Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands | Review

So as I sit here and play *Ubisoft's latest, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, I am torn on whether it's actually a good game or not. So that probably has you thinking I'm going to declare it a bad game, but that's the conundrum. It's not bad actually, something just feels different this time out. A little over a year ago, Ubisoft released their last princely adventure, but as a series reboot. A dramatic new cell-shaded art style, a companion throughout, less fighting and more pure exploring and solving environmental puzzles. This title was met with relative acclaim (81 average metacritic score), but something prompted Ubisoft to go back to the more realistic graphics and revisit the time controlling gameplay element that made the original Sands of Time so exciting. That "something" is a little movie by a producer known for action (Jerry Bruckheimer); this summers blockbuster flick of the same name.
So do you release another title in the series that doesn't artistically match the box office parallel? No, and now you're starting to see why Ubi decided to go this route. In a way, it's clever marketing setup to ride the wave of the movie-release, but for a change of pace, the game's actually not based on the movie at all, instead following events in the Sands of Time Universe, your Prince is in the kingdom of his brother, as he's fighting off a siege of attackers, you make your way through meeting up with him where the Sands are locked up.  Desperate to survive, the Sands are unleashed once again, setting off evil that only you can right.
Featuring incredible acrobatic maneuverability, tight combat, puzzle solving and climbing, you feel truly in control of the Prince, that is until you fall that first time, and remember the Sands of Time feature, rewinding just before you meet your perilous doom.
The "levels" are logically laid out, I didn't find myself sitting in any one room, growing frustrated trying to figure out the path, but there was just enough difficulty to satisfy as well.  Again, combat is actually fun, as if you did play the last Prince title, you rarely had a chance to swing any swords or weapons.  Throw in a little "RPG" elements (what game DOESN'T have some sort of RPG element these days?) in upgrading your health, magic, special attacks, special defences, and you'll likely enjoy the average length adventure.  Most will play through within 8-10 hours, depending on your skill level.
After all of that, doesn't sound like a bad game, and it's not, we are giving it a pretty good score.  The problem with the Forgotten Sands, is just that, it's easily forgettable, especially in the current wave of other excellent titles available.

Mashbuttons gives Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands a 7.5 out of 10
PlayStation 3 version reviewed; but also available on Xbox 360, Wii, PSP and PC

*Ubisoft provided a copy for editorial review.

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