Prince of Persia: Now With Less Banter

I seem to have a yearly ritual going where I play through a game from the Prince of Persia series.  2008 was Sands of Time, 2009 was, uh, the 2008 “Prince of Persia”, and 2010 is Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands.  This is a bit of a milestone in that I’m actually playing a game within months of its release as opposed to at least a year late.

I haven’t finished it as of this writing.  I’ve been playing it for a couple of nights, though, and I’ve just gotten the last of my Spiffy Magical Powers so I suspect that another good play session will wrap it up.  At any rate, my impressions of the game are based on only what I’ve seen so far and I reserve the right to get snippy if it ends with a Psychonauts-style difficulty spike.

It’s a really good game and I’m glad they made it.  That’s a bit of a reversal for me because I was quite happy with the 2008 PoP game and wanted to see some resolution to that story’s cliffhanger, but I’m glad that Ubisoft has apparently decided to go back and try to undo some of the mess they made with the previous Sands of Time sequels.

What they gave us this time is a game that’s full of nicely fatal traps and difficult platforming, like Sands of Time, but has the graphics muscle of PoP2008.  It’s a great combination, made better by a combat system that doesn’t suck. As much as I’ve enjoyed playing PoP games in the past, combat has never really been a part of the game that’s any fun, so the button-mashy style freeflowing swordplay in this outing is rather a relief.

Sadly, it doesn’t have a companion character like SoT or PoP2008, so it is rather lacking in the conversation and banter that made both of those games extra fun to play.  There’s a couple of other characters in the game, excluding the Prince himself, but they really don’t do much tossing one-liners back and forth.

Oh, and it doesn’t seem to have anything whatsoever to do with the film, though its release was certainly timed to take advantage of the film’s release.  That’s a pretty big plus – I don’t have anything against movie adaptations done well, but there’s always the risk of getting a bad one, and there’s not much more painful than a bad movie adaptation.

Oh, there’s a weird little Ubisoft loyalty program thing called UPlay that’s built into the game; as you play the game you earn points that you can spend on virtual items and unlocks for Ubisoft games.  It seems harmless ENOUGH, but I hope it doesn’t lead us down the Day 1 DLC path that publishers are trying out to discourage used game sales.

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