Product Type: Ubisoft PS3 games
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Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (PS3)
Member Name: CheesySpam
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (PS3)
Advantages: Great platforming, generally good graphics, nice new series additions.
Disadvantages: Only decent story, disappointing combat.
Some Prince of Persia fans were looking forward to The Forgotten Sands, for one main reason: it returned the series to the Sands of Time storyline, rather than continuing the 2008 'reboot' of the series. However, others weren't quite as anticipated - the development seemed quite rushed. At release, there were mixed feelings; the beautiful environments are a strong point, but combat is a huge letdown.
While the plot of The Sands of Time was intriguing, The Forgotten Sands doesn't tell a great story. The Prince visits his brother Malik's kingdom, but doesn't expect a massive war to be going on outside the castle. Indeed, that is what's happening, blowing his chances of a warm mug of tea and biscuits.
And as if avoiding the thousands of flying arrows wasn't enough, The Prince is struggling to even catch up with Malik. Luckily, perfectly placed ledges on the crumbling walls allow you to pass the locked gates and armoured warriors, who are attempting to invade the large castle. The siblings finally meet up, in a not-so-good meeting, where in an attempt to destroy the castle invaders Malik unleashes Solomon's Army.
What was thought to be help turns out to be more of a hindrance - the Army ends up attacking The Prince, Malik and his fighters. The Prince and his brother obtain a half of the seal used to unleash the Army each. The Prince is separated from Malik, and comes across a woman called Razia, who says that the two halves of the seal must be combined in order to imprison the Army again. It ends up going on and on like this constantly; The Prince searches for his brother but something goes wrong, he finds Razia, he goes looking for the Prince again...
So, don't expect a Half-Life 2 standard story.
Gameplay has one or two good points, but one major weakness. Platforming is good, if a bit annoying at times; jumps are easy to misplace making it feel like you can only leap in a forwards direction. Movement isn't as fluent as it should be - it doesn't even feel as fluid as the eight-year old Sands of Time. But the power to freeze water for a limited amount of time makes for excellent platforming sections.
Combat is, sadly, the worst feature in the game. It's far too simple and involves no tactics. It's a case of constantly tapping square to attack, adding in circle every now and then to roll away from the enemy. There's not even a block button, which is often essential in melee-based combat like this. This isn't a complete failure, thankfully. You unlock powers as you progress through the game, spicing up combat a little bit. For example, there's the Fire ability which leaves a trail of bright fire behind you as you walk. It's a nice new addition to the series, which could be included in future Prince of Persia games.
The Upgrading system adds RPG elements to the series, another nice addition. You can purchase upgrades for your powers in four steps, each one making the power stronger than before. It's a very good idea and quite an interesting one too.
The graphics are sometimes stunning - the environments are fantastic-looking and detailed. But the characters' faces close-up look like they could be from a PS2 game, there aren't many enemy models and dead bodies disappear nearly as soon as they hit the ground after being killed. But try to ignore these and enjoy the beautiful Persian views.
Yuri Lowenthal returns to voice The Prince and does a good job of it and the music is strong, even epic sometimes!
The BBFC rating for The Forgotten Sands is 12+, but there's nothing too violent here. There's no blood, unlike in the darkest series entry Warrior Within, and I don't recall hearing any bad language in my playthrough. I would say that anyone over the age of seven would be able to play this.
I think The Forgotten Sands has loads of potential, but has poor execution. Combat is weak - over-simplified and easy but it isn't a complete downer with the Upgrade system and powers. Platforming is good, especially with the water freezing sections and the visuals are strong. It's not essential at all, but worth your while if you feel like some Prince of Persia gaming.
This is a review by CheesySpam.
Summary: POP fans may be a bit disappointed, but it can be quite enjoyable.
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