|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Ubisoft Montreal||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec 9, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Adam Brown
July 29, 2008 - As a franchise, Prince of Persia has been around for quite a few years. The first title met with critical acclaim and rightfully became an instant classic. Its mix of sword fighting, acrobatics, and a unique setting set the stage for what fans could expect from the franchise in the future. After being reinvigorated by the Sands of Time trilogy from the last generation of consoles, Prince of Persia is once again looking to reestablish itself as one of the biggest names in video games.
Gone are the events, main character, story, and graphics from the Sands of Time trilogy, leaving the chance for a completely fresh start on the current generation of consoles. Prince of Persia will focus on an all new Prince character this time around. However, the biggest surprise is that he doesn't actually start the game as royalty. Instead, the main character is just a wayward traveler who happens to stumble into the role of a hero, providing him with the chance to earn his princely status.
The game starts with the main character, Dastan, entering a forbidden mythical garden. At its center stands the enormous Tree of Life, which is actually functioning as a prison for Ahriman. This ancient god of darkness was sealed in the Tree of Life after a losing battle with his brother Ormazd. The Prince arrives just in time to see Ahriman break free from his imprisonment, spreading his corruption over the once beautiful garden. Players are then tasked with restoring this garden to its former state by helping to purge this corruption.
I specifically say helping because this time you won't be going it alone. Very early in the game you will meet Elika, the last descendant of the Tree of Life guardians. Elika is an A.I. controlled character who will constantly follow the Prince and help him with everything from acrobatics to combat. Unlike many games where you have to worry about keeping characters like this alive, Elika is completely self-sufficient and will actually be saving you on many occasions. If you happen to fall into a pit or make contact with the corruption, she will stretch out her hand and rescue you from certain doom. Fortunately, this does seem balanced as she won't drop you right where you were, instead taking you back to the beginning of whatever you were trying to accomplish. While this may sound somewhat similar to the "rewind" feature found in previous titles, Elika sets herself apart with her other abilities.
Sword fighting is once again the main focus of combat, though this time around you will square off against one enemy at a time instead of the groups of foes we've grown accustomed to. This allows for more personal and cinematic battles than were previously possible. Since you only have to focus on one enemy at a time expect these battles to be fairly challenging. This is also thanks in part to greatly improved enemy A.I. that continues to adapt to your attacks, forcing players to explore the combat's variety. Players are given a grapple, sword, jump, and Elika button that can be used to perform several different attacks or even strung together to form combos. This is where Elika becomes an invaluable asset, as you will need to take full advantage of her added firepower during several of the game's fighting sequences.