Prince of Persia Review
- Posted December 15th, 2008 at 12:41 EDT by
- 30 Comments
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Ubisoft Montreal continues its successful development with the Prince of Persia franchise.
- Elika is the best AI partner ever created
- Unique combat system
- Platforming animations are brilliant
- Compass ball sometimes goes in circles
History is a key word when discussing a franchise like Prince of Persia. The series, which made its debut way back in 1989, had a profound impact on the videogames industry, influencing much in the way games are both made and looked at to this very day. While the Sands of Time is worthy of the praise and merit it’s received over time, a lot of gamers have expressed doubt in regards to the new direction the series has taken with this latest instalment. Luckily, Ubisoft Montreal did not drop the ball with this title and the developers have created a winning formula with great voice acting in order to deliver a truly entertaining experience.
Prince of Persia starts off like you’d expect any action-adventure, platformer to begin. The noble, yet selfish hero meets up, or in the Prince’s case, gets landed on by the girl before aiding her in achieving her goals while realizing his own self-worth. Upon first meeting, our two main characters go back and forth in dialog in regards to moralities while fleeing from the princess’s pursuers. Once they arrive at the Temple, which keeps the world in a state of light, the Prince quickly realizes what exactly he’s gotten himself into. Apparently, Elika’s father feels the need to unleash the Dark God Ahriman unto the world once more covering it in darkness and corruption. As expected, it’s up to you and Elika to return the world into its proper state by visiting fertile grounds and releasing the light back into the world.
Elika seems to be the focal point to every gamer’s quandary when discussing Prince of Persia. This is in large part due to the abilities she possesses and lends to your character. A couple examples of these abilities include the inability to truly die or lose a fight. While both of these ‘issues’ are true to the fullest extent, they don’t completely overlap the frustration one experiences when continually missing a jump due to poor timing or misdirection. Sure, Elika picks you up and returns you safely to a platform, but the frustration of needing to be saved is on par with the same frustration that comes with dieing. As for the battlegrounds, Elika steps in front of you in order to prevent the final blow that sends the Prince to his resting place. Fortunately for your opponent, if Elika needs to get involved, his entire life bar is rejuvenated and you must essentially restart the fight.
On top of these two potential complaints, Elika is everything a gamer could want out of an AI-based partner within this setting. She never gets lost, obstructs your view or causes you to backtrack to find her. Like a lost puppy, Elika follows you to the ends of each fertile ground with the same determination that flows within you. Not only does the young princess prevent you from pushing up daisies, but also she enables you to clear large distances that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach, as well as supplementing battles with various magical abilities against troublesome enemies. This only helps further the solid combat design recreated inside the walls of Ubisoft.
In order for Prince of Persia to be successful at engaging the player through its fighting mechanics, the developers and designers needed to take a second and realize what they were trying to achieve. Even though titles of the past have included an open fighting style similar to that of God of War, Ben Mattes and his team decided to step back one pace and then take three steps forward in creating a unique combat template found only in the Prince’s latest adventure. What you end up with is a one-on-one system in which each battle feels a tad more significant than your standard one-on-30 duel.
The system is also very user-accessible and any casual gamer can sit down and benefit from its simplicity even though there is an underlying combo system to be discovered. While fighting, there are five buttons that you utilize in order to be successful and chain together some impressive combos. Square allows you to slash with your sword, circle gives you the ability to use your gauntlet, X performs aerial assaults, R2 allows ... (continued on next page)
- 7:51am EST - December 15th, 2008
sounds brilliant. I might actually buy it even though i swore to myself i would never buy another game that it only singleplayer...... EXCEPT UNCHARTED 2!!
oh.... and did you know, the dude who does the voice of the prince also does the voice of drake in uncharted!!! I LOVE HIS VOICE!!
- 8:11am EST - December 15th, 2008
I love his voice in Uncharted, but NOT in Prince of Persia! Sounds far too american damnit. A shame. But hey, I think I'll buy this game, just not now. My wallet would probably reitre permanently if I did.
- 8:24am EST - December 15th, 2008
I just finished the game a few hours ago.
