Review by CDuke

"The best platformer so far on the Xbox!"

From a distant past the Prince of Persia returns. I hadn't played the first one. This game was definitely a surprise, I was not expecting it to be a sleeper hit.

Graphics: 9/10
Although they are not the best graphics in the world they really fit the environment well. The lighting is superb (thank you once again Ubisoft) and the areas unique and spectacular. They are so huge it is hard to explain here, you feel like you are in a city rather than a palace. The character models are also fantastic, especially the animation with them. The prince's motions flow effortlessly and you never find him jerking anywhere. The only thing preventing this game getting top marks is the fact that the enemies can look poor in some camera angles and slightly 2D, the Xbox could do better.

Sound: 10/10
The music is amazing. It really fits in with the surroundings and is a unique mixture of many styles. Like the animation it flows easily from background music to battle music. It also deepens the game's areas where you are not quite sure what to expect. There is also no let down in the sound effects and the voice acting is original and fits the characters well. There are some golden moments when the prince is talking to himself or taking the mick out of Farah. They are a joy to hear, over and over again.

Gameplay: 9/10
I was very tempted to give this game a 10 for this but there are problems. The gameplay itself is almost perfect, mixing combat with acrobats and puzzles but there are some very irritating bugs that although I have not witnessed I cannot ignore. Some people have had major problems causing them to start over. The gameplay is effected by this but the actual layout is great. Every room feels in place, but because the palace is falling apart you cannot take the normal routes. The prince will have to flip, jump, shimmy, swing, wall jump and dodge traps which will literally have you running up the wall. This is great fun and never becomes awkward because there are great camera angles, the game also remains realistic enough because it is all designed around the room so it blends in well. The puzzles are imaginative and the game also contains the classic light and mirrors puzzle within a library, it can be tricky. The combat is also amazing, you have a variety of moves to use like vaulting over the enemy to slice their back open. All this is fantastic alone but is made even better by the game's trump card.
The Prince has the ability to control time using a dagger. This means he can slow it down making it easy to attack, freeze enemies and also rewind time. This gets rid of any life system, instead you just rewind time when you die, this can be quite funny at times, especially when you try and pick out the defining moment. This is all worked into the storyline making a very enjoyable experience.

Long Term: 8/10
This is the main area where the game is let down. Once you complete the relatively short story there is not much in the way of unlockables. There are no extra difficulty settings, no collect all the stuff. Although you do unlock the original Prince of Persia this is not very rewarding and is not particularly fun. If you live outside Europe you do get the second as well, but still, this is not much of a reward. However, for some people you can over look this because the main story does have a replay factor and can be fun a second time through.

Overall: 9/10
+ Finally a decent platformer
+ Gameplay amazing
+ Great quality sound and animation
- Main story too short
- There are many bugs
- Not much to unlock

A great purchase and blows all other platformer games for the Xbox out the water.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/12/04

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