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After a few years of absence, the Prince of Persia Sands of Time series returns alongside a silver screen release featuring Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton. While the releases are simultaneous, this is no movie tie-in but is it worthy of its Prince of Persia title?

Hit the jump for the full review.

The Prince returns to the royal palace, and finds it under siege by an enemy army. The palace is well overrun by the time of his arrival, and after meeting up with his brother Malik, he discovers that Malik plans to release a mystical army to aid in the battle to save the kingdom.

This power comes at a high price however, as an evil far greater than a mere army is unleashed. It’s up to you as the Prince to take control of the situation, and to try to stop this evil from taking over all that you know.

Get ready to be a master acrobat puzzle-solving trap-dodger. You have to have quick fingers to make it through this one. This iteration of Prince of Persia doesn’t include many puzzles, and I quite missed that element, but it includes plenty of traps and intricate wall running, pipe-swinging action.

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At the beginning of the game, I was afraid that the gameplay and controls were too easy, and might have been dumbed down too much, but as the game progressed I found some areas to be quite challenging. At one point I was tempted to swop to an easier difficulty level, but in the end I’m glad I didn’t as there’s no better feeling than when you get through a brutal gravity-defying acrobatic combo. You learn to manipulate the elements, such as water to get around the levels, and this adds quite nicely to the challenge. If you don’t master your timing well, you might find yourself repeating sections over and over again.

The fighting parts of the game are fun and very simple. If you just want to hit continuously with your sword, and dodge out of the way every now and then, you can get away with it, but if you use all the moves available to you it becomes a lot more rewarding. While combat can be interesting, the enemies lose their challenge once you figure out the tricks to use against them, ushering in some tedium over the long-haul. You have a couple of special powers to aid in your fight, some to add damage, and some to protect you from attacks, but none are as important as the legendary sands of time. As was the case in the previous games, the sands of time can be used to rewind a certain amount of time, allowing you to try sections again or make that tricky jump you have been struggling with.

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I find myself easily immersed in the beautiful surroundings, although I did get a bit lonely at times, as the game basically only involves you, your brother Malik, the evil general Ratash and the Djinn Razia. The game doesn’t offer much in the story department, and seems to have more of an action/platforming focus over that of a gripping tale.

The sound in Prince of Persia is a little up and down, while the soundtrack offers some grand melodies, the sound effects and voice-acting wallow in mediocrity. As far as the presentation is concerned, the game has its short moments of visual splendor but for the most part, comes across as lacking in the detail and high quality that one would expect from an HD generation game.

The game will take you around 7-8 hours to complete, and offers a fun experience overall but there aren’t many extras offered and very few challenges available upon completion of the game, so the re-playability is limited.

Conclusion

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands offers a fun gaming experience, just don’t expect a deep one. I’m not sure if longtime fans of the series will be pleased, but it’s a decent introduction for newcomers to the franchise.

Scoring

Gameplay: 8.5

A lot of fun, challenging at times and a great sense of achievement upon completion of each level.

Presentation: 8.0

Not a bad looking game that has its moments, but ultimately offers nothing special.

Sound: 7.5

Epic music, but nothing worth noting over that.

Value: 7.0

Relatively decent in length, but offers very little in terms of replayability.

Overall: 8.0

Prince of Persia, The Forgotten Sands is a fun experience, and offers challenging levels, in a well designed environment. You’ll enjoy defying gravity, and pummeling the enemy hordes. What it lacks in depth, it makes up in fun factor.

Last Updated: May 27, 2010

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
Summary
8.0

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