The Prince of Persia: Warrior Within Review
OK, a couple of quick questions before I start with the review. First, did you play the first Prince of Persia (and no, I'm not talking about the one released 10 years ago.)? Second, did you like it? If you answered no to either question I must wonder why you play video games! But if you answered yes to both, then not only do I have hope for the world I must also ask you to stop reading this and go buy a copy of Prince of Persia:Warrior Within. Go ahead, I'll wait...but if for some reason you can't go right at this moment then I will continue on with my review and tell you why you need this game in your PS2 collection.
Prince of Persia: Warrior Within is the follow up to one of the surprisingly best games released last year, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. I say surprisingly because no one expected such a high quality game to come from a remake of an old classic. But Sands was indeed a wonderful game that captured the spirit of the original while improving on the entire concept. Now Warrior Within will not be as shockingly good as Sands but only because we already know what to expect, not because it is any less of a game. Truth be told, Warrior may not be better than Sands, but it is still one of the best games to come out in this year of blockbuster titles and it would be a shame for it to be overlooked.
The story in Warrior picks up where Sands left off. There is a brief introduction that does try to catch those up with the story who hadn't played the first, but it would be a bit more enjoyable if you already know the previous game. And considering how good the first game is there really isn't any excuse not to play through it first. As a quick reminder, the Prince opened the Sands of Time in the previous game. Sure it really helped him in the last game but the legend says he who opens the Sands must die. Naturally that sucks. Now the Prince is being chased by the Dahaka, a very nasty creature with no other thought or purpose than to kill the Prince. So in a Back to the Future type idea, the Prince decides the best way for him to avoid the curse that comes along with opening the Sands of Time is to make sure they are never created. This means he must travel to the Island of Time and stop the Empress of Time from creating the Sands of Time. (OK, that was a lot of “...of Times” makes me wonder if there is a Basketball of Time or maybe a Sandwich of Time.) During the game you will travel back and forth between the present and past to solve puzzles and such.
For those that don't remember Sands of Time let me tell you that it was a beautiful game that looked somewhat like the Disney movie Aladdin. Well, Warrior Within is no Disney cartoon! This is one dark and nasty game. The Prince is much more of a bad-ass this time around and the overall tone is a lot darker, so much so that the game is now a Mature rated game as opposed to the Teen rating of its predecessor. You can make an argument if taking the series to such a dark level was needed or not, but I will side with it being a good decision in that it does allow for some more intense action and themes. One thing the Mature rating has allowed is for much more vicious battles with a ton of blood to go along with it. Oh, and some very sexy women...some evil, some not, but all hot! This darker tone also is shown in the environments. They are...well, dark and forbidding. Well at least some of the time...the look of the environments change depending on whether the game is taking place in the present (dark) or the past (much more vibrant.)