Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands Review
The last time out the Prince of Persia series went through a series 'reboot', introducing a new animated look for the game and 'can't fail' gameplay that essentially gave you infinite chances to get past the game's obstacles. With Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands the series has returned to business as usual, perhaps in an effort to more closely resemble the Disney movie that its release has been timed to coincide with. The different subtitles (the film is dubbed Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time) should clue you in to the fact that the game is not an interactive rehash of the film, which is probably a good thing considering the track record of movie games – although I'm not sure where games based on movies based on games would sit. Anyway, what you've got in The Forgotten Sands is a throwback to original core gameplay of Prince of Persia that basically ignores both the previous game in the series and the film, and the game is not too surprisingly more fun because of it.
The Forgotten Sands opens with the Prince paying a visit to his brother, only to find that his brother's fortress under siege. The battle begins to take a turn for the worse, and so the Prince's brother decides to awaken an ancient army sealed away in a vault beneath the fortress. I'll give you one guess as to whether or not this turns out to be a good idea.
The Forgotten Sands essentially plays out as an episodic series of puzzle-based mini levels. You come into a new area, find a way to reach the exit, and then do the same for the next area. In this game it's certainly more about the journey than the destination, as reaching the exit is never simply a linear journey from Point A to Point B. The Prince has superhuman agility and acrobatic skills, which allow him to do things like run along walls for short distances and leap from one column to another. The levels aren't freeform in the sense that they're not playgrounds for you to experiment with different ways to reach the exit – there's always a single, predetermined path though each level. However, part of the fun is in trying to find that path, and once you do there's even more fun to be had executing all of the maneuvers required to traverse it.