on 9 June 2010
Starting with the positive points, PP the forgotten sands is a well crafted game and the graphics are really nice. The scenes of the city and general gaming environment are excellent. The gameplay is okay by Xbox standards and it flows quite smoothly; I certainly didn't encounter any bugs. I thought the new power over the elements (water) was a really nice touch and looked really cool.
There are however a number of downsides to this game and I will not apologise for comparing this game to the original PS2 games which I think it is fair to say were brilliant. So, issues with the forgotten sands were as follows:
- This game is just way too easy! Whether it is the traps, fighting enemies or the big bosses, everything is far too easy and formulaic. On the first completion of the game I completed over 90% of the game achievements leaving little interest in replaying it and highlighting how easy it was to complete. Having also just completed Splinter Cell Conviction which was another very short game from Ubisoft I am starting to wonder if this is going to be a continuing trend with their products.
- As a result of being too easy I completed this game in three days and I would estimate 6-8 hours. As beautiful as the game is, I would suggest that this is too short in duration for a game with little replay value and costing circa £40.
- This is another game with a fairly in-consequential xp reward system. I didn't see the value in it personally. The provision of powers as part of the story line makes more sense to me (as with Warrior Within and The Two Thrones) but thats only my preference.
- The really nice fighting system developed for the previous PP games has been replaced in the forgotten sands with a more limited slash and hack approach. This is a real shame as the previous games had a variety of really cool fighting moves including aerial and combo attacks which required more skill. Fighting enemies in the sands focuses more on powers which some may prefer but the sword fighting is really boring after a while.
- Previous PP incarnations had the ability for the Prince to pick up different types of weapons which was a feature I really enjoyed. I thought that being stuck with two swords for the entire game in PP forgotten sands was a less interesting approach.
- The baddie AI in this game is very poor. True, it is visually impressive to take on hordes of baddies and the game flows without pausing or slowing down which is commendable. However, take a look at the detail and often you will see the enemies just standing around or walking into the meat grinder of the princes blade without doing very much at all! Its like they are holding a "bad guys convention." The bosses in this game are equally woeful. All in all I concluded that the bad guys really weren't that bad and this problem is not helped by the fact that the prince is infinitely faster than the slow and trudging hordes of enemies. Sorry for the comparison, but this is another let down compared to previous games which had a range of cool bad guys, some of whom were pretty tough.
- The ability/requirement to jump on birds and from bird to bird in mid air...what is that about? The prince has been able to do some pretty improbable moves to date but this is in a league of its own...totally bizarre.
So all in all this is a nice looking game, but it is very short in gameplay and in my opinion it is not an equal to its predecessors, the Warrior Within or The Two Thrones by quite some margin.
on 3 April 2013
Time for a bad pun! Ready? "Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands" should have stayed forgotten!
After leaving the magnificent PoP of 2008, a game with personality, an interesting story and some of the best art and graphics of this generation, without an ending, Ubisoft offers a dull, repetitive, cheaply made PoP with no shred of charm or creativity.
The story follows the "original" prince from "The Sands of Time" a great game that started the franchise in consoles and of which this is a direct sequel. The unnamed prince travels to a city ruled by his brother, Malik, which is under attack from some... well... unnamed army. The villains take the city and as his rule is threatened, Malik unleashes "King Solomon's Army" to defeat the invaders. Solomon's Army was supposed to be what Malik was guarding in the first place to stop it from falling in the wrong hands as it was supposed to be an unstoppable force. Of course the army ends up being a bunch of sand soldiers lead by an evil Djinn with some grudge against humans and its up to the prince to stop it from spreading outside the city and take over the world. As pedestrian and unoriginal as the plot is I supposed its enough of an excuse for some platforming and combat. The problem is the whole thing is lethargic and with a total of three speaking characters in the game and none of them, including the prince, likable its hardly surprising its difficult to find the motivation as the player or any sort of urgency in the gameplay.
