genre: 3rd Person Action, Platformer
platform: PC, Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
released: May 18th 2010
When it comes to action platformers, developer Ubisoft is one of the best. Even with "Forgotten Sands" faults, it's still very much a fun and never boring game throughout. The problems you will find is the lack of difficulty, length and replayability. This could be attributed to Ubisoft paying attention more to its new found cash baby "Assassins Creed", than its old loves of past.
The story follows "the Prince of Persia", on his way back to the kingdom and throne to his brother Malik. A invading army has its sights on conquest and in no time the kingdom fate is put on the line. Collapse or survival. King Malik decides that the kingdom is beyond saving. So he turns to the mystical Solomon sand army for survival. This turns out to be a ruse, as this wasn't keeping Solomon's army, but his enemy's army. As the evil is set free, its up to the brothers to set things right again. The Prince is now put on a adventure throughout the kingdom, climbing feats and going through obstacles of environment and demons to save the kingdom from peril.
The tale is simple and classic. Nothing wrong with it, just there to get you from point a to b within the game. Never do you really dive into the story and care about whats going on. You just want to get to the fun gameplay and that's the problem. The story isn't memorable or enchanting to make the game experience even more memorable. Would anybody be talking about Heavy Rain's gameplay, if the story sucked? Developers should think about the overall story as much as the gameplay more often.
For a game that is on the Assassins Creed engine, it manages to look passable. There are times where you will really enjoy the visuals and think that Ubisoft once again did a bang up job. But that's not the case. Many times I encountered game slow down and frame-rate issues. Also the graphics weren't always polished. When it came to outside areas and big sequences details and lighting were payed attention to, more so then interior and simple platforming areas.
For a game that is far too easy in my opinion, its very fun. Platforming is what Ubisoft does best. Prince of Persia games of the past and Assassins Creed games of the present all show this. Throughout the game, you will be jumping, running, across walls, platforms and various devices. At your disposal you will have special powers of water, environment and time. Controlling water to go through or grab, same goes for the environment and power of reversing time to save your life, time and time again.
The problem is that the game dosen't provide a real challenge. Towards the end of the game, the combination of powers gets more difficult, but never to the point of frustration. After 5 try's at a specific point, is the most you need to get the hang of it. But even if you mess up, you still have the reverse time power that saves you every time and more times than needed. Its like the reverse button in "Forza Motorsport". Before a crash you can reverse three times. Well here it gives you more times, that replenish in each stage with beating enemies. If they had made the time reversal more sparing, a better combination of powers and maybe environmental anomalies with villains than the game could have been more juicy.
Where I haven't touched upon yet is the combat. Like the first Assassins Creed, the fighting mechanics might at first seem simple. Where that all changes, is when you get special powers to fight off your enemies. Instead of using only your sword, you can also have wind force powers, shield power and a couple of other cool powers. Combined they make the fights more exceptional and way more fun. But again its never developed enough, to make it a worthwhile feature of the game.
Its important to note, that the game is only 8 hours long and those hours pass very quickly with the easiness of the game. Which it can only be played on Normal or Easy difficulty. Which is hilarious because it seems more like Easy and whimsy. The lack of a hard difficulty is indeed tragic, as it shows that they cared not for the challenge of the gamer, but for ease of the casual and maybe child like gamer.
The game comes with one challenge mode map, containing a 8 wave challenge and one time trial that in order to play. You will have to sign up to Ubisoft u-play service. How badly did they want people to stop playing this game. There was no DLC content and not even leader-board support for the challenge mode. If Ubisoft could find a way to make many extra modes of wave challenges, survival, time trials and speed runs. The replayability of this game would be sincerely bumped up. It would have made into a great game, than a instant throwaway
Sadly to say, once you finished the game. It becomes forgotten and not for it being lousy, but for its lack of replayability and value. If it was a more challenging game, with a better story and more extra content and modes. Then the game would have been the "Remarkable Sands". Its an easy game, and easiest games I've played to get all the achievements, trophies or rewards. Its at best a rental or to buy used or even new through online sites at a dirt price. Beside the fun platforming and the achievement hunting there isn't much else get from the last Prince of Persia game.