Prince of Persia (2008)

Prince of Persia (2008) Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC

A complete restart for the Prince of Persia franchise.

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9Out of 10
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Combat is based on a counter system and allows for huge combos
Combat is based on a counter system and allows for huge combos

Combat is based on a counter system and allows for huge combos

Boss encounters, which crop up before you are able to cure each area, are far more impressive, often requiring you use the environment as well as your primary attack options. The final encounters are even better - they require more thought than just what attack type to use and take place across numerous locations. The beginning of one boss fight, which confuses you with a number of fake Elikas, stands out as a real highlight, and, while the solution is very simple, requires an understanding of game's core mechanic.

Fighting actually takes up a fairly small part of the game, with acrobatic exploration, platforming and puzzle solving being the core of the experience. You might think that the inability to die would lessen the thrill of leaping about high above the ground, but it doesn't. Instead it liberates you, making you feel free enough to do whatever you want, safe in the knowledge that Elika will grab you and return you to a sure-footed position if it doesn't work out. Ubisoft has gone to great lengths to make moving about as fun as possible, giving you the illusion of control and skill while often doing things for you.

You have three basic moves: jump, interact and use magic. Jumping is pretty self explanatory, allowing the prince to leap onto ledges, wall and ceiling run and flip off poles. Interacting is more or less limited to using large gold rings as holding points during long wall and ceiling runs, with a tap of the button being all it takes. Magic can only be used when you reach one of the many plates in each area, with god Ormazd giving Elika power to reach new areas. The Prince is also able to slide down walls using his gauntlet, allowing him to reach seemingly inaccessible areas. Your final tool during platforming is essentially a double jump with the aid of Elika. By tapping the Elika button while in mid air, she'll grab you and propel you forwards onto whatever platform had been just out of reach. This looks brilliant and simply never gets old.

At times during the platforming sections it feels like you're in a glorified Quick Time Event but without the pop-up button commands. The prince almost always positions himself so you can move from one platform/ledge/pole to another without doing anything but press jump, and things like wall and ceiling running effectively only need you to press a single button. Somehow this actually works, injecting pace into the platforming - a gameplay mechanic that is usually quite laboured and slow. It's hand holding in the extreme, especially when tied to the generous Elika checkpoint system, but it's great fun and never a chore. The Prince even moves across ledges while hanging from his hands at a faster pace than most game characters walk.

Did we mention that the bosses are brilliant?

Did we mention that the bosses are brilliant?

To make use of the superb platforming engine Ubisoft has developed there's a considerable amount of collecting to do in Prince of Persia. Each magic power requires a certain number of light seeds to unlock, with more and more needed as you progress. With 45 released after each area is cleansed (plus a bunch for each main boss defeated) and with our end total being bang on 650, you get an idea about the time you're going to need to spend leaping about trying to reach remote locations. Although compulsory to an extent (you don't need to collect all the light seeds), this never became a chore, with the enemy-free locations being a joy to navigate. It seems Ubisoft learnt a lot from the rather pointless flags you had to collect in last year's Assassin's Creed.

Breaking up the action and platforming are puzzles, usually built around the idea that the game world is in fact a working city with various cogs, levers and switches being part of the inner workings, not just objects placed there for the sake of the game. These also represent the only part of the game in which you could conceivably get stuck, as Elika doesn't give you anything more than a few slight hints. Considering she'll save your life repeatedly, point you in the right direction if you're lost and generally be on hand to offer info, this comes as quite a shock, but some careful thought should see you through.

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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
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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)
  • Great platforming gameplay
  • Stunning visual style
  • Brilliant boss encounters
  • The Prince is slightly too cocky
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 05/12/2008
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Action
No. Players: One
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 765 11
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