Prince of Persia (2008) (6/10)

[Note: I have decided to go back to the 10 point grading scale for games, but stick to a 5 point scale for films]

When I think of Prince of Persia for the PS3, two words come to mind: unrecognized potential.  But before I venture further into this review, I think it would be best that I point out that this is the second Prince of Persia game I have ever played, and the first one is a turn based strategy game for the DS.  Therefore, I am very new to the series and cannot compare it to the older games.

That being said, this game is seriously flawed.  The bulk of gameplay consists of platforming sections that will have you transverse a massive open-world area with a magical girl named Elika.  You will be running across walls, jumping, swinging, and climbing.  This makes for an amazingly fun experience when it works. Unfortunately, it rarely works.  The controls are outrageously glitchy.  Controlling the prince is like trying to steer a car with your elbows, not pretty and very painful in the end.

When your not trying to survive the platforming sections, you can engage in combat.  As soon as you see an enemy (a surprisingly rare occurrence), the camera automatically locks onto the bad guy.  The face buttons each represent a different type of attack: Sword, Grab, Aerobatic, Magic (through Elika)  This is the best part of the game.  There are numerous combos, all of which look awesome.  Unfortunately, as you get further into the game and fight more powerful enemies, the flaws start to show.  The controls are not very responsive, and the Magic attack works far better than the rest.  Before you know it, most battles become triangle mashing minigames.

Also, it should be noted that you cannot die in this game.  No, seriously, you cannot die.  If you fall from a great height, Elika uses magic to save you.  If you are defeated by an enemy, Elika uses her magic to take you back to the last platform.  (although, the monster regains some health too)  There was one part where I was told to hurry because the room was filled with poison gas.  I stood in the middle of the room for 5 mins, and nothing happened.  Sure the prince coughed some and the screen flashed like I was taking damage, but I did not die.  It really takes away the challenge when you know there is no risk.

The story is abysmal.  The prince shows up and saves a girl who turns out to be a princess.  Her father frees an evil, and you have to travel with her to all the “fertile grounds” to turn the dark, drab areas into bright green paradises.  This somehow blocks the evil and will save the world.  The characters have no chemistry, and the relationship they build up upon through the whole game feels forced.  I just did not care about them the way I do for Cole, Nathan drake, Mario, or link.  Everything about them felt forced.

With all that said, this is NOT a bad game.  It is just an unpolished game.  Through all the flaws, you can always see the potential shining through.  You can tell exactly what the developers were going for, and the got close…it just needed some more work.  To the game’s credit the game world looks great.  I loved watching the dark areas come to life with plants and sunshine.  The level design is great, but I could not truly appreciate it due to the poor controls.

Overall, I might would recommend this game if you see it in the bargain bin or at a yard sale, or even to borrow it from a friend.  However, there are plenty of better choices out there and I would not invest much in it.

2 Responses to “Prince of Persia (2008) (6/10)”

  1. 1 Gil
    June 23, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Agree with you. I’ve been out of the loop when it comes to PoP. Last one I played was Sands of Time on the Game Cube. Loved that one but this one has never quite caught my attention. I’d say it’s mediocre at best. I’m glad I picked it up at a Target clearance endcap for $7. For the price of a fast food lunch I’d say it was worth it 😀

  2. June 23, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    yeah, it was definitely $7 worth of fun

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