Game Review: Prince of Persia (360, PS3)

POPThe Prince of Persia series reboot is upon us and bringing with it a new look and a changed style of play. Will it be a good beginning to the next series or has Ubisoft Montreal taken one too many gambles this time? Find out on the other side….

 

 

 

 

 

I have been a huge fan of Prince of Persia since I played the first game on the original NES. Over time the series had a few let downs along the way and it wasn’t until the Sands of Time was released that I became excited again. Warrior within and Two Thrones were ok in their own right but didn’t quite live up to Sands of Time in my opinion.

When the first glimpses of Prince of Persia started surfacing, I became worried with the new look and brief glimpses that we were given of the gameplay. Oddly enough, It wasn’t until I watched the developer interviews in Qore that I decided to reserve a copy and give it a try. I must admit that I am very happy that I did.

The basic storyline without spoiling anything is that the God of Darkness Ahriman is imprisoned beneath the Tree of Life. An event occurs and the Tree is Destroyed and Ahriman is freed. He begins to corrupt the land and slowly destroy everything.  It is up to the Prince and a new found partner Elika to restore the fertile grounds and make things right again.

Everyone has been describing the new look as playing a watercolor painting and in all honesty, there isn’t a better way to describe it. Everything has a nice washed out look that is one of the best uses of cel shading to date. It does take a bit to get used to but when you soak it in and appreciate it for what it is, it is truly beautiful. Specifically when you heal an area from corruption, to see it transform from a bleak dead area to a thriving land full of color and complete with butterflies, grass and flowers.

Gameplay has kinda taken a different approach and  gone back to it’s original roots. No longer are you swarmed with dozens of enemies,  instead combat is comprised of more focused one-on-one encounters.  Combos, timed attacks and a little strategy is needed and button mashing rarely if at all get you anywhere.

The bulk of the game is spent exploring and working your way through corruption traps to get to the next “Fertile Grounds” to restore. Elika is your new partner and she is a needed and a welcome addition. She will assist you with coop jumps that are not possible by jumping alone. She is never in way and if she happens to be standing where you want to be, you move toward her and your treated with a nicely done animation of the two maneuvering around each other.  An interesting mechanic is the fact that you never die, if you fall to what would normally be your death, Elika will grab you and place you back to the nearest solid ground. While at first I felt that it made it kind of easy, but instead it eliminates that cautious sense about making jumps or trying something crazy without fear of having to restart way back at a save point.  

The banter between the Prince and Elika is well done, with a nice mixture of humor and seriousness.  What I like is that if you want to know more about the story or a particular area, you can initiate a conversation with the talk button. If you don’t and just want to play, don’t talk to her but during the first play through, I can hardly imagine anyone not wanting to know more about the story and environment.  The voice acting is excellent and in particular, Nolan North, whom I can’t think of a single character he hasn’t done a superb job with.

With Trophy support (complete list can be found here), unlockable costumes and a breathtaking world to explore, there really isn’t a reason not to pick this title up unless you want more fighting or have the overwhelming need to shoot something.

Brian Says – BUY IT

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1 Comment

  1. The first time i play PoP, was on my PC…a lot of time ago.


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