I love the story, gameplay, graphics, sound, and I LOVE ELIKA!
"+ Elika is the best AI partner ever created" <---totally agreed!
I am looking forward to play Prince of Persia 2!
Good job Ubisoft!
- 8:34am EST - December 15th, 2008
Maisan, go buy it in a store then. it's bound to be pretty cheap. Warrior Within rocks :D On another note, if they make a direct sequel, it won't be named Prince of Persia 2 for sure.
- 8:35am EST - December 15th, 2008
Good write up Dave and right on. Wonderful game and Elika is a true delight. One of my biggest surprises of the year.
- 8:47am EST - December 15th, 2008
already got it
- 9:14am EST - December 15th, 2008
Must have it someday.
- 12:04pm EST - December 15th, 2008
I just might get this...
- 12:06pm EST - December 15th, 2008
Heard mixed things about this one. If I had to look at it from an external perspective (graphically, game mechanics) I'd definitely buy it. But, having the game helping you too much takes away the challenge and replay value for me. Don't know. Just don't know yet. Maybe a renter.
- 1:08pm EST - December 15th, 2008
Got it 3 days ago and I think it's really good, it's somewhat fresh...
- 1:33pm EST - December 15th, 2008
don't think of it so much as the game helping you. think of it as the game getting rid of unneccesary "game over" screens and "try again?" screens. if elika didn't "save" you from falling to your death, it would end with you actually falling to your death and being subject to said "try again?" screens. if elika didn't take that final blow, you would be rewarded with a "you have died!" screen and then forced to reload from a previous checkpoint/save.
this actually saves a lot of time for some people, and it's really not the game "helping" you; just getting rid of extra waiting time between play sessions.
- 1:46pm EST - December 15th, 2008
one question prevents me from buying this game right now....
how long is it? coz like #1 im not buying only single ply games unless theyre epic
- 4:19pm EST - December 15th, 2008
Its a good game sometimes it gets a little bit repetitive like heal the land, look for the seeds,again and again.
the combat system is very good.
- 5:27pm EST - December 15th, 2008
Hopefully,this game will look better on a my ps3(when i get 1 next year),than it does in pictures,becuz like it or not,this game still looks like Naruto on ps3,the reason i fell in love with the PoP series,was in part due to the sumptuous,exotically realistic graphics this series possessed.I'm really hopin' i'm not dissappointed by this game.
- 7:14pm EST - December 15th, 2008
Getting as a christmas gift from my sis :D Can't wait.
- 7:28am EST - December 16th, 2008
this game is around 10 hours long i think, based on how much more i have to do and i have read. Ive put about 4 hours into itso far. it takes time to find all the light seeds and to figure how to get them.
- 11:03am EST - December 16th, 2008
no way dave... i dont think this game comes close to 9.0, iv checked other sites and there review scores landed in the 8's.. i dont see how the platforming is fun, it gets repetitive, and generic after a while.. its to easy and built soley for the casual gamer..im not diss'ing in any way but this site has the weirdest review scores out there. i mean i can see R2 getting a score in the 8's but this game is just a little above average its not a AAA quality title...
- 6:38pm EST - December 18th, 2008
to anyone who bought this game : Is it worth a buy?
- 6:48am EST - December 19th, 2008
Erm so what is fun in your eyes? First person shooters? If so then you can say the exact same thing about FPSs aswell, the fact that they get repetitive too after awhile.
I dont see your logic; enlighten me.
- 3:52am EST - December 20th, 2008
I got this game and i have to say it is good but its not where near as good as the old ones the PS2 ones was way better then this when it comes to story and fighting the combat in this game is one of the things i hated most one vs one ?? what the ??? really i love prince of persia but this one just was not the best it is good but i don't even think its that good to get a 9 like it has a 8.5 or so yes and i don't think im the only one who think that they took off way too many good things that the old ones had like fighting more then just one person to start lol but hey i had fun but i do hope the 2nd one won't be 1 vs 1 its ok but i think like fighting like 5 at a time was way cooler then this lol :D
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