The month of May is a big month for those gamers who are fans of the Prince of Persia series. The movie is set to come out in a few days and there is a brand new Prince of Persia adventure for everyone to enjoy at home. It should be quickly noted that this new Prince of Persia title is not a movie tie in game. Even though they came out at relatively the same time each is its own separate project. The storyline for Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands takes place between what happened in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (the game, not the movie) and Prince of Persia: Warrior Within. The basic premise for this title is that after the events of The Sands of Time, the Prince went to visit his brother’s kingdom. When he arrives, he finds the royal palace under attack and the Prince has to help his brother to save the kingdom from total annihilation. The game is actually fairly light on story, however, the game play from the traditional Prince of Persia games has returned. If you were a fan of the 2008 adventure you are likely to be disappointed as Ubisoft seems to have abandoned that ideal in favor of a more classic feel.
As the Prince you are able to control time itself once again, as long as you have enough energy to do so. If you make an ill fated jump then you can simply rewind time and try again. In addition to that, Ubisoft has also added a brand new mechanic to the series. This new power will allow you to freeze and unfreeze water with the push of a button. You will be using this mechanic on a somewhat regular basis as you attempt to attempt to navigate through a palace that is crumbling down around you. If you are in a room and there doesn’t seem to be any way of advancing you will want to pay attention to how the water is behaving in that room. A great example would be if there are two waterfalls next to each other. Using your newfound power you would freeze the water and then use that wall of ice to wall jump up to the next level. There are a variety of puzzles that you will encounter on your adventure which will require some precise timing and a quick button press on your part. The environmental puzzles were done really well and it offers a refreshing change to the standard formula.
One of the big complaints that I have about this game is the camera system. There are times where you have complete control over the camera and you can use it to see what is happening all around you. Unfortunately, there are also times where the camera is arbitrarily set and you can’t do much with it. This seems to happen during those crucial times where you need to make a big jump or see what is around the next corner. The fact that you can’t control the camera in these instances will make these segments unnecessarily harder for some people who might not play a lot of games. As I stated above, this is not a movie tie in game. With that said though, Ubisoft is definitely hoping there will be people who want to purchase this title after leaving the movie theater. For those people that pick the game up after watching the movie they might have trouble with the lack of control in these parts. They won’t necessarily be used to the “leap of faith” concept and could potentially become very frustrated with the game.
In addition to what has been said this game does suffer from a few control issues. There were times when the Prince would jump in the wrong direction which would result in unnecessary deaths. The combat in the game is fairly simplistic. One change that Ubisoft made was that now you will fight a big group of enemies as opposed to the one on one battle gamers will be used to from previous iterations. There are the normal sword attacks and if you find yourself surrounded the Prince can also kick an enemy and watch a whole group of them fall like dominoes. Once an enemy is vulnerable you can perform a “finishing move” that will immediately turn them back into sand. You can also jump off of an enemy and do a downward attack if you need to escape a bad situation quickly. As you take out enemies you will be gaining experience points. As soon as you have sufficient points you will be able to upgrade your character. These upgrades include more health, stronger attacks, energy slots and more. As you progress through the game you will learn some additional abilities as well, however, I won’t spoil what they are in this review.
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is a return to the formula introduced by the Sands of Time. For gamers that enjoy this formula the Forgotten Sands is going to be a good title. If you are in the group that really liked the 2008 version then you are going to be a little disappointed. With that said this latest addition to the Prince of Persia franchise succeeds overall. It does have some problems with the camera and there really isn’t that much story but the game play succeeds. The puzzles that you encounter throughout your adventure are fun and continually changing when you add in the Prince’s new powers. Being able to affect the environment is a lot of fun and hopefully we see more of it in future titles. Overall, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is a fun title and it is yet another game this month that you should put on your list of games to play.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network