Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands 360 review
Forgetting everything they had done with Prince of Persia (2008), Ubisoft has thrown away the colorful and artistic art direction of the series and opted for a more realistic approach that doesn’t necessarily aid in providing excitement or entertainment. Blander than toddlers’ food, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands doesn’t represent the popular puzzle-solving series well.
The puzzles can often be complex enough to test the intelligence of the player, but more often than not, they are relatively simple and easy to overcome. For veterans of the series, they’ll be happy to hear they have to precisely time their jumps and wall runs to reach the next platform. Though, there is a sad realization when the title is complete that the developers didn’t include too many death defying stunts to partake in.
The acrobatics of the Prince are one of the series' finer selling points. The Forgotten Sands declined to ramp up the agility and, instead, created a hero that has been working out in the gym on his weight-training rather than flexibility. Having a slower Prince to run around and jump from ledge to ledge doesn’t allow for gamers to salivate for the next platforming sequence. Instead, thoughts of the Prince being encumbered creep into the mind and take away from the overall experience.
For the storyline, we have the Prince’s brother, Malik, releasing the legendary army of King Solomon in attempt to save his kingdom from being overtaken. This leads to the freeing of sand creatures and demons throughout the land that Malik and the Prince have to dispose of. Typical and more akin to fluff rather than containing substance, if Prince of Persia was a television show, The Forgotten Sands would be nothing more than a filler episode.
Thankfully, Ubisoft has allowed players the ability to die after missing a jump (sorry PoP 2008, your automatic life-saving moments were atrocious). For players and fans seeking a challenging title to test their wits, The Forgotten Sands is a step in the right direction in comparison to the previous entry in the series.
Although, the action is more of the same that we have come to expect from recent Prince of Persia titles: simple and rather barebones. Implemented into the combat are short moments where the Prince is able to execute canned animations where the enemy takes the blunt of the damage such as slamming an enemy into a wall or throwing them over a ledge. Resembling more of a brawler than an acrobatic affair, The Forgotten Sands continued with its trend of weighing down our hero and brought the action often to a standstill with slow maneuvers similar to a sloth fighting a mountain lion.
The attention spent on level design at least returns to being above average, even though the detail within the environments isn’t up to par. Throughout the course of the title, action will take place in the background that provides a good backdrop of the hectic events that are occurring. But if players are to look closer and examine the levels, they’ll notice the lack of polish and, at times, repetition. In addition, the animations aren’t smooth or beautiful in motion like they have been in the past. This could potentially be attributed to unwieldy camera angles and lack of control provided to the players.
By the time players have finished their short joy ride through The Forgotten Sands they’ll be thinking two things: “Why has Ubisoft once again opted to change the dynamics of our hero?” or “At least Ubisoft didn’t attempt to cash in on direct tie-in to the Jerry Bruckheimer theatrical epic.” If you fall into the latter, you’ll find some enjoyment out of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands. If you don’t, and lean more towards the former, you’ll find that The Forgotten Sands is a throwaway entry in the series that acts more like a checklist rather than stepping forward with new innovation and crafty storytelling.