Visually, this game is beautiful
. The art direction, environments, and character designs are, in my opinion, some of the best the franchise has ever seen. Both the story and the mythos (opposing gods, healing corrupted lands, etc.) were incredibly interesting to me, and I really enjoyed the ending (of both the original game and the DLC, which I played on the Xbox 360 and, unfortunately, isn't available on PC). It had great potential for a sequel, but that's likely a moot point.
The gameplay is split into two sections -- traversing the maps and one-on-one combat. Running around in the game never got boring to me; as you complete more areas, you're granted new abilities to use in travel, and it helps to keep that aspect of the game from getting too stale. Again, the game is beautiful, and some of the post-boss runs are incredibly cinematic. Combat, for me, was fun, although it is admittedly simple. Once you learn how to abuse the timed block, though, you'll pretty much have the game on lock. Still, I found it enjoyable -- and they do try to keep it interesting by changing the parameters on the boss battles and asking you to use different strategies for each.
All in all, I consider this to be one of the better games I've played in the last decade, and it's my personal favorite in the franchise. There's something very compelling about moving through the abandoned areas and knowing that, aside from the handful of enemies that you're moving to confront, your characters are the only ones there; in that way, it reminds me of Vagrant Story in mood/tone, which is one of my all-time favorite titles. It has a good balance between quiet simplicity and loud, cinematic action. If you like your Prince of Persia with constant battles, noise, and spectacle, then this probably isn't the title for you. But if you enjoy titles like Ōkami
and Shadow of the Colossus
that, visually, showcase a strongly artistic tone, then you may really end up enjoying the game. It's certainly worth the price it's at now (and even more so when discounted during the major sales).
One more things I'd like to say: Yes, it's impossible to "die" in this game. But, seriously. The only thing this game lacks in that department is a "Continue?" prompt and "Yes/No" options. Unless a game introduces penalties for death (which, aside from maybe losing some progression, few games do these days) or a mode that allows for no continues (like, say, the "I Am the Night" mode in Batman: Arkham Origins
), then I don't understand the major criticism outside of disliking it from a narrative viewpoint. Frankly, I'm glad the game doesn't waste my time with loading a new screen and simply allows me to get back into the action if I fudge something.
Posted: December 21st, 2013