I actually never really heard of the original Prince of Persia until Ubisoft rebooted the series with the Sands of Time games. While I never got into them, they were a decent success both critically and commercially. So in 2008, it was rather shocking to see Ubisoft attempt to reboot the series once again with the plainly titled Prince of Persia.
The game is not connected to either the original story or the one featured in the Sands of Time games. The game struts a brand new Prince of Persia, though he's more like a wise cracking bandit. The true royal character is his side-kick Elika, a beautiful Persian princess with mystical powers. The game is heavily based around the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism, and it gives the theme a really neat feel to it. However the plot is ruined by artificial injections of low-brow American humor mainly by the Prince himself.
But hey! Plots aren't everything right? Well video-games can get by with it, and Prince of Persia's story was never special anyway. Fans come to fight and jump on walls, and there's a whole lot of that. The game has a bit of an opened world, and you can choose various paths while re-exploring areas that you "cleansed". Since the game is not a Level 1-Level 2-Level 3 setup, when you fall off into a pit you're actually caught by Elika before anything bad happens. You literally can't die in the game, and Elika will be saving your sorry self multiple times every 10 minutes.
Since Elika hovers around the Prince all the time, she also fights with you in battles as well. She's isn't artificially controlled either, you control both characters at once. The Prince has all the melee moves, while Elika can only magically attack monsters who get close enough to the Prince. I kinda wished Elika sat on the sidelines, because being invisibly tied together in combat restricts you more than it adds with fighting as a team.
While it sports gorgeous visuals, and inventive ideas; the whole game just don't quite cut it in the end. The "trial and error" platforming is more than annoying than it is "easy to the player", and the combat is as dull as a rusty sword. While it might seem like a glorious paradise in the middle of the desert, but in the end it was just a disappointing mirage.
Score: 5 out of 10
Score: 5 out of 10