Prince of Persia games are always know for their over the top platforming action and some of the most amazing game play design in video games and I am glad to say that this has not change in the latest installment. Now before I get ahead of myself and talk about the game play, let’s do a bit of digging in to the plot, which happens to be one of the strongest pillars of the game. The Forgotten Sands takes place seven years after Sands of Time. After the Prince’s adventures in Azad, he now returns to pay a visit to his brother Malik’s kingdom. Much to his surprise the visit is not a cheerful one as the kingdom is under attack and Malik and his army find themselves to be fleeing and face defeat. But all is not lost as Malik unleashes a mystical army which he thinks will give him the upper hand. But things don’t go as expected and the mystical army in fact turns everybody in to statues made of sand. After witnessing that his brother has unleashed an Armageddon, the Prince persuades his brother to find one half of a seal which is the key to stopping this army. I would like to stop here since I don’t want to spoil the story for you guys. But I will say this; Forgotten Sands has a well written story and is told via a number of inter twisted in game cut scenes. Overall the plot is pretty solid and gets the player involved.
The game play in Forgotten Sands is what we are familiar with. So players who have at least played one of the earlier games in the series should not find themselves uncomfortable. The platforming sections are once again the ‘heart’ of game play where you will find yourself running on the walls or jumping from pole to pole numerous times in the game. Actually this does not feel old at all considering the fact we have done this in the previous games in the franchise. But the team at Ubisoft has gone ahead with some innovative magic to make the platforming even better. One of the magic that was a blast to use was the ability of the Prince to solidify water. Solidifying water running from a wall or a ceiling and using that as a platform so that you can move ahead was a great game play element that actually makes this game standout from the others in the series. The player also gains the ability to recall on how a particular structure will look like. This can be initiated by a touch of one of the trigger buttons, but some platforming sections might require you to initiate a time recall step by step, since at any given time you can only recall one object. The player also gains a combat ability wherein the Prince of jump and just zero in to the enemy for an instant kill. Obviously the prince also has the ability to use and reverse time.
Now this brings me to the combat in the game. The combat in the game is a bit different as compared to the previous games. The Prince can’t block and he will be facing a large number of enemies at once (up to 50). The removing of the blocking system got me wondering when I started the game, but when I actually sat and finished the game I realized that blocking was not at all required even in a scenario where I was surrounded by tons of enemies, since the combat was all about evading doing some quick kills. The player can also enhance their magic/health via the upgrade menu and can also purchase special abilities. The enemies in the game were a bit easy, too easy to put me off a couple of times. The ease with which I was putting them out of their misery actually made me think whether the game is easy or are my gaming skills improving! Anyways I found the game too easy to give me a challenge. Forgotten Sands also marks a welcome return to some mind blowing puzzles and traps, which are time consuming, difficult and the player will have to make innovative use of their special abilities. I will sum up in a statement: ‘If it’s Prince of Persia, then it’s all about timing.’
The visuals in the game are a bit on the bland side, which is a bit surprising since the last game in 2008 looked so good at an artistic level. I am not saying that this is a bad looking game but I believe the developers could have done a better job with it. Having said that some of the environments are truly stunning and the representation of ancient architecture are inspiring. Voice acting is very solid and helps the story going. The Prince has always been a guy with a sense of humor and he is no different in this one. The game features some rock solid background score and voice acting which is a major improvement over the previous games.
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is indeed a major improvement over its predecessors. Some player might actually get put off since nothing major has changed in the game play structure. But fans of the series should enjoy with the help of its strong plot and amazing magic abilities. After you are done with a ten hour or so long single player campaign you can test your skills in the challenge modes. Here you can do a time test to check your platforming skills or take on waves and waves of enemies. Forgotten Sands is a great game and one you should definitely pick up this summer.
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 3.
Platforming sections are still a blast, Amazing voice acting and background music, Plot will suck you right in.
Some of the visuals are bland, boss battles are pretty easy.