GSY PREVIEW | X360, PS3 Thursday, April 22, 2010 | 6:00 PM

Gamersyde Preview:
Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands

Gamersyde Preview:<br>Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands

There are some constants in our hard "job" as game "journalists". One of them is that games announced less than 6 months before their release date will most likely be really bad, especially for movie tie-ins. So it's with strong prejudices that we started playing the preview code of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands last week. 3 hours later, it's with surprise that we had to admit that this new PoP has a great potential.

This version starts at the beginning of the 6th level and lets us play until the end of the 12th. No tutorial, not even an option screen, quite a few bugs and some missing functionalities, no doubt this is quite an old build of the game. But the most important part is there, and the game is thankfully perfectly playable.

Since this is a preview, it's difficult to comment on some of the stiff animations, a few big slowdowns here and there, and all the sort of things you'd expect from an unfinished title. The graphics themselves shouldn't change much though, and from what we saw, it ranges from rather average - for the first few levels - to quite good afterward - when we actually get to play in the sunny outside. The engine of Assassin's Creed has certainly seen better use, but considering that the game managed to remain quite smooth with up to 30 enemies on screen it's not that bad. Also worth mentioning are the music, really nice indeed, and the very acceptable voice acting.

The gameplay itself is of course completely finalized and works very well. The first few minutes were a bit difficult since it's a mix between the old-school controls of last-gen's PoP games and the one from 2008. The right trigger is thus used for all the wall running stunts, and the buttons are dedicated to various actions: A for jump, B for rolls, X for sword fighting and Y for kicks. The left trigger is used in later levels to “freeze” water, transforming a waterfall into a wall, or a water column into a pillar our hero can climb. A great idea, especially when it has to be timed perfectly right in some long platforming maneuvers.

As far as we could tell ,the levels themselves were also finalized, and were half original, especially thanks to the water power, and old-school thanks to the return of the traps, which were mostly missing in PoP 2008. The platforming sequences can be very long and interesting, and most of the puzzles are really well done.

The fights aren't bad either, even though they tend to be a bit long due to the rather overwhelming number of enemies to kill at times. It's rare to get less than 10 of them per fight, and even if quite a few of them can be killed in 2 to 3 blows, it tends to get a bit boring in the end. There aren't that many different attacks, though some of them are quite spectacular, but it's enough to get by without taking too much damage.

It's of course still possible to rewind time in case of a bad fall or even in the middle of a fight. Each use of that power will deplete a Blue Orb, which will have to be found either randomly by killing enemies or somewhere in the level by breaking the amphorae scattered all around. Health works mostly the same way, but with Red Orbs, and it looks like Yellow Orbs are used as a sort of currency to get upgrades, but we couldn't use it in the preview build.

This time at least, a game announced not long before its release is shaping up to be a real good surprise. This new Prince of Persia, even though it's not really a technical marvel, should make the fans who thought the 2008 game wasn't worthy of the Prince of Persia name happy, while also having the others certainly find it enjoyable too. Let's just hope that it doesn't mean we won't get to see the ending of the adventures of the other Prince and his sweet Elika.

Preview: Puzzle
Preview: Fight #1
Preview: Fight #2
Preview: Platforming 1
Preview: Platforming 2

All comments

Commented on 2010-04-22 18:19:48
My God! The animations in combat are utter crap!!! what's that about Ubisoft???
Commented on 2010-04-22 18:42:38 In reply to alimokrane
Posted by alimokrane
My God! The animations in combat are utter crap!!! what's that about Ubisoft???
I wouldn't say utter crap... But yeah, i expected a lot better :o
Commented on 2010-04-22 18:48:26
The Levels play save too,would like to be climbing on a crushing wall,so just to escape with a jump in the last moment...but here,..walls crumble next to u,under u,left of you..right of u,above you...but not with you for a daring escape :(

Otherwise....looks ok !
Commented on 2010-04-22 19:26:46
It's not like there's lots of platformers out there, so this'll have to do.

You know what's funny? This might be the first Prince of Persia that actually sells well, because it being a movie tie-in game. Those games sell loads, no matter how shitty they are.
Commented on 2010-04-22 19:48:51
combat is definately the low point going by what i just watched. but that was very much the case with all the prince of persia games. i dont really get why they thought adding loads of mindless sword fodder was a good idea? it's verging on dynasty warriors in terms of how dull it looks.

the rest...well, i love it.
Commented on 2010-04-22 20:09:40
The combat resembles lot to God of War in a semi-realistic way not so over the top. I suppose in that game is mediocre to?.
Commented on 2010-04-22 20:58:49 In reply to mylawnmowerisemo
Posted by mylawnmowerisemo
The combat resembles lot to God of War in a semi-realistic way not so over the top. I suppose in that game is mediocre to?.
Oh man, the combat in God of War is really mediocre. There's only one true weapon (Blades), there aren't enough moves, and enemy AI is pathetic. Enemies don't react to each hit, and many other things that make God of War's combat pale in comparison to other action game classics. Sorry for rant.
Commented on 2010-04-22 21:02:06
Depends on what you are looking for. God of War is very gratifying. You mash the f**k out and cool stuff happens. If you try the same in DMC or NG you'll be turned in to shishkebab before the first batch of enemies is dispatched and let's face it...that's not everybody's cup of tea.
Commented on 2010-04-22 21:18:23 In reply to mylawnmowerisemo
Posted by mylawnmowerisemo
The combat resembles lot to God of War in a semi-realistic way not so over the top. I suppose in that game is mediocre to?.

erm, this looks nothing like god of, this looks like dynasty warriors, shit ton of enemies with no real strategy to beat, just plow in there sword swinging and you'll kill then while them and their buddies look on in a complete stupor. but whatever. glad you got that slightly random outburst off your chest, you must feel better..hahaha
Commented on 2010-04-22 21:36:34
This message is in "Boulet Time" (TM), If you still *really* want to see it, click here

Commented on 2010-04-22 21:44:06
you've just joined and you've already been boulet'd, says it all really.

and no, it's nothing like GOW, no matter how much you want to believe it is.
Commented on 2010-04-22 21:58:33 In reply to KORNdog
He's not new, he's someone who's gotten 2 weeks for being a smart ass and should have gotten 3 months to honor his original name. Well guess what, I've decided to extend the first ban because we don't really want kids on the site, at least not this kind.
Commented on 2010-04-22 23:08:15
This message is in "Boulet Time" (TM), If you still *really* want to see it, click here

Commented on 2010-04-29 07:59:46
wow, I'm actually impressed! the combat is good enough, you don't need to use your sword to kill everything like in some "classics", but rather tactic like in the last video. Also the 4 elements concept is very appealing (btw you can find out about them more if you play the flash minigame).
Graphics - excellent, setting - excellent, puzzles, 4 elements, 50 enemies on screen, persia... must buy! :)
Commented on 2010-05-04 10:23:59
gow, ROFL.

Don't make me laugh, combat is nothing like GOW3.

Combat in gow is not just button mashing, if you think it is, you haven't played it, Combat is brutal in GOW.

You feel the punishment your dishing out. Puzzles are ok in it, GOW3 Graphics are amazing in alot of area's.
Reeks of quality - Some textures for a console game are superb, 2048x2048.

This Prince of Persia looks ok, Sands of time was a classic. Worth playing, as someone said, there are not this many types of games about.

For a fps, BFBC2 - Awesome.

For a racing game, shift,dirt2,forza3, until the main event of GT5.

There are games to fit most people's wants and needs.

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