4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A better, albeit less finessed prince than last time,
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This review is from: Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I'll start by saying how surprised I am to see the amount of negative reviews this game has garnered here. Sure-Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is not perfect, but for the most part it's a very solid and fun play through. If anything, the only real disappointment of the game is it's unremarkable last gen graphics.
It's pretty safe to say a game is fun when a player starts the game all over again immediately upon its completion. That was exactly the case for me with Prince of Persia: TFS. I've even considered a third play through. It's that fun and addictive.
Make no bones about it, I'm a huge Prince of Persia fan. "The Sands of Time" is still one of my all-time favorite games. That particular entry was about the closest thing to perfection I've seen in a game and the two follow up games "Warrior Within" and "The Two Thrones" were for the most part great to play as well. Then came the 2008 title "Prince of Persia" for Xbox 360 and PS3 which was beautiful to look at but unremarkable to play.
"Prince of Persia: The forgotten sands" is a welcome return to the Prince's earlier roots and I enjoyed this one exponentially more than the last entry. What I do miss from the last game however are the graphics. In comparison to the 2008 Prince of Persia, TFS is a fairly large step backwards graphically. This game looks as though it might have been perfectly at home on any of the last gen systems. Outside of the cut scenes-the graphics are pretty mediocre and surprisingly bland for a series known to graphically wow the player with each outing. And (as a side note) what's up with the ugly black glow around the Prince in certain areas? "Alan Wake" had this same graphical weirdness. I truly hope this isn't some new trend in video game graphics. It looks really ugly and out of place and does not do the game's already so-so graphics any favors.
One of The Forgotten Sands most notable characteristics is how "player friendly" the game is. It's not overly difficult or frustrating (outside of a few sections with freezing and unfreezing water at the very end of the game) and combat is very straight forward and easy to understand. Also-the game does a great job of letting you know where to go and what to do next. It is also well paced-switching back and forth frequently between combat and platforming so neither mechanic gets too dull or repetitive.
There are a few tradeoffs to this more player friendly prince however, and that comes in the form of less nuanced combat mechanics (combat has devolved somewhat into mere button mashing), easier puzzles and less challenging "trap" areas. This is most definitely a more casual Prince experience than previous games-but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it's great to just sit back, relax and play a great game that doesn't expect the world from you.
That being said though, "The Forgotten Sands" is not at all shallow or forgettable-quite the opposite in fact. New abilities like freezing water, revealing past areas, a cross chasm jump ability involving your enemies and upgradable elemental powers add a lot of freshness to the Prince franchise. These new play mechanics go a long way to reviving the POP game play we're familiar with and add a whole new level of fun and technique. The water freezing alone makes for some absolutely brilliant and completely original areas the likes of which no Prince of Persia has seen before. Of course classic tried and true POP mechanics make their return as well including wall running, column hopping, time reversal and even a couple of mechanics introduced in the 2008 game.
Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands is perhaps not the most graphically finessed game it should be considering the gorgeous last installment, but it is definitely a return to the brilliant fun play of the last gen trilogy. I'm eagerly awaiting the next prince installment where hopefully both the game play and the graphics are truly up to par with the current console generation. Regardless though, this is still an absolute blast to play and should not be passed up under any circumstance.
PS: One last thing I wanted to comment on is the length of the game. Several people have griped that the game is too short. True, the game is only about six or seven hours in duration, but that's not a bad thing. Not everyone has 30 plus hours of free time on their hands to sink into a video game. The Forgotten Sands is a great experience for all seven of it's hours, so why does it matter how brief the game is?