Thursday, March 8, 2012
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2003)
The Sands of Time is the first in a trilogy of games following a nameless Prince as he struggles to undo the damage caused when he was tricked by a traitorous vizier into releasing the titular sands with the Dagger of Time he acquired in battle. With the help of Farah; the daughter of the conquered maharajah the sands were taken from; the Prince must return the sands to the hourglass they were released from.
Using the Dagger of Time, the Prince can manipulate time to his advantage in both traversing the environment and in combat. The Prince can use rewind to undo falling off a ledge or being struck by an enemy, slow time to gain advantage in combat or against a time sensitive puzzle or just freeze things in their tracks. Using these abilities uses up a sand tank which can be replenished by defeating enemies and absorbing the sand from their bodies or from scattered sand clouds. Absorbing enough sand will not only replenish empty tanks but also create new ones to allow for more time manipulation. Combat can be repetitive with the limited number of enemies and effective moves, but if you put some effort into it the Prince can be just as graceful with his sword as he is with his acrobatics keeping in line with the almost unbroken flow of the game.
In between fights and puzzles is some decent character growth as the Prince and Farah bicker and banter back and forth. The game is also quite good looking with smooth animations, detailed architecture that complements the level design and some good cut-scenes. There are also some decent unlockables like ports of the original games, but not really a whole lot of replay value. The game is fantastic only being held back by limited combat options and lack of replay incentives, but it is well worth your time.
Available on a multitude of platforms including an HD remastered version on PSN.
4 ½ Who built this dungeon with convenient switches for acrobatic trespassers? out of 5