Gameplay consists of boring combat and average platforming. The combat is so easy and bland that you cant be faulted for forgetting the prince actually has an upgrade tree with skills and magic because quite frankly a blind man wouldn't have much trouble getting past these boring sequences which drag and drag with a huge number of cannon fodder for you to dispatch with no sense of excitement or fun.
The platforming is at least moderately successful but the environments and graphics are so uninspired its hard to feel engaged. When climbing on the same brown wall or seeing the same ruins again and again its impossible to feel anything other than utter boredom after a few hours in such insipid background. A nice feature in the platforming is the prince's ability to solidify water which provides some interesting moments but is soon spoiled by jumps which require split second button presses that bring some annoying trial and error and increase the repetition in what is already a highly repetitive game. The final climbing sequence in the game is the pinnacle of unfair, annoying and luck based gameplay. The ending itself is devoid of any sense of accomplishment or excitement. Its abrupt, unsatisfying and after the end credits we get a cheap slide-show with the prince's voice over giving a bit of closure to the story which at least prevents it from being even more pathetic.
As for length, expect no more than five or six hours. Yeah, Ubisoft really put the effort in this one!
I suppose I might seem a bit too harsh but from such a big "name" more was expected and its hardly a surprise that after such a poor effort and the corresponding poor sales, Ubisoft has put PoP on "pause" indefinitely. Might as well. Better than to drag it on the mud with such cheap titles as "The Forgotten Sands".
on 1 February 2011
After 2008's disastrous Prince Of Persia game in which you couldn't die and was very repetitive and featured boss battles where you just pressed buttons hoping for the best, Ubisoft have come to their senses and gone back to basics with The Forgotten Sands which is set between the classic Sands of Time and The Warrior Within' and it's returned to that very format where you can rewind time and instead of facing one enemy as in the last game you now face multiple enemies at the same time.
The game includes the usual running across wall grabbing onto walls and performing death defying jumps but as well as that you know have the ability to control water, such as freezing it at the right time so you can run across to make it to another ledge or freezing it for a jump and then letting go in mid air to freeze the next piece, it sounds difficult but once you have the hang of it you will be flying(literary). A new feature will have the Prince getting upgrade points for the more creatures he kills, you can then use these points to upgrade the Prince's health, sands or how long he can reverse time for. You can also use them to get new attacks for the Prince such as a ground attack or armour these are controlled by the directional arrow buttons on the joy pad.
Whilst The forgotten Sands isn't a major jump forward for the Prince, the graphics and sound are nothing spectacular it's a step in the right direction as he tries to reclaim his gaming throne from Uncharted which is now the superior series of the two, but this game does help make up for the awful last game.
on 5 July 2010
After the disappointting (imo) 2008 Prince, Ubisoft, taking advantage of the latest movie, brings us Forgotten Sands. Mind you, that this game has nothing to do with the movie that just debuted, it takes place, storywise, inbetween Sands of Time and The Two Thrones. I must admit that in the story department it's nothing special, a missed opurtunity to raise the bar of this fairly interesting universe - it mazes me how the IP owner doesn't realise that one needs to create a good plot in order to bring life and stamina to a franchise. Anyway..., Forgotten Sands manages to go a bit back to the true roots of Prince of Persia, that means, the combat is a bit sucky, but it does shine pretty brightly in the platforming department, that's where the Price shows all its agility (pun).
While the combat is mundane, simplistic, almost infnatile, the use of the new powers are very well crafted into a world which is not only very beautifull (amazing graphics on the 360 version, the PS3 version which I also saw, and while not so good, still look impressive). One of the best platforming game to spawn on a HD console, and while its not saying "that" much - since there aren't many - it's still a solid choice if you like the genre.
on 3 January 2012
Prince of Persia the forgotten sands is a welcome return to form for the occasionally `iffy' Prince of Persia series. Going waaayyyyy back and looking at the original, 2D, side scrolling, choppy-jumpy game (seemingly about a young man in his pyjamas wasting time on planks of wood fighting blocky skeletons) things have changed a lot over the years and the Prince has gone through a number of cosmetic changes and game play styles!
