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REVIEW: Prince of Persia (Multiplatform)

January 5, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Prince of Persia games have been around since the days of the Apple II and have graced previous generations of consoles like the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The last reincarnation of the Persian Prince on these platforms were fantastic. The first Prince of Persia - The Sands of Time was a platforming gem, whilst The Warrior Within took the fighting mantel. Lastly the Two Thrones melded these two important elements into one great game, finishing off the story brilliantly.

Now the Prince is reborn on the new generation of consoles with the Prince of Peria on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and the trusty PC. The Ubisoft team have gone with a completely new art and graphical direction, with the game looking like a beautiful painted canvas. The new cell shaded design is an instant win, for me, and the new Prince and his sexy side-kick Elika both look stunning.

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The basic story premise is Elika's father and ruler of the kingdom destroys the Tree of Life, which contains the God Ahriman. With the Tree of Life destroyed, Ahriman begins to infect the kingdom and its lands with Corruptions. It’s the Prince's and Elika's job to heal lands known as fertile grounds to restore power back to the Tree of Life and stop the evil god Ahriman escaping. Nice and simple!

You as the Prince has to jump, swing and do your usual platforming tricks to get to where Elika has to use her magic powers to heal the fertile grounds. When I first started I expected to be doing the many button platform moves that engrossed me in The Sands of Time, however, I was met with the same style of "platforming" as in Assassin's Creed, which makes platforming more like the gimmicky quick-time events that plague most video games these days and takes away the skill needed. This did not impress me! To do a wall run and then jump to an opposite ledge, all I had to do was press X (yes I'm playing on the PS3....), then wait till he got near to the platform I am suppose to jump to and press X again. Also, the places where you are suppose to wall jump are nicely marked out for you with what looks like cat scratches along the wall. To be brief, I am not happy with the platforming element one bit! But I will say the animations are superb.

Moving on, once you reach the healing place in the fertile ground it is time to do battle! Each fertile grounds has a sort of boss which you have to fight and kill to allow Elika to heal the grounds and restore power to the Tree. And here is where my other moan is. After the great fighting you could do in The Warrior Within, we get this drivel!! Block....keep blocking, right my turn, gauntlet attack, sword attack the Elika's magical attack then repeat. Fun I say in a sarcastic tone. Yes you can mix it up a bit more and unlock new moves and attacks, and there is the odd God of War style button mashing element, but really it is a pathetic attempt by Ubisoft, again in the mould of the repetitiveness of Assassin's Creed. The enemies are different and do have distinct attacks, but when they do attack all you have to do is press block, then do which ever combo you have memorized.

Once disposed of the enemies its time for Elika to heal the fertile grounds. Once she has performed this piece of magic, you watch as the plagued lands and corruption that resides there is destroyed and the groun transformed magically back to its fertile state. Honestly, when i first saw this, I thought it was majestic. Once the lands have been transformed back to their fertile state, you notice orbs floating around the fertile grounds. These are light seeds, they are what Elika (you really) need to open up new grounds for you to heal and also you can improve Elika's magical powers and your own skills.

With your task complete it is now time to move on to the next fertile ground to heal. Fortunately the ever so helpful Elika has another useful trick up her sleeve. She provides you with a Fable II style compass, but unlike Fable II's disappears after a few seconds. Don't know why they didn't leave it on permanently. Oh well, a little more on Elika! Elika is important to the Prince, as whenever the Prince is in trouble, for example you thought you were playing the Sands of Times and thought you had to do proper platforming but finding yourself tumbling to your death, Elika pours out a magical hand that grabs you and pulls you back to your original starting point of the jump you messed up. Nothing like the rewind ability in Sands of time one bit.... Also she is there to help you jump further with a quick tap of the triangle button or Y button i presume for 360 gamers. She also elaborates on the plot of the story more as you have the ability to talk to and understand more about Ahriman, the Tree of Life etc.

Overall, the new Prince of Persia is a good game. It has luscious graphics and animations, especially when you heal the fertile grounds. However, it is let down the same way Assassin's Creed was let down, it is overly repetitive and it doesn't allow for skill to complete the game, but opts for a a quick-time event styled press a button and let the animations do the rest. Elika is a nice addition but could be used more, and being able to play her in a co-op mode would be fantastic, more so when you are fighting the Corrupted. The story is simplistic and won’t win any awards, with the voice typically American. I'm sorry but when did a Persian Prince have a Yank accent.

I was looking forward to this game greatly as I loved the previous incarnation of the Prince, but with new incarnation I am unfortunately disappointed. Its too simplistic and repetitive and no replayability in it. The other problem is it has the potential to be a much better game. I would recommend people to play it if they have never played previous Prince of Persia Games, but to true fans of the series be warned...

Graphics - 9/10
Story - 6/10
Gameplay - 5/10

Overall - 6.5/10

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