Top critical review
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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".