There have been various incarnations and sequels on PC, playstation (1 and 2) and the X Boxes, with the latest X-box 360 version being a cell shaded, cartoony looking outing which played quite well, despite having a lot less `action' than the previous Playstation 2 trilogy, which were very combat heavy!
This is the latest and newest version and is kind of a cash in on the recent (dire) Prince of Persia film...which was a cash in on the older, better games. This game-based-on-a-film-based-on-a-game pattern feels a bit like being stuck in a repeating time warp thingy, which is fitting, as repeating time warp thingies feature heavily in this game!
This time around there is more focus on the combat and the prince gets to have flashy battles with hordes of sand-skeleton men...things. The combat is kept nice and simple, with weak and heavy sword attacks, a kick and a dodge/ counter move, meaning there's enough variety but not too many complicated, drawn out combos to remember.
The story is fairly basic, and is just there as a flimsy explanation as to why there are sand skeletons and time travel in the game. The Prince (the player) is visiting his brother somewhere in `made-up-land' at the unfortunate instant that his kingdom is under attack by a group of soldiers! The Prince is separated from his brother, who decides the only way to fend off this attack and save his people is to use the magic (forgotten, I guess) sands under his castle. This gives both him and the prince magical powers as they each hold half of the amulet - oh, there's a magical sand amulet thing, I might've forgotten to mention that. The removal of the amulet causes an army of sand skeletons to rise, which takes care of the attacking forces but then causes trouble for the Prince, as his brother's kingdom then comes under attack by this `sandy' menace! Also, the Prince's brother doesn't want to give up the power of the amulet, even though this is the one thing that'll get rid of the sand army.
The game picks up with the usual tutorial style sections, getting the player used to some of the Prince's moves and attacks while he progresses through the early (sandy) environments in pursuit of his power mad brother! The classic platforming action returns and the game is well designed and a lot of fun to play overall, with the environments being suitably epic in size and scale. One of the nicest aspects of this gritty title is the fact that the player always knows where they have to get to; it's just a matter of actually...um...getting there! With each new objective, the camera will usually zoom into the point you're supposed to reach, then pull back to where the prince is currently milling about and you have to then guide him there like the virtual puppet master you are!
As the game progresses and you start to catch up with his evil brother (who is now being controlled and consumed by something `more' evil than him), the prince learns additional special skills that aid him in his acrobatic tomfoolery! These range from freezing water allowing the prince to either run up waterfalls or swing from frozen jets of water to a sort of teleport attack that whizzes you across to a targeted enemy (useful for getting across large gaps that an enemy is conveniently standing at the other end of). As the game goes on (and on) the environments and challenges become more...um...challenging, as more of an assortment of the prince's acquired total skills are needed to cross each new section of the castle/temple/tower...or whatever it is...(I don't know...somewhere in the desert).
Overall then, this is quite a nice little game. It's challenging, but not unfairly so. The game has a nice design, good layout with some really impressive, crisp graphics and decent character models/designs. The platforming is fun, the controls are responsive and the combat is fast, simple and enjoyable, plus the game doesn't seem to slow down or suffer when there are literally `hordes' of sandy skeleton things on screen (literally). What I assumed to be a cheap, quick cash in on the (cheap, quick cash in) movie turned out to be a solid, fun game which is definitely worth a rent if not a purchase (and I think it's pretty cheap now as well, bargain fans). If you liked the previous Prince of Persia games you should run, jump and um...swing down to your local shop and get this right now!
