The Prince of Persia series has always been an anomaly to me. When I was younger, PoP came out for Genesis, and the whole concept of the game just screwed with my head. The way the level was structured and the whole time limit thing was way over my young head. When the PoP was remade, I got back into the series enjoying, like many others, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. It created this whole new experience cutting down on the frustration with it's time mechanic, and the large levels where the whole level is like a big puzzle you have to figure out. While the rest of the newer series didn't amaze me like the first one, they were still quality games. So when the announcement for another PoP game came out, it was met with hope of another revision of this great series. Sadly, the game has its flaws and will not be up to par.
Our story with this new Prince of Persia begins with the Prince in the desert looking for his donkey when he comes across Elika. He sees her being chased by guards and as the ever common hero; he intervenes to save the girl. From there, the story gets a little sketchy. Right away, the Prince is thrown into a story filled with overused plot devices and very little reason to care about characters. What some have come to praise, I have come to dislike and that's the optional story available. Since Elika is your partner through the game, you can ask her questions about her background, the history of the area you're in, and other random questions that are supposed to advance the storyline. These conversations are completely optional since you have to press the left trigger to begin the conversation.
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time started the whole large, acrobatic levels that have been seen by other games since its release. There's plenty of that here with many of the same moves that the Prince used in the last batch of PoP games. One of his new moves is an anti-gravity move that has him doing a little jump on the ceiling to get to another spot. It's around this time that I should mention the new change to the gameplay. Back in PoP: Sands of Time, the Prince was given access to a rewind of sorts allowing the Prince to avoid death a certain amount of time. Well this time around, the Prince is avoiding death as many times as he likes. Elika acts as the Prince's rewind preventing him from certain death. If the Prince make a jump that will result in death, Elika will swoop into save the Prince and you'll be reset to the last platform or area you jumped from. The result is a game without a worry of death. You can make the argument that you still die, and just reset back before the death, but this is not just for the jumps.
Combat in Prince of Persia is done via the PoP tradition, 1 vs. 1 scimitar fights. In the fights you have a button to attack with the scimitar, a grab attack, and a magic attack thanks to Elika who will use her magic to help you fight. So you have access to a variety of combos using each button to make some impressive looking combos. In fights at certain times, you may have to press a certain button to either continue the damage or avoid death. But just like the jumping around, Elika will prevent you from dying. While the saves she provides during the platform areas kind of makes sense, the saves during combat make no sense. It's simply not needed and acts as a reminder of how lame this new tool can be.
Since the first Prince of Persia released on the Apple II, the series have been synonomous with some of the best graphics for its time and this new Prince of Persia is no exception. Every area is filled with great detail, and filled with beautiful gloom or wonderful liveliness. The character models have this new cel shaded look that have made an appearance in other games like Mirror's Edge. This unique looks adds a bit of artistic touch to the whole game.
A sad aspect of the game is the voice acting. Let me rephrase that because it's not the voice actors fault. No, what is terrible are the people that created the script forced upon these poor voice actors. It's like the writers were former Saturday morning cartoon writers with the lame one-liners and trying to get that hip attitude that all the kids like. In face, I was waiting for a Saturday Morning Cartoon Link "WELL EXCUUUUUUUSE ME PRINCESS!"
It is safe to say that I'm disappointed with this game. This reboot of the series didn't live up to the last reboot, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. Sadly, this game seems more of a quick moneymaker for Ubisoft, cashing in on the PoP name instead of attempting to revitalize a great series. There is a bit of replay value in the game but there's barely a reason to finish the game in the first place. The game plays well but the game is just not compelling, and you just find yourself going through the motions without much reason to continue with the game.