It was only 2008 when UBISOFT was praised as a gamer's publisher, a company that respected and listened to its customers - while the usual villains (eh,...EA and 2K GAMES) found themselves at the receiving end of their wrath. Well, what a difference two years make!
BEEN THERE. DONE THAT
The gameplay of Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands, this new installment of the Prince of Persia Trilogy, is as stale as pita-bread found in Baghdad ruins. Running on walls, twirling around poles and jumping from handhold to handhold has been done again and again. Innovation may be in short supply in the current gaming industry but why was there a need to add yet another game to the series since no new ideas were available? It feels like yet another cookie from the cookie-cutter.
AS NOT SEEN IN THE MOVIES
Seen the blockbuster movie and loved it? Well, do not expect the game to have anything to do with it. Instead of a Jake Gyllenhaal you get a cross between Jack Black on a crash-diet and an aggravated Marky Mark (yeah, no matter how much he tries, he will always be remembered as Marky Mark). And, it may be just me, but I do not remember Princess Razia having such a pronounced...underbite!
More importantly though, the graphics are not up to par and they make the game look like a much older title. The cut-scenes look great - but this only emphasizes how much wanting the gameplay is found visually.
CATCH THE SOAPS - PERSIAN STYLE!
Selective amnesia and evil siblings must be the most overused plot trick in soaps. True, most games do not require a great background story to work and be fun. Some rare masterpieces do but it is not an absolute requirement.
Then again, at times, Mario saving Princess Peach over and over seems to have a deeper plot than Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands. I do not want to keep making perfectly timed jumps only for the purpose to...reach the next power up which will allow me to simply...jump higher.
DO YOU HAVE ANY DIABLO IN YOU? NO? WOULD YOU LIKE SOME?
Diablo III was to be coming out the same year this game was released (it did not, it came out two full years later). However, anyone who could capitalize on the hype it was creating, tried to do so. Prince of Persia games always had some hack'n'slash action in them, however this installment feels hack'n'slash -heavy as those sequences are not only longer but they also consist of repetitive battles with identical foes. Even the Bosses are nothing more than ...larger versions of the minions you had been slaughtering by the dozens earlier.
LOOK 'MA! I CAN FREEZE WATER!
Not to mention climb on and jump off it. It is a neat trick but all it adds is a few more moves to a game that, essentially, is tough platformer in 3 dimensions instead of the side-scrolling 2D. Of course being able to move in 3 dimensions means you depend on the camera to see where you are going. And the camera placement, more often than not, will be grating on your nerves. Especially when precision timing makes the difference between moving on and jumping to your death - and you start exhausting the number of attempts allowed.
LOST YOU GENNIE CONNECTION? SORRY, YOU ARE OUT OF WISHES EFFENDI!
That's right, someone at UBISOFT, once more, has been laboring to substantiate the "SOFT" part of the company name - as in "SOFT in the head". How else is one to explain the publisher's recent obsession with the most inconvenient DRM scheme ever imagined? Not only does it never lets go of the game we paid for but it also requires a constant online verification to play even a single-player game - in perpetuity!
And before anyone mentions the word "piracy", please check if the same scheme had any effect in protecting Assassin's Creed II from piracy. All this scheme prevents from is legitimate gamers from buying this DRM-ruined game.
Forgotten in the Sands indeed.