Prince of Persia: the Forgotten Sands is a game that is somewhat plagued by the fact that it was released within months of the film, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, which was widely perceived as mediocre. And so it was instantly given bad reputation as a tie-in of sorts with the movie. What I think, though, is that it was unfortunate that it was released when it was and it is actually a good game.
But this is the only Prince of Persia game I have played, so maybe I’m prone to be impressed by its trademark parkour across sandy buildings. But, whether I was prone to it or not, I was impressed by this particular aspect of the game. Running across buildings, jumping off ledges and sliding down slopes is very fun, and can be very challenging; and it feels great with accessible controls. And when you are doing these spectacular things in such a well designed environment, it is even more great. Furthermore, when you are doing all these things and you have to worry about freezing water and stopping time, it is even more challenging and can be very demanding.
However, freezing water to make your way through an area and having to time every jump perfectly gives the parkour element of the game a good extra layer of difficulty; so it feels all the more rewarding when you get through one of these areas.
The parkour element of the game is definitely the focal point of it, as most of the 9 to 10 hour play time is taken by it: this is a good thing, though, because it is by far the best aspect of the game and makes the game a very unique experience over other 3rd person platformers and action-adventure games. It is extra-good that it is the focal point of the game, however, because it means less of the worst aspect of the game: fighting.
The fighting is against an evil skeletal army, which consists of a few different types of enemies. Battles with these enemies are fairly few and far between, and play exactly like a hack and slash game would. In these battles, you are surrounded by usually swarms of enemies that you have to kill in order to progress to the next area of the game. However, they aren’t particularly fantastic sections and are definitely the weakest parts of the game. They appear exciting and dynamic at first, but as you progress into more and more of them, you realize how repetitive and easy they are; at no points in any battle I remember thinking it was hard and I certainly don’t remember dying in any of them. They aren’t very demanding and require barely any skill to get through, so they aren’t particularly fun or challenging. Using power ups and gained abilities through defeating said enemies doesn’t add to it either. They just make it all the more easy. But, persevering through all this mediocrity are the boss battles, which can be pretty good.
On the whole, the battle sequences are pretty sub-par and aren’t all that great to play.
The screenshots in this review may have been a little misleading, because the graphics in this game aren’t anything special, as it has a lot of flat textures and all that doohickey; so it doesn’t look fantastic. Oh boohoo. The graphics are decent. Yeah. I know people would get angry about that. But I don’t. Anyway, aside from that, the soundtrack is simple but adds the game a good atmosphere, and the story is also simple, but fairly unpredictable – so its passable, but nothing special. And one last thing, I’d like to reiterate how much I love the parkour in the game and how well the areas/environments are designed.
Prince of Persia: the Forgotten Sands knows what it does best, the parkour; so it is, thankfully, the focal point of the game. It’s challenging, demanding of skill, fun, unique and rewarding, and is all set in fantastically designed environments. But everything else in the game is decent at best, and the battle sequences are very sub-par. On the whole, though, it is a good game that is worth a go, or if you’re just a Prince of Persia fan – even if its quality is pretty much purely down to the parkour.
So I give it: 74/100.