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Prince of Persia Review

January 6, 2009

logoThe Prince of Persia series has gone through a few revisions over the years.  The latest developer of the series, Ubisoft Montreal took a short break since the Sands of Time trilogy to develop Assassin’s Creed, but are back to the series that put them on the map.  While a valiant effort, there are still a few problems with this title.

Story

This Prince of Persia does not take place in the same world that the Prince of the Sands of Time trilogy did.  Rather Ubisoft Montreal have decided to begin a new story and start the series off fresh again.  While a good idea, the narrative could have been better.  The new Prince took me completely offguard with his personality.  Having only seen early concept pictures for the most part, the Prince’s care free attitude was a little surprising.  There aren’t many characters in the game, and those few aren’t well characterized.  The game holds a few peaks and glimpses into the character’s backstory, and there are a few reveals, like, SURPRISE the main character is a Prince.

To learn more about the lore of the game the Prince & his partner Elika (Did I forget to mention her yet? oh well) can engaged at dialogue at anytime.  While this is a nice feature, making it easier for players to delve into the lore, while also keeping it optional, a lot of the dialogue seems forced and unnatural.  The writing for the dialogue could have been a lot better.

Gameplay

Prince of Peria, like all of Ubisoft Montreal’s big games, focuses on acrobatics.  Acrobatics are a big part of the game, actually they are THE biggest part of the game.  The prince will use his acrobatics to travel from area to area & dodge obstacles that hinder this travels through the world.  This is probably the most polished portion of the game as the acrobatics are very rewarding when pulling things off in a row.

The acrobatics are used to traverse the open world the game takes in.  Being in an open world, the game allows you to choose what paths to take and when.  While there is no real downside to this system, the nature of the game makes it kind of a mute point.  Why is it a mute point? Well it is because the game has a total of 12 fertile grounds (Areas that need to be cleansed) as well as 4 boss areas, which brings the total number of levels to 16 (excluding the temple), and they all look the same.  All of the 16 different levels can be interchanged with each other.  No matter if they are corrupted or cleansed, all the levels have the same color pallet and they all just blend together making the game lack a real sense of progression.

The Prince Vs The Hunter

The Prince Vs The Hunter

On his travels through the game the Prince will encounter fights, against about a 6 different characters.  That’s about it, 4 of those are the bosses you will fight over, and over, and over again.  While the combat is simple & satisfying, the lack of varied opponents make fights seem more tedious than they really are.  The satisfying part of combat is figuring out all the combos & trying to string together more and more attacks together.

Graphics/Audio

Prince of Persia uses a beautiful painting art style, similar to Valkyria Chronicles.  While the art style is treat to watch, & the animation great, the audio takes a bit of a stumble.  To make the dialogue I mentioned earlier worse, the lines are delivered even MORE unnatural than the already unnaturally written dialogue.  It is a shame really considering Ubisoft Montreal’s pedigree.

Conclusion

As you can tell by now, I wasn’t too enthralled by the new Prince of Persia.  To bring all my dislikes for this game into one sentence, it’s not varied enough.  That is pretty much the bottom line when it comes to this title.  Between the blending of the levels & constant reuse of bosses, the game just lacks variety.  However at the end of the day, the lackluster story, lack of variety, and mediocre dialogue does not bring the game down to the point of complete mediocrecy.  Even though in hindsight of writing that sentence, it sure does sound like a lot.  If you explore different areas in different orders you may take away the lack of variety in combat a bit, and the acrobatic running & art style almost make up for everything else.

Great

Great

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