Prince of Persia Multi-platform

Prince of Persia Multi-platform
When Montreal studio Ubisoft resurrected the venerable Prince of Persia franchise back in 2003, The Sands of Time was a near-perfect plat-former that updated an old-school side-scroller without relying on nostalgia. Instead, it relied on out-there acrobatics and the awesome ability to rewind time when you mess up, a game mechanic that was intrinsically tied to the narrative. But the next two Prince of Persia sequels were less memorable, going for unnecessarily grit in a game that should be rooted in the joy of wall-running and death-defying. Now the Prince has been reborn, and as an apparent pauper, while the seven-strong series has been rebooted as a beauteous, cell-shaded, now-gen wonder. But while the "illustrative style" graphics look better than, well, almost anything out there - the watercolour painting look is proof that art direction trumps photorealism - I miss the time-rewind. The new equivalent is your friend/protector Elika (basically a more pro-active Yorda from Ico) who catches you every time you fall. Which will be often. But not being allowed to die is a lot less fun than backtracking a death scene to suss out where you went wrong. (That's why Braid is one of 2008's best games, downloadable or no.) The new story - about a war between two angry Gods and your efforts to rid the land of black "corruption" and return it to fertility - is rooted in the old-timey Persian religion Zoroastrianism, which is cool. But the non-linear level structure robs the game of any narrative momentum, making each curiously empty area a rhythm-based acrobatics exercise with a slight combat chaser (boss battles only). So the movement is wonderfully fluid and it's definitely fun in bursts but like Assassin's Creed, the game can become repetitive, as if it was released not-quite-finished. Sure is hella pretty though. (Ubisoft)