Kevin Lee II On July 2, 2010 at 10:38 am

Prince of Persia may be a new name to the movie industry but it’s definitely not a new name in the gaming industry. Prince of Persia’s first iteration was released in 1989 for the Apple II and then was ported to consoles like the NES. Four years after, Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame was released for various platforms including the SNES. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, released in 2003 was a reboot to the series by Ubisoft after they acquired the rights. The Sands of Time received high praise from fans of the platform genre and was widely acclaimed for its brilliant environmental puzzles, remarkable atmosphere, and naturally flowing controls. Ubisoft is at it again while trying to capitalize on the movie’s success with a game releasing in the same time window as the box office hit. Can they make a game that lives up to its predecessors?

The Forgotten Sands for the Xbox 360 returns to the storyline established by the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and concluded by Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones taking place in between the seven year gap of those two games. This “interquel” follows the Prince as he helps a female companion, Djinn, save her kingdom from an almighty evil force. The same evil force has consumed the Prince’s brother, causing him to become obsessed with power. The hurriedly explained, barebones plot doesn’t help out much, as the game spends the first few hours simply replaying The Sands of Time in HD in a slightly different palace.

The game promptly reintroduces the time-rewinding game mechanic from The Sands of Time, and from then on, most of the gameplay is rather self-explanatory. The greatest new feature to the Prince of Persia series is the addition of elemental powers. Eventually you are given the ability to freeze water, restore broken platforms and the sweet speed dash. Each can be triggered instantly and the game really shines when all three of the abilities are needed at once. The platforming in this game could have been substantially better if the camera wasn’t so faulty. The camera can’t always be controlled and sometimes it changes mid-jump. The camera will consistently cause the player to jump to his death instead of to the next platform. It’s really unfortunate to see what could have been a high point in the game tarnished by something that is so fundamental.

The combat system in The Forgotten Sands is technically new. It only uses a single button and meant for dozens of enemies that attack at once. The once fluid and aesthetic sword fights from previous Prince of Persia titles is abandoned to be a button mashing game. Chaining together slashes is a cinch but there’s no real depth to it. The only good thing is that there are times when a whole bunch of enemies appear on screen at once. This slightly makes up for the simplicity of combat but The Forgotten Sands is no God of War. You can also unlock some elemental combat powers from the games skill tree as you gain experience but the button mashing for the sword attack is just as effective.

Although released during the same month of the movie for obvious reasons, The Forgotten Sands is not exactly a tie-in even though it suffers the same hindrances as other tie-ins. The game has lackluster visuals, especially when compared to the vivid, colorful world 2008’s Prince of Persia. The Forgotten Sands is definitely not very good in the graphical department in today’s standards. Most of the game looks flat combined with a very low level of detail on the castle environments. Every section of the palace all look alike just with different color palettes plastered on. The game did have some frame rate issues when there were a great number of enemies on the screen at once. The Forgotten Sands has some very rough animations which are more noticeable during the cutscenes. The modeling of the characters and their facial expressions are somewhat robotic and unconvincing. This makes the game have an unpolished or unfinished feel to it as though it was rushed to come out the same time as the movie.

The voice acting in the game is mediocre, especially for the Prince and his brother. The soundtrack goes unnoticed by being so generic. Orchestrated epic melodies and will encourage moments of platforms, or when making a challenge against the clock but it’s definitely not strong enough to be taken into account. The level design is archaic and feels like the same rectangular rooms as we played on the PS2 with The Sands of Times. Although some puzzles are intriguing, it feels as though the game has been simplified and moved backwards in the series instead of forward. Gameplay is boring and repetitive to the max. The Forgotten Sands seems to be a game created just to fulfill a corporate commitment and should probably beforgotten as the title says.


Simplified combat is alright but the fluid sword fighting from previous PoP’s is a lot better. The puzzles are intriguing and are the only thing that keeps you playing.


Most of the game looks flat combined with a very low level of detail on the castle environments. Some animations are rough and the game has framerate issues when many enemies are on the screen at once.


Generic “epic” soundtrack that is easily forgettable and the voice-acting is mediocre at best. The rest of the sounds feel like previous PoP games.


The Forgotten Sands feels like a step backward in the series. Gameplay is uninventive and the combat system is weak. You’re better off sticking with a previous Prince of Persia or Assassin’s Creed.

One Response

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