Overall score: 3 sandy skeleton thingies out of 5
on 11 August 2010
I bought this game for £15 which in my opinion is worth it for what i found to be a rather enjoyable game (the first time round)
your thrown into the action battling soldiers to get to your brother in the throne room where he then unleashes solomons sand army who are hellbent on destroying everything. personally i found this game more fun when fighting real soldiers rather than hordes of sand enemies (over and over agaain). some of the puzzles can be annoying and the fights can become very teidious but some combo move do make it more enjoyable and so do the powers you gradually unlock throughout the games. the boss battles are basically go here kill minor enemy go there kill minor enemy attack boss between 4 and 6 times to kill him. visually some parts of POPTFS are very good like the final boss battle where your jumping into mid air hoping a platform will appear and other parts look like theyre from POP sands of time. although not as good at the original 3 it is way better than the last POP game on xbox 360 and ps3. replayablity in many cases is poor but there are achievements/trophies that you need to play twice to get and after playing it twice im only missing one achievement so i will go through it again just not yet. i wouldnt pay more than £15 for this game as its replayability is so low. Ubisofts Uplay feature doesnt do as well for this game as it did for AC2 and SCC as all you get is some extra experience (pointless if you already maxed out the upgrade chart) an Ezio costume to put the prince in, pretty cool, a theme which isnt much to look at and an extra challenge mode, boring. at the end you do get a very powerful sword but you dont get to keep it if you start a new game which i found annoying as you only have it for about 30 mins in the game. its extremily linnear with one set route through the whole game which you cant vary at all making it 99% identicle on the second playthrough. worth picking up if you like devil may cry or the original 3 POP games. i would rate this game 6/10 because although repetative i stayed up all night to complete in as it had me hooked from the start.
on 27 February 2015
Too easy; the prince has lost his challenge and with it, the fun. Battles are button bashing and though visually impressive with many enemies on screen at once, offer no challenge at all. Puzzles can barely be called that as you won't have to stop and think once - the answer is always immediately obvious.
Lastly, the platforming. Though there's a couple of good sections, again, everything is made so easy that the game not once approaches the level of difficulty you might have encountered by the time you were 1/3 of the way through one of the original Sands of Time trilogy POP games.
Visually it's very nice, but again there's some missed opportunities here - opening levels with lots of drama and scenery give way to some fairly dull interior locations that don't blow the mind like the old games used to (at the time - the graphics have dated now).
The plot is thin (though certainly not terrible), the music is quite good.
Play it only if like me, you have a stupid addictive voice in your head saying 'I must complete all of these games' because you're already invested in the character.
There's definitely fun to be had, it's just that it's all reduced so massively by the lack of challenge.
on 4 October 2010
I got Prince of Persia: TFS as a free game with my xbox console bundle and put off playing it in favour of Batman: Arkham Asylum. Having completed that game (and played a few others in the interim), I finally sat down with TFS last night, after finding 2008's Prince of Persia devoid of any real incentive to carry on. I'm a huge fan of third person action/platformers, but didn't quite dare to hope that Ubisoft's fifth outing would (in my opinion) better their first.
Make no mistake, this is Prince of Persia for those of us who played (and/or completed) Sands of Time, Warrior Within and The Two Thrones. This is Prince of Perisa returning to its original xbox roots whilst redefining everything that made me enjoy Sands of Time to begin with. It's almost as though this is the game Ubisoft wanted to make first time around, but couldn't due to certain hardware limitations.
Take the opening level, your brother's palace is under attack from invaders and it's up to you to reach him. Except how you go about doing it is such a refined, enjoyable, seamless platforming experience, that I didn't mind playing through a rehash of the original game's opening level. At least not when it looks this good, it's obvious right from the off that you're in the midst of absolute chaos, and things only get better once King Solomon's (fabled) army has been released.
The Prince can now wall run from the left or right-hand side of a ledge he's already grabbed onto, as well as having the ability to climb up cobbled walls. Both are a welcome addition to the standard acrobatic move set of pole swinging, column grabbing and wall leaping. I'm also glad that now you have to run over activated floor spikes instead of walking very slowly (this change was first introduced in Warrior Within).
