After reading G.I. Magazine’s account of the new game, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, you can be sure that it was the number one item on my Christmas list.
I was not disappointed. PoP:SoT was an immensely enjoyable game, with stunning graphics, snappy writing, thrilling game play, and excellent voice overs. My only gripe with this game was the stomach churning camera movements, the few and far between save points, and that fact that I beat it in fifteen hours. But I digress, for those fifteen hours I was completely enthralled and it was worth the money.
If they ever made a sequel they could count on me to buy it and there was: Prince of Persia: Warrior Within.
The Prince has become a vastly different character since his escapade in the Maharajah’s palace and the whole debacle with the Sands of Time. Five to seven years have passed, and the Prince has suddenly acquired an American accent, his eyes have changed from green to blue, he’s got henna tattoos, and he’s taken a fancy to goth-like vesture. In SoT the Prince was arrogant and could, on occasion, be a bit of a ponce but he was still likeable and players could identify with his character. In Warrior Within he is a sullen, brooding presence, still arrogant, and not nearly so likeable. On occasion I was of the mind ‘Just give up and die already you moody jerk!’.
The Prince’s newest adventure begins with a scary mythical beast known as the Dahaka.
In SoT the Prince was taken in by a Jafar-like vizier and he unleashed the Sands of Time turning everyone in the palace into sand-filled zombies except the evil vizier, the Prince himself, and Farah, the maharajah’s daughter. With a magic dagger, the skills of a whole gymnastics team, and the aid of Farah he manages to rewind time and undo the whole disaster.
But now the Dahaka, who’s primary function is similar to that of a chronological library cop, has begun hunting the Prince and only his blood will satisfy.
For reasons unbeknownst to me the Prince seeks the advice of a blind old hermit because blind old hermits are apparently full of oracular knowledge and the old man basically tells him that he is doomed. Tired of running the Prince has decided it is time to take action against his cruel fate. He’s going to go to the Island of Time, home of the Empress of Time, to the destroy the Sands of Time, and that way he will never have tinkered with Time in the first place. Except the Island of Time is also home of the Dahaka. And let me tell you it really starts to grate on your nerves when the hulking beast pops out and starts chasing you down hallways in muted colors with Godsmack playing in the background.
They completely hacked Farah, who was probably one of the best written supporting females in gaming, from the story of Warrior Within and introduced two of the most offensive representations of supporting females I have ever seen.
Shadhea: A time guardian with a metal bikini, unrealistically buoyant breasts, and an incredibly anticlimactical hand in the plot who's most notable achievement in the game was the ability to inspire the Prince to yell 'Bitch!'
Kaileena: Another Middle-Easterner with milky white skin and light eyes, who is scantily dressed, has a weird accent that I can't really put my finger on, and is the mysterious enemy of an enemy.
The underlying sexual themes of this game are offending and completely unnecessary to the plot.
The script is dissapointing and the acting, poorly executed, is even worse.
The sound was excellent and the music was impressive with smashing guitar and drum solos but I must say it was ill-suited to the world of the Prince.
The game play however is an entirely different story.
The cut scenes were beautiful and the new combo system revolutionary. The annoying camera perspectives and lack of save points that irked me so in the previous installment have been fixed. It is surprisingly easy to execute coups d’état. The battle system is groovy to put it simply and is not at all complex as I thought it would be. Just a couple button punches can pull off some really cool maneuvers, depending on your location, the location of your enemy, what you’re equipped with, and your surroundings, etc. etc. The new ways you can manipulate your surroundings can be incredibly effective and secondary weapons (despite my first misconceptions) are pretty useful and not at all difficult to utilize.
So in spite of Ubisoft’s heroic attempt to ruin the game with a badly conceived story, hideously written dialogue, and by raping the once likeable character of the Prince I give this game a 8.75.