Review by Mechsaurian

Reviewed: 01/04/06

A great game, but hard to buy

Every review on this page talks about how PoP 1 rocked, PoP 2 sucked, and PoP 3 is in between. Guess what? I agree... mostly. Read on.

Graphics: 8/10

A mixed bag. Oddly enough, the cinematic graphics are WORSE than the in game graphics (except for the amazing non-game engine ones, which are hella better). While playing, you get to see smooth, realistic (if anybody could do that stuff) animations, solid character and enemy models, heads and torsos being chopped off, great blood effects, and decent water effects. In the cinematics, some of the animations made specifically for cinematics (such as a character crossing their arms or shrugging) look very cheesy. In the cinematics the Prince has a "half-amazed" expression on hs face most of the time that made me laugh out loud more than once, utterly ruining the feel of the moment. Other than those complaints, I find the graphics in this game to be not only the best of the three PoP games, but pretty good in their own right too.

Music: 9/10

I must agree with everyone who hated Godsmack in Warrior Within. Don't get me wrong, Godsmack, isn't a terrible band. But how in the hell do they fit with medieval Persia? Thankfully, the game designers said "adios" to that lame bull and decided to do an original, middle-east inspired soundtrack like PoP 1's. The music is great, and so are the sound effects. There's nothing truly memorable in either department, but considering the "memorable" music of PoP 2, that's probably a good thing.

Gameplay: 10/10

Smooth, brain tickling, button mashing Prince of Persia goodness. Most of the game involves figuring out how to get to the next area using the Prince's acrobatic abilities. Every ability the Prince has is constantly tested throughout the game. Wall-running, wall-jumping, pole-swinging, and other amazing feats are constantly required to make your way through a world where the path usually isn't too obvious. Puzzles are sprinkled in amongst the platforming, and while not nearly as weird or difficult as the puzzles in the first game, they beat PoP 2's by a good deal.

Then there's the fighting. Wow. It's basically PoP 2's revamped fighting system with fewer (but definately tougher) enemies and less unnecessary blood and guts. Use walls, platforms, and even the enemies themselves to perform devastating (and really cool) aerial attacks. Pick up a second weapon for double the damage (and double the fun). Perform combos that end in you performing division on the baddies and making one monster into two. And best of all are the new stealth kills, which allow you to quickly and silently kill enemies with some deft button pressing.

The final part of gameplay I've gotta discuss is the Dark Prince. During certain segments of the game, the Prince is possessed by the Sands of Time and becomes an evil version of himself, a state which is ended when the Prince is immersed in water. These segments differ from the norm in two ways, allowing you to use the Daggertail weapon instead of a secondary sword or axe, which is extremely powerful in combat and can be used as a grappling hook. As the Dark Prince, your health goes down at a slow but steady rate, but thankfully, every time you kill an enemy or break an object in the environment, your health is restored. The Dark Prince segments were very interesting and challenging, and added a lot to the game in my opinion.

Replay: 3/10

Not much. There are a few different paths to take along the way, all of which make your health bar longer, but after completing them you are simply redirected back to the main route. Once you beat this game there's no real justification for playing through again, apart from the simply joy of playing. But pure fun won't keep this game from eventually becoming boring. This is the game's weakest point by far, although I foresee playing through it again on a rainy day with nothing to do.

Overall: 7.5/10, rounded up to 8

A great game. That's without a doubt. But it's up to you whether to rent or buy it.

Rent or Buy?: Up to you. If you're one of the lame types who beat a game and then forget about it, just rent it. You'll probably be able to beat it within five days. If you play a game for fun instead of just to beat it, this is worth every penny, as this game is great fun and never get boring.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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