Published Jun 04, 2010The latest Prince of Persia is an odd duck of a game. Though clearly tied to the new (and reportedly not terrible) Jake Gyllenhaal flick, it is thankfully not a direct adaptation. Nor is it a sequel to 2008's mixed reviews reboot, which brought the 8bit-era platformer onto current consoles.
Instead, it's an interstitial sequel set after Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, the acclaimed first game from the last-gen trilogy five years earlier, which was also the inspiration of the current movie. Got that?
The 2008 edition was pretty and acrobatic as all get-out, but it controversially replaced the old PS2 series' trademark time-rewind game mechanic with an inability to die. People griped it was too easy. I simply preferred the old approach of backing up and giving 'er another go. This release allows Ubisoft to, er, deboot back to its pervious fan favourite formula.
But because it's set before 2004's Prince of Persia: The Warrior Within, this Sorcerer's Apprentice-inspired side-story involving an army of sand skeletons ultimately doesn't matter much in the franchise's grand scheme and the graphics aren't quite up to par with some of Ubisoft's recent releases.
On the other hand, the environmental architecture and level design are rather awesome, and the puzzle-solving, parkour-loving Persian prince remains fun for long-time fans of the series. Or for fans of running along walls, swinging from waterfalls and other over-the-top aerobic activities.
Familiarity works both for and against Forgotten Sands. The return of rewind is welcome ― controlling time to turn flubs into do-overs is possibly the perfect platformer feature ― but by rewinding the entire franchise back to its last-gen, linear roots, this new edition feels a little played out, especially since Ubisoft stuck this landing so well so long ago. (Ubisoft)