Saturday, January 3, 2009

Review: Prince of Persia

Should you buy it? Ehhhhhh.... this is really hard for me to answer. I was one of those who read the reviews and was like, this is just too easy, Ubisoft went too far and this game is basically a quick time event made into 12 hours. At least in Assassin's Creed they let you chose your own missions and fight multiple enemies at once, this game seems more like a movie with minimal input from the player.

While I would still say the game is a bit simplified and easy, I had a great time playing it and really feel glad I decided to give it a try, cause the experience is pretty awesome. The graphics and overall craftsmanship of the levels is really well done. You can tell Ubisoft believed this is a AAA game, cause it is very polished and beautiful to look at. Nothing you wouldn't expect from Ubisoft Montreal, guys behind Splinter Cell. The animations are just as fluid if not more so then Assassin's Creed, and the boss fights feel suitably epic.

The combat's pretty basic in nature and can devolve into quick time events, so it's not gonna be for a lot of people who want a challenge, but I was alright, since I don't play platformers as a general rule. And the no death aspect of the game, which a lot of people have complained about, was actually a game design choice that made sense to me when I played through it. Instead of quicksaving every 5 steps like in other games, you can just die by falling off a ledge and there'll be a quick 3 second animation and boom, you're right back on solid ground before the mistimed ledge jump. It really takes the frustration part out of platforming and sorta compels you to keep progressing. So ultimately, it just gets rid of the F9 quickload and isn't really any easier then other games, it's just presented in a different fashion.

What really stands out is the beauty of the various levels and the interaction between the two main characters, leading to the ending... which I absolutely love. It's powerful and moving and depressing but inevitable and fucking brilliant. Ubisoft was sending a very meta message with that and I like how it makes a complete fool out of all the people who are complaining about it.

Ultimately, I can't really recommend you pay 60 bucks for the game, because the gameplay really isn't deep enough to justify it. The ease and quick time events... let's be honest, this is not Game of the Year material. However, if you can rent it for your console, or... obtain the PC version somehow, you'll be able to play it through in 2 or 3 days and have a very rewarding experience, I feel.

Maybe worth it for 40 bucks, which I hear they've dropped it to.

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