I likes me some Prince of Persia. I have a soft spot for all the parts the Sands of Time trilogy, even if they did manage to screw various things up royally in the sequels. I’m very keen to play The Sands of Time again should they ever get around to releasing it on Xbox Live. I’m nostalgic.

So, do I hate this crazy new Prince, with his illustrated body, big scarf, and strong american accent? Well, no, because Ubisoft seem to have the knack back. After two sessions I’ve been won over; mostly due to the care they’ve taken with the dialogue between the Prince and his new friend, Elika. Someone over there has clearly found wherever they wrote down the secret of charming, simple, entertaining and amusing storytelling before they lost it for Warrior Within.

The platforming is simpler in many ways, but unlike some I don’t think that necessarily translates to easy, or at least, not to bad easy. Yes, some of the obstacles are removed by having you simply jump at a wall to wall-run, rather than holding a thumbstick towards the wall. But those obstacles were the obstacles of irritation and not the obstacles of working out where the hell to go next. Meanwhile, the game takes the surprising move of having collectables which actually have a story function — meaning that when I do eventually scour the kingdom for all 1001 of them, I’ll have the dubious excuse that not all of them have been collected in the name of obsessive compulsion.

Finally, and I’m not sure it’s even necessary to point this out, it’s a beautiful game. After the gorgeous visuals of Assassin’s Creed I’d have been disappointed if it wasn’t, but it’s its own crazy kind of illustrated, fairytale beautiful, with the beautifully animated Elika the icing on the cake.1 If you leave the game alone for a bit, it’ll even pan across some of its soothing landscapes, just to make sure you realise that it’s very, very nice indeed.

It’s kind of easy, but it’s kind of nice. Certainly, after playing Left 4 Dead and constantly being brutally slaughtered by legions of hideous zombies, this hits the spot.

  1. Clearly someone’s learned the value of subtlety at some point since Warrior Within.

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