Review by kingleg
POP- 2008's Assasin's Creed doused in cell-shading, and minus the gameplay
This review is for POP for the Xbox 360. Overall, this game feels like a quick cash in for the holiday season, built off the excellent Assasin's Creed engine, and with half the personality, and half the gameplay. My review is as follows;
Graphics: 5/10 - Some people have praised the visual style of Prince of Persia, and I fully disagree. The game runs on the Assasin's Creed Engine, and while that game featured hordes of NPC's and other stimuli, this game simply renders the backgrounds, Elika, and the Prince. They move fluidly, and the animations are very nice, as always with the POP games, but the graphic style feels like a cheap filter thrown on the game to differentiate it from Assasin's Creed. Levels themselves are ugly, covered in Corrupted, or goo, and made less ugly when Elika fertilizes them, restoring color to them. Even then, the game retains its underwhelming feel, and even asthetically, for the first time in this series, the game does not capture the gritty feel of the POP universe, even in areas covered with the black corrupted.
Sounds- 6/10 The sound here is decent. There is not much music, what is there is decent but not memorable. As for the voiceovers, the primary characters have ok voiceovers, with Elika sounding much better than the prince, who comes across in this iteration as whiny. Overall, decent sound effects.
Controls- 6/10 This game attempts to feature the same sort of run up the walls gameplay as previous iterations of pop, however it does not feel as tight here, with frequent deaths, or should I say "saves by Elika" popping up to counter this, and never really let you realize how loose the controls are, particularly with jumping.
Gameplay- 3/10 The big letdown is right here. First off, as many reviews have stated, you cannot die in this game, and that is true. Elika, your mystery savior (after you "save her" at the beginning) becomes your companion, and your lifeline, protecting you from ever dying on your quest. As other reviews have stated, this does indeed remove ALL challenge from the game, as every jump, every battle, you can simply rely on Elika to save you. In addition, the structure of the game is boring with a hub world and outreaching levels. Every level basically feels the same; with you simply going to areas to clear the corruption, fighting one version of a boss, and then cleansing the area and moving on. For people that complained about the repetition of Assasin's Creed, this game is five times more repetitive. Overall, the gameplay is flat out boring.
Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Product Release: Prince of Persia (US, 12/02/08)
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