands doesn’t work like that, this time you only have a set number of times that you can rewind and if you use all of them up you die, forcing you to restart at your last checkpoint. In addition to the rewinding time ability, she’ll also grant you the ability to freeze water and to see things like they once were. The water freeze is used to turn water leaks into swing ready poles and waterfalls into walls you wall jump from. The ability to see things as they once were is used to remember the city as it once looked which will let you move around areas you other wise would be unable too. The cool thing about The Forgotten Sands is that once those two abilities are added the game turns more difficult because of all the jumps that will force you to be switching abilities on the fly.
Aside from these new abilities you’ll also notice The Forgotten Sands graphics and this is obviously due to the graphical improvement with the jump from last gen to next gen consoles, thus making The Forgotten Sands in terms of graphics, easily the best of the series. Unfortunately when compared to next gen games the graphics aren’t anything to write home about, they are all right but when compared to another Ubisoft title, Assassin’s Creed II, they aren’t as nice. The Forgotten Sands’s does feature some nice cutscenes, for example in the opening cut scene there is even a moment that looks exactly like a scene from the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time movie, but some of the in-game graphics occasionally look weird. The Prince himself looks very detailed but the surroundings and enemies don’t sustain a polished look throughout.
Graphics however isn’t everything, no matter how beautiful or awful a game looks; you aren’t playing it unless the gameplay is tight. On that end have no fear for The Forgotten Sands delivers. It’s pretty standard for Prince of Persia games to have lots of challenging jumps, wall runs, climbs and swinging and The Forgotten Sands isn’t the exception as it once again brings all those elements to the table and more. By more we are referring to some good old sword fighting, which was severely lacking from 2008’s Prince of Persia. In that game you basically fought four guys throughout the entire game in slow calculated battles. This time around, the ass kicking is done at a much faster pace as you constantly have to face numerous enemies, we talking around twenty to forty enemies at a time, as you make your way through the game.
For all the battles you will be involved in during The Forgotten Sands you would think there would be a block button but there isn’t one. Instead you’ll have to rely on The Prince’s acrobatic and parkour skills to dodge attacks. If that doesn’t work you can simply turn to the “offense is the best defense” approach, as you’ll have plenty of offense at your disposal thanks to The Forgotten Sands’s leveling up experience system. As you defeat enemies you earn experience points, these points are used to upgrade The Prince’s health bar and to add four elemental attacks to his arsenal. Each elemental attack (fire, stone, water, wind) can be upgraded to four levels. Like all leveling up systems, every time you upgrade to another level your attacks do more damages. Towards the end of the game you should be upgraded enough to slice and dice through hordes of enemies with relative ease as you make your way to the final battle.
The game does not have any online mode but it does have a Challenge mode you can play after beating the single player campaign. The challenge mode consists of you defeating eight waves of enemies with each wave increasing in difficulty. Sadly this mode is fairly easy and only takes around eight minutes to clear the whole thing. Even though there is no online mode there is hope that The Forgotten Sands may receive some extra gameplay scenarios through downloadable content like Ubisoft did for 2008’s Prince of Persia and Assassin’s Creed II but as of today nothing has been confirmed.
It’s nice to have The Prince back and looking better than ever. The jump sequences are challenging, the graphics serviceable and the gameplay is great, overall good times. However, the lack of an online mode makes The Forgotten Sands have zero replay value aside from maybe some achievement/trophy hunting on a second run of the game. With the single player campaign being only around six to eight hours long, and little replay value it makes dropping $60 on it kind of hard. Unless you got extra coin lying around you may want to rent the game and save yourself some cash. Whatever you decide just know that Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands delivers good times and is a very nice game well worth your precious gaming time especially if you are a fan of the series.