Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands - Cheat Happens Game Review
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Prince of Persia:
The Forgotten Sands

PC, Playstation 3, XBox 360, Wii

Reviewed on: XBox 360

Developer:
Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Rated: "T" for Teen


CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
   
   
Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
   
CHEATfactor: 6
   
     

>There didn’t need to be another Prince of Persia reboot. Please excuse my bitterness but I was a huge fan of 2008’s Prince of Persia – you know, the reboot of the reboot before it? It was fun, it was original, and it was even artistic. Now all of that is forgotten and why, because we apparently needed another movie tie-in.

To be fair, The Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands isn’t your average movie game, it’s a fun title that manages to retain what the original did so well –  thrilling platforming gameplay, but sadly that’s it.  When those thrilling sections end, you’re left with clunky combat and a feeling that you’ve already been here before.

If you were to put this new Prince on a timeline, he’d fit somewhere between the very well received Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and its sequel The Two Thrones. The focus here is undoubtedly platforming, and it shows. The Sands of Time is considered by many to be one of the best games in recent years, and the best sequences in The Forgotten Sands rival those of their predecessor. What makes these levels so intriguing is the fact that they’re designed in a way that though you know what’s coming – you never truly feel bored. In fact, that’s one of the biggest changes from 2008’s Prince of Persia reboot, this game does not feature an open-world environment. Like any good title, each level builds on techniques you learned before it, yet still, some of the sequences border on controller smashingly tough.

"...the Prince is armed with a ton of cool new abilities."

 
   

These new techniques you learn are at the core of The Forgotten Sands experience. I may catch flack for this, but I always thought that The Sands of Time relied a bit too much on the Prince’s ability to pause and turn back time. Here, that’s not an issue as the Prince is armed with a ton of cool new abilities.  These new abilities mainly stay true to the series stronghold of manipulating elements and add a ton of depth to the game.  Take for instance the Prince’s ability to instantly freeze water; while the core use of this ability is to cross water obstacles, it can also be used in combat and to create your own solutions to puzzles. Just when you get comfortable with these new powers though, the game challenges you to use them in a new way, or in conjunction with another power. The learning curve here is steep, but also oh so rewarding.

These platforming elements aren’t perfect though, and most of the issues are as a result of the game’s wonky camera. For what it’s worth, the game tries to aim you in the best possible direction to take on whatever obstacles are in front of you, it just doesn’t always end well. There were more than a few puzzles I failed multiple times merely because the camera was stationed directly behind an obstacle (normally the one I needed to clear). The worst part about the camera is that it has the habit of zooming in at just the wrong moments, and when it does you lose most of the control you have over the camera.

"...you can’t help yourself from being bored during the game’s combat sequences."

 
   

It’s a good thing that the majority of the game is filled with platforming, because the combat here is all kinds of dull and boring. This is definitely where the producers would have been better off borrowing from the 2008 Prince of Persia title. Gone is any sense of substance and style that made the previous game so entertaining in exchange for a by the numbers, clunky combat system. You can of course use the powers and techniques you’ve acquired in combat, like freezing enemies or using a strong gust of wind as a defensive strategy, but you can’t help yourself from being bored during the game’s combat sequences.

Somewhere between the Sands of Time and its sequel, the prince lost his sense of humor and became a brooding, dark vengeful character. Thankfully, the wise-cracking prince is back in this latest installment, and his witty narration of the tale which focuses on the Prince’s rivalry with his brother adds a sense of charm to the story which should take you about 10-15 hours to beat. After you defeat the game’s final boss, there’s a series of challenge rooms you can take on, but since it revolves around the game’s forgettable combat rather than the platforming, you’re best advised to stay away.

The Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is a great platforming game, with more than enough thrills to keep you interested, it’s just when it varies from the series’ tried and true formula that you’re going to notice the game’s weakest moments. If you liked The Sands of Time, you’re sure to love the Prince’s new adventure. 

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: Achievements List, Trophies List

As of this review, there are no official cheats for The Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, but Cheat Happens is hard at work on a trainer for the Wii version of the game as well as the PC version when it launches.

One thing I did enjoy was the hidden sarcophagus scattered throughout the game. Unlike the combat arenas, finding these items often requires you to master the Prince’s platforming and acrobatic elements, so you’ll be enjoying the best parts of the game.

 

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