Prince of Persia has to be one of the most remade games ever. There was the original 2D rotoscoped game that had incredibly realistic movement on 8 and 16-bit machines, a not so good 3D game, and then the highly successful and lovely Sands of Time which spawned a couple of mediocre sequels where the prince went a bit Emo.
Now it’s Ubisoft Montreal’s turn to give their spin on the game and they’ve succeeded in creating a beautiful looking game which flows very nicely indeed.
In a nutshell, you play the wisecracking prince who gets caught up in a battle to save a land from an evil spirit and the sticky evil corruption that’s covering the land and destroying all the lovely flowers. You do this with the help of a mystical young lady called Elika, who not only has the power to heal areas of the corruption, but also to teleport into mid air and swing you across caverns in a sort of ‘double-jump’ move and even save your life by fending off enemies when you’re about to be run through or grabbing you by the hand and flying you back to safety if you take a plunge to your doom.
In fact, it’s impossible to die in this game which does take some of the risk factor out during exploration and combat, but at the same time frees you to relax, explore and enjoy the game without fear of having to retrace your steps. This game having the Prince of Persia name, there are some things you’ll expect. You can do wall runs, climb and jump about the land and use your gauntlet to grab onto areas and swing yourself further, and slide down walls – jumping at any time to make your way further. You don’t even have to be inch perfect or accurate with your platforming. The game’s very forgiving and gives you a large window of error.
Combat plays in a similar way to Assassin’s Creed (they are using the same engine here). So, it’s all about sword-fighting and one-on-one combat. You block, counter and grapple and it all feels like a merry dance. The enemy AI also adapts to how well you’re fighting to keep the challenge factor up.
Although it’s all very pretty and charming to boot with some funny one-liners from the prince, it can be accused of being a bit repetitive. You climb through a corrupted area, fight a boss and then heal it. You then collect light orbs so Elika can unlock new areas of the map and then you do it all over again. There are some different gameplay ideas as Elika gains new powers but these are just ways of getting from A to B.
Prince of Persia is very enjoyable to play but won’t prove to much of a challenge for the hardcore. Still, it’s pretty and worth a look if only for the artistic style and its fluid nature. Prince of Persia gets a very good 7 out of 10.