Well, just finished playing Ubisoft's 2008 reboot of the Prince of Persia franchise. As a long time fan of the series, I had gotten a bit burned on the "Sands of Time" trilogy previously released, and was looking forward to seeing which direction the game would go in now.
And boy was it worth the wait! I simply adore this game. The developer decided to go with a more artsy and minimalist approach this time around, and it pays off. You can check my "Now Playing" sidebar on this blog for more on how I feel about it.
The game itself is more firmly rooted in Persian mythology than the previous iterations, this time pitting you up against the force of Ahriman himself as you fight to keep his dark influence from spreading across the land. The "Prince" this time is not royalty, but a mere vagabond/adventurer/glory seeker who stumbles onto a magical kingdom while getting lost in a sandstorm. Pretty soon he runs into a fleeing princess and is dragged into a battle between warring gods. The girl, Elika, secures the unnamed adventurer's help, and this is where the game begins.
It quickly becomes apparent that Elika is more than just a pretty sidekick, however. Unlike similar characters in other games, the AI which propels the princess is pretty darn advanced. She truly is more a help rather than a hindrance as you use her powers and intelligence to cooperatively battle through each opponent and puzzle the game throws your way.
In fact, the main design of the game is based on the single principle of cooperation: be it scaling sheer cliff sides or battling a humongous mountain of ugly in the form of one of the elemental adversaries, you must constantly string along moves with the aid of Elika's magic and combat prowess, bouncing back and forth between each other as you surmount the obstacles placed in your path together. Really, it's quite beautiful to watch once you get a handle on the controls. Check out the two trailers below, which demonstrate exactly what I mean:
All in all, this was a quick and VERY FUN little game to kill time with over these two weeks off from work. The cell-shaded art style choice works so well here--like anime--way better than traditional CGI. Make no doubt about it, this is a gorgeous looking game! If you have the time and interest, I highly recommend this title.
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