My first experience with the Prince of Persia series was, like many people, The Sands of Time. I got it for my gamecube somewhat later in the lifecycle, I think Warrior Within was on it's way, but I still played it. And fell in love with it. The Prince was a fun character, Farah was really lovable, the platforming was excellent and the fights cinematic. It was short, but it was hugely enjoyable.
Then, Warrior Within was released and killed everything I liked about Sands of Time. I won't go into the details, but to this day I have never touched that game.
Then, Two Thrones. I heard it fixed the issues of the previous game, but for one reason or another I didn't get around to playing it until it was released on the Wii under the title Rival Swords. I played it, it was good, but it wasn't Sands. It still had something missing, something that was lost.
Now, there's a new PoP game. This one looked different from Sands but not in a necessarily bad way. So, I played it. And while it's nowhere near Sands, there's a lot to like in this reboot.
Prince has a whole new look!
From the outset, it's clear this game is quite different from any previous version. The game has a more distinct art style, not quite anime, but far from realistic. We meet Prince in a Sandstorm looking for his donkey Farah (A clever nod that made me happy) and he literally runs into love interest Elika. About five minutes later the world hangs in the balance of Prince and Elika's actions.
Immediately the game is obviously trying to get a lot of the charm of Sands back into the series. Prince and Elika have good chemistry together when they argue and bicker, and the voice acting is very good. The story itself is as complicated as you want it to be, with lots of optional conversations filling out the backstory. The graphics are very very nice, and the animations are smooth.
However, story and graphics are the best part about this game. Gameplay is incredibly repetitive in this version. You can choose the order you explore the many areas, but this presents a problem. Since you can choose, the areas never get any harder than any other. Granted, they're all run to a certain point, but there's no difficulty change. Because if there was, the difficulty curve would be thrown all over the place if you chose the hard area first. It's a tradeoff, but I'd much prefer something more linear.
Graphics are nice. :D
However, the main repetiveness of the game isn't the running sequences. Those are actually quite fun throughout. The game has 4 main bosses. And you fight them, 5 times each! Every time you go to finish a world, you have to fought the boss of the area. And there are four sections of a world, with a final face-off at the end! The bosses don't really change up each time you fight them either. Same strategy each time. This gets REAL old, REAL fast.
However, the game is still fairly enjoyable. Prince and Elika are a good pair, and I didn't mind the fact you couldn't die. (Elika prevents it, you will NEVER die). What really ticked me off was the fact that ubisoft didn't finish the game. You have to pay an extra ten bucks for the 'real' ending! Really? You're not going to let me finish a game, gotta pay extra for it? No thanks!
With that said, there is certainly plenty to dislike about this new Prince of Persia. However, there is also plenty to like, if you let yourself get immersed in it, which it does do numerous times. I eagerly await a sequel.