Prince of Persia (2008)

Prince of Persia (2008) Review for PS3

On: PS3Xbox 360PC

A complete restart for the Prince of Persia franchise.

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9Out of 10
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Probably the most gorgeous game you'll play this year
Probably the most gorgeous game you'll play this year

Probably the most gorgeous game you'll play this year

Despite Prince of Persia's ancient setting, there's something very modern about the game design that could well be used as a template for many games to come. In Ubisoft's latest you can't die. Jump off a cliff, get stabbed by a dark demon or fall into a pool of dark corruption all you like, because you'll get saved and returned to safety. It might sound like a gimmick destined to make for an entirely forgettable, unrewarding experience, but it's not. Prince of Persia does away with one of the most fundamental game design rules and is all the better for it.

The Prince is a cocky guy, no doubt aware of his rippling muscles and rugged good looks, so when an attractive young lady appears in the middle of the desert it's no surprise that he takes an interest. Elika, clearly a girl from the rich side of town, appears to be running from her father, and she's important enough to have guards trying to stop her escape. All isn't quite as it seems, with Elika's father being the King and some kind of deal being made between himself and Ahriman, the evil dark lord. After a fight inside an ancient shrine, corruption (a kind of dark matter) is spread throughout the land, and the once beautiful kingdom is thrust into darkness.

Being the good guy he is, the Prince takes it upon himself to go with Elika on her quest to rid the world of this corruption, revitalising one area at a time. Inside each of these 20 zones is a patch of fertile ground on which a magical tree sits. Elika is able to use her own magical energy to restore life to the area, ridding the corruption and releasing 45 light seeds into the surrounding area. These are used to unlock new magical powers which are needed to reach certain parts of the game world.

This wouldn't be too tricky if it wasn't for the way the city has crumbled (with platforms often being held up by narrow pillars and broken away from each other) and the evil corrupted beings that now live there. The game world is essentially split into four, with each zone ruled by one of Ahriman's slaves - enemies so corrupted that they now possess an incredible amount of power - with your goal being to make it to each boss' 'lair' before dispatching them for good.

The bosses are wonderfully designed

The bosses are wonderfully designed

Although Prince of Persia is most definitely an action game, combat is only ever against single enemies. As you make your way through the open, albeit fairly linear landscape, attempting to find each of the fertile patches of land, you'll come across plenty of standard corrupted enemies. These are pretty easy to kill, with the Prince able to perform some rather spectacular combos in conjunction with Elika - you can even kill them before they've been spawned properly. Each of the four face buttons perform a different attack (sword, gauntlet, Elika and air), and these can be chained together in many different ways.

Finding an opening is more or less about timing a block (which results in a flash of white light) in order to then counter with a string of devastating blows. It's not quite as simple as it sounds though, with the state of an enemy determining what attack type you need to start off with. For example, when an enemy is completely transformed due to corruption you need to start an attack with Elika, with all other forms of attack proving completely useless. You can't die, of course, but if Elika needs to save you from the jaws of death (usually if you press the wrong button during one of the enemies' QTE attacks) your foe will regain some, if not all of its health.

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User Comments

draytone's Avatar

draytone

Just picked up a copy on ebay for 85p... quite enjoy buying older games on the cheap now.
Posted 09:32 on 22 February 2012
Tom_York's Avatar

Tom_York

Just looking through these review scores and BANG! you gave prince of persia a 9!? what exactly were you smoking?
Posted 05:09 on 23 January 2009
Drosera's Avatar
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Drosera

boring as all hell....Run around. Fight enemies that wait for you and stand there. Beat them and release Elika's cleansing power. Spend the next coupla hours collecting light seeds. Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z
Posted 10:24 on 16 January 2009
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adam

the games a bag of sh*t just got it and im taking it back the same day all it is just jumping about and runing other games a by far better
Posted 23:47 on 07 January 2009
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Axcalay

