|System: X360, PS3, PC, Wii, PSP, DS||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: May 18, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Maria Montoro
February 24, 2010 - Ubisoft's 2008 Prince of Persia was both a great game and a fitting homage to the franchise. However, the visual redesign and the lack of challenge turned some fans off. Accustomed to the poetic looks and engaging storyline of the Sands of Time and the rebellious twist found in Warrior Within and the Two Thrones, it was tough to get used to the new approach. Some blamed Ubisoft for abandoning the franchise, and others got over it and enjoyed the title for what it had to offer, but the fact is we all had a little nagging feeling that continuously reminded us of The Sands of Time and left us wondering what it could have been.
Do you want sands? Well, Ubisoft will give you sands! Just a few months ago, they finally announced the actual return of the beloved franchise, and it's not only coming out for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC, but it will also make it to the Wii, the PSP, and the DS. Of course, the game will be different for each of these platforms, so stay tuned for upcoming info on the other versions.
In the Xbox 360/PS3/PC version, the story will take place between the events of The Sands of Time and Warrior Within, giving everyone an explanation as to why the Prince became so hardcore out of the blue. Players will be witnesses of the Prince's journey to his brother's kingdom - one that's under siege. The Prince manages to make his way through those lands and reach the palace. There, he'll find out his brother Malik has used the ancient power of the sands to create an army an evil army of skeletons that will do nothing but spread pandemonium. To top it off, the realm's citizens have been cursed and turned into sand. Way to go! Of course, our Prince is there to save the day, so he'll have to arm himself with courage to survive all that trouble and restore peace.
Just like in the Sands of Time trilogy, the Prince has up to three orbs that allow him to rewind during gameplay. This means if you do something wrong, you can backtrack a little bit and fix it. But the Prince's powers don't end there. In a familiar fountain square, a genie named Razia will grant him other special abilities that will let him control the forces of nature. These gifts will be key during gameplay, especially in platforming segments. For example, you can freeze running water to turn it into frozen poles that'll help you overcome gaps, or you can solidify a waterfall and then run across it, landing safely onto the next ledge. Eventually, he'll also be able to manipulate earth, fire, and air. As you advance, you'll have to strategize and use the powers efficiently. There's a gauge that drains as you use them, so you can't just go and utilize them willy-nilly. These special powers combined with his remarkable acrobatic skills will, no doubt, result in a quality platforming experience.
As far as combat, think of The Sands of Time multiplied by ten. There'll be plenty of minions to sort through along the way, but they'll come in hordes of up to 50 of them. We're talking about large-scale combat where special combo attacks will have effect over more than one enemy. Special magic powers linked to the forces of nature will also come into play, allowing you, for example, to knock back enemies with a forceful shield or swirl them around with the upgraded tornado effect. Of course, you can also fight with the sword, jump over the enemies and land on them using devastating finish moves, and even walk all over them. Evading is crucial, as the Prince can't block incoming attacks. Getting out of the way in a timely manner proves to be more effective than just standing there, watching it all happen.
Boss battles and mini-bosses will be epic as well. With a combination of magic powers, combo attacks, and sword techniques, you'll be able to bring down even the biggest and fiercest of creatures. The Forgotten Sands will definitely bring back the challenge you were looking for and more, all wrapped in a shiny package that looks and feels like the original trilogy, but with breathtaking HD visuals.
According to the developers, this new adventure takes place in unexplored lands; everything starts at Malik's palace, but the Prince will go far away. From what we've seen, the environments won't be as idyllic as in the first game of Ubisoft's successful series, but they'll offer a balanced mix between the heavenly Sands of Time and the edgier Warrior Within. Same with the Prince; unlike what some may think, he won't be a Jake Gyllenhaal look-alike. This new Prince has been designed to mark the transition between the two games - graceful but with a mysterious edge.
Even though Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is set to release around the same time as Jerry Bruckheimer's Prince of Persia movie, May 18th to be exact, the two of them won't have much to do with each other. This game has been made to fulfill the wishes of the millions of fans that bought the previous games, and the movie will just help to celebrate the return of a brilliant franchise.
CCC Site Director