Platforming sections are fun with couple of new tricks thrown in that are challenging and exciting, puzzle solving aspect is well done and keeps the game interesting
Doesn't deviate too much from the original Prince of Persia formula, combat is shallow with excessive button-mashing, camera can be frustrating at times, graphics aren't quite impressive, certain technical issues with one particular game stopping glitch
Expert Rating :
The original Prince of Persia games were a hit due to their exciting platforming sections and puzzle solving aspect. Although the Prince was often seen performing superhuman tasks that were beyond the capabilities of a mere mortal, such as running on walls and jumping from pillar to pillar with the same ease and nonchalance of a normal person ordering a burger from McDonald's, you wouldn't really give a damn because it was just so much fun to do that. Although the original Sands of Time tale ended with The Two Thrones, the Prince of Persia franchise was rebooted last year with another game.
The new game was simply titled "Prince of Persia", and had nothing to do with the original game. Although the prince was still his athletic self, this trait of his, along with the name of the game, was perhaps the only things that the new game shared with the older ones. The game even had a new cell shaded look which gave it that comic book feel. Unfortunately, the game did not do very well and failed to make its mark the way the older games did.
So this year the developers of Prince of Persia - Ubisoft - are back with yet another game. They realized that the audiences do not take very well when you mess with an old formula. So instead of experimenting they decided to stick with the original and came up with the Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands.
The Forgotten Sands is based exactly on the older games. The events that happen in The Forgotten Sands occur after the events in Sands of Time. So this is the same prince that you played with in the older game, not the new cell shaded cool looking dude in last year's game, who neither looked nor sounded anything like the older prince.
Unfortunately in an attempt to replicate the charm of the older games, The Forgotten Sands ends up being too similar to the earlier ones. The level designing is the same and as you play you have that constant sense of deja vu.
The platforming sections have been lifted straight from the older games, with some new tricks added for good measure. Like before, the Prince can jump over large gaps, run on walls and swing from conveniently placed bars and pillars with the agility of a hyperactive flea. Now, however, he can do a couple more tricks, such as jump on a wall and then wall run upward to grab that ledge just above, and grab on to bricks in a wall and move around as if he is mountain climbing. He can also shimmy around faster on walls than before, which makes it less of a chore. The ability to dig your dagger in tapestries to slow down your falls is still there but he no longer can stand on top of poles as he could before.
The time related moves are still there. If you miss a jump or get hit by an enemy you can still rewind back time. Compared to previous games you can now take time slightly further back. You can only do this a limited number of times, depending on the number of sand slots you have filled, but these can be refilled by destroying the pots and barrels that litter the Prince's kingdom.
You can no longer freeze time as you could before. Now, however, you can only freeze water, which leads to some interesting moments in the game. After going a bit further in the game you gain the ability to freeze flowing water. Depending on the way the water is flowing, you can freeze it into a pillar, a pole to swing from, and if it is a waterfall, into a solid wall to run on. Sometimes you have to freeze and unfreeze water mid-jump, which requires some precision and practice to get it right. Thankfully the game is lenient initially and even if you mess up you don't die instantly.
During the later sections of the game, there are certain parts of your surroundings that do not physically exist and can only be made solid when you press a certain key before you choose to jump on them or grab them. You can, however, make only one section solid at a time, which means if you are standing on one of those sections and have to jump to a similar one, you have to switch mid-air as you are jumping to the next section. Switching when you are standing on a section will make it collapse under you.
These are some of the most fun sections of the game, where you have to make these split second decisions as you jump from one frozen pillar to a nonexistent pole that you have to solidify mid-air. The game developers have combined these sections beautifully to form some truly ingenious levels that require a bit of skill. Sometimes if you don't get things right it can be frustrating, but with some practice you eventually do get through them.
The puzzle solving aspect of Prince of Persia is present in this game as well; in fact it is stronger than ever. It still involves rotating handles and manipulating objects around you, but some of them require quite a bit of thought and some trial and error before you get them right. These serve as a much needed change from all the jumping and fighting that constitutes the rest of the game.