The Prince of Persia might have gone rogue with the 2008 cel-shaded iteration, but it has now returned to its roots. With a $200 million dollar film just days away from a theatrical release, it’s not hard to figure out why Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands even exist. Ubisoft is clearly trying to capitalize on what could be newfound success for the franchise. I can’t speak for Disney’s film portrayal but Ubisoft has delivered a decent Prince of Persia game
If you want a deeper Prince of Persia story, you might want to buy a movie ticket because you won’t find it here. The Forgotten Sands tells the story of a sibling-rivalry between the Prince and his brother Malik. After Malik unleashes the ancient army of King Solomon, he becomes possessed by an evil sorcerer named Ratash. Of course, it’s up to you to defeat your brother and restore the land from Solomon’s army. The story is weak, the characters are dull, and the game is too short. It took me about seven hours to complete the game and the two challenge modes included are only five minutes long. Once you’re done there’s no reason to pick it back up, unless you wanna run through the game as Ezio, whose a U-Play bonus.
The Forgotten Sands primarily returns to its roots with the platforming gameplay. As you progress the campaign, you’ll gain different powers that will effect the platforming part of the gameplay. Power of Time will allow you to rewind certain mistakes you make such as falling to your death. Though this may seem like a cheap way to keep going back and redoing your mistakes, it is limited to how many blue orbs you have. The Power of Flow allows you to solidify water, allowing you to wall run, jump off, and hang on to waterfalls or water streams. Near the end of the game all the powers will come together so smoothly as you encounter areas in which you have to switch through the different powers in order to move ahead.
The second portion of the gameplay is the combat. For the most part of the game I found the combat with the sword very weak and repetitive. You can choose to defeat everyone by simply pushing the X button on every enemy you see. Luckily, the combative portion of the game also has its own powers. Ice Blast, Whirlwind, Trail of Flame, and Stone Armor will all help defeat enemies and protect you from damage. The game will put you up against a large number of enemies, up to at least 40 at a time. As you defeat enemies, you’ll gain XP and be able to level up different skills and powers.
The game can be visually appealing when its comes to the architectural structure of the level design. The way the map is designed for all the platforming you do is really well done. The setting and locations look really good at times, but they can also look a bit dull and jaded at times. The Forgotten Sands could of definitely benefited more if Ubisoft decided to polish the game alot more. O the audio side, the constant music in the background fits the setting perfectly. Its the type of music you hear on The Mummy (film), maybe not that high quality sound but it really complements the game. A small problem I had was the Prince’s voice, he just sounded so whiny. Ubisoft did get the original voice actor for the Prince so I guess I can’t complain much.
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands doesn’t benefit from having a film being released. It didn’t make the game better looking, more fun, or more appealing. It’s a decent game that would of been better if Ubisoft didn’t have any time constraints or if it didn’t have to compete with a $200 million dollar film that only cost a seven dollar entry fee. Much like Ubisoft’s latest Splinter Cell game, the Prince of Persia formula still holds up but this one falls just a bit short of being a really great game.