I did it. I beat Prince of Persia. And I’m super disappointed… disappointed that I don’t get to experience this game for the first time again cuz it’s so damn good!
There were a lot of quality games this year but without a shadow of a doubt 3 games eclipsed everything and will probably be on my ‘must play again and again and again’ list for a few years to come and Prince of Persia is one of ‘em… I’ll tell you about the other 2 at a later date.
Granted, there are quite a few skeptics and a few folks who couldn’t deal with the simplicity of the game; both of which I feel sorry for as this truly is gaming at it’s purest.
If you want a full review, please check out my Initial Reaction as I don’t think I would change much content from that article but below are a few, uh, expansion points:
- Creative: This game is fantastical. I have to admit I was worried right out of the gates. The graphics and character models did seem a bit flat and the art style initially (as in the first 10 minutes) felt like a bit of a cheat around providing us with the high-poly ass-kicker character models we are now used to. The environments felt sparse and I was worried it was going to be a 12 hour journey through a previous-generation’s terrain. I could not have been more wrong. After healing the first area I fully realized what this game’s potential was going to be. After healing all of the areas, I spent a few hours walking back through the lands to appreciate the efforts Ubisoft put into the game. Well done.
- Sound: So I finally figure out that Prince is… Nathan Drake. Kudos to Ubisoft for choosing what I would consider one of the best voice talents in the industry. And even more kudos to Nolan North for creating a certainly new identity for Prince without having 90% of the gaming community shaking their heads thinking they were playing with Nathan Drake in disguise. Equally as impressive as Prince is Elika. I’m not sure why I can’t find who she is ANYWHERE online but she has created a character instantly familiar and one you want to relate with. In addition to the voice acting, the score, sound effects and pretty much every sound that comes out of your 5.1.. or 7.1… or 2 channel system… or headphones is enchanting and won’t leave you disappointed.
- Story: Sorry, IGN, you’re wrong. Grand Theft Auto may have had an incredible story for some punk-wannabe-coke-dealer-aspiring-thug-bitches but in my single-minded-humble-opinion, Prince of Persia should win story of the year. Not only is it a throwback to classic gaming, the story revolves around a decent moral plot with interesting characters that don’t need to resort to the word f*ck for impact. There is a relationship that is built during the course of the game with between the 2 characters, but more importantly, with the world around you. The ‘moral decision’ needed to be made at the end of the game goes far beyond whether or not you should nail one of your many ‘gilrfriends’ or kill your best friend and I’ll leave it at that as to not spoil the experience for any real gamers reading this entry. I’m sorry, but if I want people to text message profanities to me or call me to send me on a stupid errand, I can rely on a) my real-life friends and b) my fiancee to deliver. GTA IV is an awesome game, just not anything that should be lifted up onto a pedestal for award-caliber storylines.
So really, what I’m trying to tell you is buy this game and play through it. Slowly. One of my favorite things to do in the game was trying to acquire my ‘runner’ Xbox Achievements for running from one healed land to another in under ‘X’ minutes. It provided a great way to experience the platforming in a traditional time-trial and also forced me to re-explore the vast worlds.
I’ve never wanted to play through a game immediately after beating it the first time. I have already begun my second attempt… this time trying to do so in under 12 hours and without falling 100 times so I can get those 2 coveted Achievements as well. Good job Ubisoft and thanks for this game.