Ubisoft’s beautifully crafted Prince of Persia adopts a unique art style and fluid, intuitive controls to weave a story where character development takes a lead roll.
I haven’t played any of the previous Prince of Persia games, so my view is untarnished from expectations. With a blank slate I want to look at the 2008 franchise reboot on its own merits rather than through comparison.
Visually Prince of Persia is superb. Ubisoft definitely invested a lot of time designing the style, which is kind of a cross between realistic and cartoony. Bold colors and sharp contrast create a vibrant world. With so much detail spent to the environment it is not surprising the focus of the game is on fluidly moving through it. Combat plays second fiddle.
The game is set in one gigantic game world. One large, open level. The Prince is alone in a sandstorm searching for his lost gold-laden donkey when, Elika, the lynch pin of the game literally falls into his arms. Instantly enthralled with his beautiful new companion, the Prince decides to help her on her quest to save her kingdom by re-imprisoning an ancient god that she had an indirect role in releasing.
Elika is the star of this game. In many ways she is the hero, the Prince is just her helper. She uses her new-found magic to help the Prince clear long gaps. She never let’s him fall, catching him and returning him to the last solid ground before a misjudged leap. In battles her magic attacks are mapped to a button to be strung together with the Prince’s other attacks in lavish combos. She saves the Prince if his opponent is about to land a lethal blow, making death impossible. She is so integral that the few times she is not with the Prince you feel lost, small and inadequate. (more…)