I have just finished it. Has left me with no feeling of accomplishment. I never swore once or threatened to throw the pad at the wall. I didn't try and rip my hair out. This is diluted PoP. Liked it for what it is, but I would have loved more of a challenge.
Posted 01:32 on 06 January 2009
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DETHDEVIL PSN

What I find disappointing is the cookie cutter gamers everyone has become. This game is about the experiance. I enjoyed it and I think others would enjoy it if people would just set aside expections and hype and just enjoy games. I've been gaming for 20 years and had every console released. Never have gamers been so picky.Every game ever made gets repetitive at some point. SoT trilogy is over,time for something new, quit whining and nitpicking games to death and just play and enjoy them if you dont like it sell and let the people who do enjoy it
Posted 16:30 on 03 January 2009
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lytwalker

It's definitely less challenging than most games like this, but it does require more thought and a bit of skill (mostly timing though), to beat the bosses later on in the game.

While playing it, it became apparent that ubisoft was trying to remove as much of the frustration you get from other platformer/action/adventure sequences in games and make a more fluid experience. At no point did I ever feel extremely annoyed at anything in this game. It was easy, admittedly, but it was just plane fun to play through.
Posted 12:24 on 21 December 2008
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Anonymous

This game is a huge disappointment. There's no skill needed if you can't die... the lack of challenge and weird fighting system had me bored after less than an hour of gaming. So glad I only rented this. If you think that this game is good, go back and play the Sands of Time for 10 minutes and you'll see the light. I did. New prince's animations are choppier than old prince's...
Posted 20:48 on 18 December 2008
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†SatansPriest†

**** this look like it would be ****ing sh*t.
I loved all the prince of persia games untill now
-10/10
Posted 01:31 on 18 December 2008
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Nilesh

Some are saying that the protagonist is not a prince and does not honor the POP series, in fact he is a prince but this details is not exploited in this series, maybe it will gives us more light on the next one UBI will made. Good Graphics, a bit repetitive and some lags. 3.5/5
Posted 05:45 on 16 December 2008
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cJw

Where's the stupid enemies!? Why not through in some fodder to show off the combat system? Wasted chance at an awesome game.

2 out or 5, imo.
Posted 05:05 on 16 December 2008
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Jordan

Lovely game, am enjoying the game for what it is, a beautiful, relaxing swagger through a glorious world. The naysayers see reptition and overt ease, I see a game that knows it's not hardcore, but appeals nonetheless. Take PoP for what it is, don't attempt to make it into a frustrating, run-of-the-mill platformer. Enjoy the ride, then go back and pick up that tough achievement.
Posted 17:10 on 15 December 2008
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POPFanboy

I agree Ubisoft is simply going haywire about their games. Far Cry 2 was another TERRIBLE Game. FC 1 was so better.

AC was pathetic. Sadly now its their Best Franchise - Prince Of Persia that takes the hit. But its still performed well. I thought this game would get average Critic ratings of 7 or something. But its done well.
Posted 15:01 on 12 December 2008
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Tucansam

Boss fights are terrible, fighting mechanics are horrendous.
Very repetitive, fast travel makes it a lot easier to cope with.
Only wacked fanbois would say this game is what it sshould be, because it is definitely not. Rental at best, I would not buy this game.

Assassins Creed now Prince of Persian ...you need to tighten up your crew Ubisoft, so much undelivered potential...step outside of the box
Posted 15:14 on 11 December 2008
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Runn1n9 wAt3r

This game looks amazing. at first the cel shading turned me off, but it looks like they did a beautiful job with it. i cant wait to get it!
Posted 21:48 on 10 December 2008

Game Stats

Prince of Persia (2008)
9
Out of 10
Prince of Persia (2008)
  • Brilliant boss encounters
  • Great platforming gameplay
  • Stunning visual style
  • The Prince is slightly too cocky
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 05/12/2008
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360 , PC
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Action
No. Players: One
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 2,308 273
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