Reviews for Prince of Persia (NA)
Simple and Safe to a Faultbwrussell | June 11, 2014 | See all bwrussell's reviews »
While this game is technically sound and interesting visually it just feels... empty. You're trying to help a princess recover her city from an evil force that's been released upon it but the entire city is deserted, even when you cleanse an area it's still devoid of people. After a while it made me a little disinterested in actually finishing because it seemed pointless to save an empty city. Even the enemies wait to spawn in until you're close. Done right this isolation can work for a game but in Prince of Persia they don't play to that or address it in any way.
Similarly the mechanics are feel hollow as well. Mostly this is due to a yawn inducing combat system. For each of the four bosses (which you fight multiple times each) there is an OP combo that you repeat over and over until the fight is over and really the only move that changes is the first one between bosses. All the combos are available at the beginning of the game and you can look them up in the menu. Once again the emptiness rears it's head as you only ever fight one enemy at a time. The "free" running is actually entertaining at times but by the end of the game the lack of variety will begin to erode it. The non free running puzzles aren't bad but also don't break any new ground.
The visual style of Prince of Persia is, while not exactly beautiful, interesting and different. The cel shading/illustration style works for the game but doesn't look as good in-game as the screen shots and doesn't appear to be aging as well as you'd expect from the style. Probably the biggest disappointment in the visual aspect is the lack of those stunningly deep environments and landscapes from some of the previous games. There are a few but the visual style let them down a little.
One thing that has swung back and forth in the previous PoP games is the writing, especially for the companion, and it's one of the aspects that this game actually does well with. The dialog between the two is believable and has that good snarky humor from the early games. The princess is capable (actually at some points I wondered why I was needed at all. In fact the Prince needs more help from her than she does from him, in general) and has a real personality. But talking of writing leads to the games biggest flaw: the endgame. There was huge potential for this game to have a real, deep impact on the player. A chance to elevate itself as one of those games that sticks with you long after you've set the controller down. Instead you're left wondering why you spent so many hours doing the tasks you did. You could honestly cut from when the prince and princess meet to the final cut scene and have the same feeling of accomplishment. Here, once again, the worlds emptiness hamstrings everything else because a living, populated world would have at least left the ending the devs went with salvageable.
In the end I didn't actually dislike the game, a more appropriate word would be disappointed. Greatness was within it's reach but it seemingly didn't even try to grab on. Simply trying is all I'm looking for. If you're a diehard PoP fan or enjoy puzzle platforming then this is a solid entry but for the average player I can only recommend it on deep discount, and if you decide to pass you're not missing anything.
Breezy but funtaigatsu | Feb. 10, 2014 | See all taigatsu's reviews »
Although it may not offer a particular challenge, Prince of Persia is an enjoyable ride. By making a more accessible game, the game broadens the appeal of 3d platformers, even if afficionadoes of the genre may be turned off by the seeming simplicity. What makes this game different from its predecessors is how the gameplay has been streamlined. This allows you to focus on getting from point to point and taking in the beautiful vistas and stunning architecture. The way that dying is handled means that it's impossible to fail, which frees you from having to perfect particular sequences and constantly reload, allowing you to sit back, relax and enjoy yourself. It's a graphically elegant game, and the interactions between the two main characters are believable and humorous. Definitely pick this game up if you're interested in trying out a less frustrating platformer with some personality.