Review by Rouge wolf
Every once and a while you find something that just takes your breath away. Things like that often try to improve upon their medium (Film, Literature, etc...) and innovate with in their choose avenue of expression also. Many Attempt to do this and many fail. Only a few books, movies, TV shows, even a few video games fall into this great category. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, not only improves and refines, the often muddled, elements of an action/adventure game but innovates them also.
Visuals: No doubt I have seen prettier games, but now a days just having great graphics doesn't get the job done. This game has good graphics, don't get me wrong, but the over all look of this game in simple outstanding. Giving the feeling of being in a grand middle-eastern castle. The scale and details in that scale is what brings this game to life. Having each room with a different look and feel and yet all one theme is a hard thing to get done but Prince of Persia does it well.
Sound: I wouldn't have thought mixing rock and middle-eastern beats and melodies would have been a good idea but they make it work, work well at that. The sounds of combat are authentic and fluent. The audio ambiance of this game only helps to feed the over all feeling and scale of this games. Watching and hearing a bridge crumble in front of you only serves to place you in the story, but that is not what makes this game stand out.
Game Play: The idea of toying with time is not new to man, and certainly not new to the gaming industry. But I have never found this feature to be so useful in other games, not as useful as it is in Prince of Persia. Once you get the Dagger of time that is.
I will give you an example. After falling from a high ledge and dieing you have the ability to rewind time. To watch the character replay your mistake, this time only in reverse, to watch the Prince float back up into the air and land on the ledge you fell from and to be given a second chance, like nothing every happened, to do it all over again. Simply amazing. You are also granted other powers with this Dagger of Time.
The combat is fluent and easy to handle, yet challenging. The enemies in this game are not just standing there ,waiting to be attacked. No, they strike hard and fast. You have two weapons, your normal slashing sword and the dagger of time. After beating the enemy down with your big sword you give them a quick jab with the Dagger of Time, dispatching them forever. But be quick cause you are out numbered.
Story: The story is good and engaging. But I wouldn't call it ground breaking. But it is how the story is told that makes it truly one of the best I have every witnessed in my 13 years of gaming. The prince, your character, narrates to you events in the game and often speaks, with out your prompting, to other characters in the game. That would seem annoying to a person who has never played this game but once you see it in action it feels like you are being told a story. This is not the first time this has happened in a game but it has never been done his way before.
Overall: I realize that you may thing I have just been simply swept off of my feet when it comes to this game. And I have. But you have got to witness this game for yourself. Like Grand Theft Auto, Metal Gear: Solid and many other great and well conceived games before it this game stands out and will force you to raise your expectations for games. This game is a hallmark in gaming and cannot be missed.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 12/29/03
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