The Prince is back for another installment of the popular Prince of Persia franchise, and it’s about time. The aptly titled Prince of Persia brings new life to the franchise on the current generation of consoles and fans should be incredibly stoked to be a part of the ride. More : Prince of Persia : The Forgotten Sands (Wii)

On his way out into the desert wastes looking for his beloved donkey, this new rogue of a Prince bumps into a well-endowed female on the run from her father and his guards. Long story short, our hero must help his new found companion bring peace and green back to an expanse of desert. To do so, he’ll have to brave four different temples and a whole host of shadowy enemies.

prince of Persia gameplay

Prince of Persia takes its cue from the critically acclaimed Prince of Persia : Sands of Time and Shadow of the Colossus in terms of gameplay–you’ll find yourself running up walls, leaping across ledges, grabbing ropes and pretty much being an all-around acrobatic wonder (a la Mirror’s Edge) in this game. The gameplay is still as fun and balanced as it was during the Prince’s run during Sands of Time with one little wrinkle: instead of an enchanted hourglass, you’ve got Elika–an incredibly beautiful, tiny grouping of pixels there for the soul purpose of helping out the Prince by giving him expanded abilities, magic and the ever-useful double jump. While the Prince’s name might be on the box, it’s Elika who really makes this title shine. She’s essential to gameplay and creates a perfectly logical reason as to why video game characters get a « double jump. » By the end of the game you start to wish that Mario had Peach come along on some of his adventures to add that suspension of disbelief.

Combat is a simple affair, adopting the one-button combat approach boasted by Fable II. Here’s the thing, Prince of Persia does it better. The combat animations are fluid and look devastating to enemies, but the system still manages to make it feel like you have more control than you actually do–a feat that is not easily accomplished in games like this, especially at a constant framerate.

Speaking of which, the art director on this project should get a whole host of applause–the game looks stunning. From the character models to the absolutely phenomenal environments, this game would definitely be a reason to pick up an HD TV. UbiSoft should also get some props for their excellent voice cast–the voices in this game are spot on for their characters.

Of course, any game as highly anticipated as this does indeed have its flaws, minor though they may be. The game chooses to never let you die, instead having Elika save the Prince from certain death when he takes a nasty fall or gets the stuffing beat out of him by an enemy. This forgiving system, while perfect for casual gamers, will continually frustrate hardcore fans due to the lack of motivation for doing something right in a certain number of tries. While not necessarily a bad system, it does make us wonder why there isn’t a feature to turn off the Elika magical save ? Believe us, after the tenth or fifteenth time of seeing Elika grab the Prince’s hand shrouded in a magical blue glow, you’ll want to turn it off too.

All in all, this new installment in the Prince of Persia franchise gives some nostalgic nods to the past while blazing some new territory for the future. A solid game that deserves a lot of attention.


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