This brings me to the combat, which despite comments lamenting its 'simplistic, mundane' nature, is anything but simplistic or mundane. Fans of Batman: Arkham Asylum should be lapping up the free-flow combat since there's no actual block button. Instead the Prince can use his acrobatic moves (by pressing A), to leap into the air before coming down on an enemy with a sword attack. There are different finishing moves, which can be used to defeat 'vulnerable' enemies, as well as chained combos and a new shove attack (used to stun shielded enemies). The Prince can also dispose of enemies over low walls, which for a game of this type makes absolute sense.
XP is awarded for the disposal of large groups of enemies and a separate upgrade menu soon becomes available. According to the story you appear to acquire powers of a race known as the Djinn, in effect you're given access to new magical abilities. Personally, I think these abilities add variety to combat, especially given that I acquired the 'stone armour' ability (it makes you impervious to attack for a short time) before any others. However, early on it's more than possible to be killed by hordes of enemies, unless you plan your attack before they actually close in. Easy or not, it's still hugely satisfying to dispense large groups of attackers at once. I remember the combat in Sands of Time as being difficult and frustrating, whilst the difficulty might be amiss, at least it's a lot more fun here. And The Forgotten Sands is all about having as much fun as you possibly could from a single player adventure.
The level design is absolutely flawless (once again), as each area seamlessly flows into the next with no loading times. Commendable. Although your progression is largely linear, it never feels linear in the traditional sense, due to the scope, variety and sheer fun of what's on offer. Large puzzle rooms are not only breath-taking to look at and navigate, but they also require a certain degree of lateral thinking, and this is where The Forgotten Sands absolutely excels itself. Each puzzle can be solved in a logical manner and therefore made sense of without ever becoming laborious, frustrating, boring or overly complicated. And it's for this reason that the game constantly flows devoid of any slowdown of movement, except for some cinematic cutscenes. (Incidentally, having the original voice actor return to voice the Prince is like meeting up with an old friend you haven't spoken to for a long time).
That's as much as I can write from what I've played so far, but if you've still got any doubts after reading what I've written, you probably wouldn't take heed of any further comments anyway. Sometimes you want to experience a game instead of just 'playing it' and much like Batman: Arkham Asylum, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands delivers in spades.
on 30 November 2010
Before I start, you should know that this isn't one of those games released with the film where you play through the movie's story. You do not play as Dastan, and there is no dagger of time.
Instead, you are an un-named prince who has to fight his way through hordes of sand demons and nervous breakdown your way through frustrating obstacle based puzzles. If you've got quick reactions and good timing this game will be a breeze for you. If you haven't, it's a bit more challenging but still very enjoyable.
The upgrades are fairly easy to get and once you get the hang of switching between the trigger buttons the puzzles are a lot less daunting.
The game itself seemed a bit short for me, it's much shorter than the "Prince of Persia" they released initially for the Xbox. And there's no annoying woman nagging in your ear every two minutes.
All in all, if you played and enjoyed the Prince of Persia games for the PS2, you'll be happy that Ubisoft have gone back to the original idea of free exploration and the ability to rewind time if you screw it up!
on 30 December 2011
Absolutely awesome game!
The gameplay has the perfect balance of fun and difficulty. It actually takes timing and understanding to perform the acrobatics as opposed to games such as Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood where you hold down a few buttons and it effectively does it for you. You also need to be thinking a few moves ahead and will often need to have quick reflexes to keep up with the environment around you, but once you master it, it's incredibly rewarding.
The new powers introduced to the game can seem a bit silly and confusing at first but if you give it time and learn them it becomes second nature and makes for some truly original, fast paced and inspired gameplay. Even the bits you're not sure about at first, you will find yourself using and enjoying by the time you complete the game.
The great thing about this game is that learning all the moves and features doesn't feel like a chore, it feels like a game should...fun!
I've been a huge fan of the series since the first game but I really think this title stepped it up a notch.