Prince of Persia
Принц Персии - Russian title
Prince of Persia Prodigy - Working title
Prince of Persia (2008) - Informal Title
PoP 2008 - Informal Title
But they come too late. After a brief fight against her father, he breaks the seal and by doing so unlocks the prison chamber that was kept closed by the powers of the Tree of Life. The inhabitant of that prison? Ahriman - God of Darkness. Creator of the darkness of space and the first to unleash envy and hate. Back in the days he was not satisfied with keeping only one half of the universe and after a fierce battle against his brother Ormazd, God of Light, he almost won. In a last attempt Ormazd successfully lured Ahriman into the Tree of Life, condemning him to a thousand years of pain. But Ahriman was only waiting. Waiting and planning and now that he is free, he and his minions are beginning to claim back what they lost and the only two people on the world to stop them are the Prince and Elika.
The basic gameplay remains the same as in the previous trilogy with the Prince engaging in sword fighting, wall climbing, spike dodging, puzzle solving, and more, in his quest to save the world. But opposed to the previous trilogy, the Prince neither can rewind time nor has to fight multiple enemies at a time. Instead he and Elika only face one, strong enemy every time and if the Prince is about to die because of a miscalculated jump or anyhing similar, she uses her powers and sets the Prince back to the beginning of the jumping puzzle. That is not the only thing she does. By command of the player, she also helps in fights, allows him to jump further distances by giving him a little push in the back in mid-air and shows which way to go next. Elika is also the key to bring the Tree of Life back to full strength. But to do so, she needs so-called "Seeds of Life" that are scattered all around the levels. If the player has collected enough of these, Elika will also become stronger.
Besides the enemies being stronger, more intelligent and having more special abilities, the fights play similar to the previous iterations of the series with the Prince slashing away at enemies with his sword or his gauntlet in to produce powerful combos. The gauntlet also allows the prince to slide down from solid rocks safely to the area below. The game features Quick Time Events when an enemy got a hold on the Prince and uses a cel-shaded and heavily stylized look for the characters.
The only positive thing about this game is its beauty. Both sound and graphics looks like a peaceful painting (a sonorous painting, I guess) to relax into. But the gameplay has suffered a dead wound with respect to Sands of Time trilogy, with the obvious and despicable goal to please the most casual gamers. The saddest thing is that an option to level difficulty is a very easy to implement tool, to please both hardcore and casual gamers, but developers keep doing it wrong most of the times, if they even implement it.
Understanding Prince of Persia 2008 by Mobygames has been cybersquatted (588)
I have this theory: Ubisoft thought that by strapping "Prince of Persia" on their newest platformer they would assure a large, eager fanbase right off the bat for it; a safety cushion for sales, if you will. After all, it was a game about a guy with a saracen sword who runs along walls, right? Prince of Persia fans would buy in no problem. Why wouldn't they?
But the plan backfired when fans went in expecting an actual, proper, full-fledged new Prince of Persia that followed the tradition of the series, and they found something completely different; so much so that it even takes some big steps back in areas where the series had been consistently moving forward from one chapter to the next.
I guess it goes to show all marketing people should be put in a tin capsule and shot into the sun.
That said, I think PoP 2008 is a good game. In fact, I think it's a great game. But it's not a Prince of Persia. I can't stress that enough: It's something you need to get inside your head if you ever expect to enjoy it.
Me, once I made my peace with that fact, I discovered a beautiful, breathtaking and imaginative visual experience as we rarely get to see in this day where everyone and their dog will go for the photo-realistic brown-yellowish appearance they like to call "next-gen" (or "current-gen", whatever). Pair those visuals with a beautiful, smooth animation and a simple yet clever and engaging storytelling, and you're in for quite a ride.
Like I said somewhere up there, had they named this game something like Dragon's Lair 2008, it would've been a resounding success.
They might've needed to throw a dragon in there, though.