Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

Posted by SadExchange
12/28/2004
Released on: 11/30/2003
Developed by: Ubisoft
Published by: Ubisoft

An impressive Adventure Game form Ubisoft that any gamer can pick up but few can put down till the very end.

Score

8.66

Arriving on shelves on the 30th of November in 2003, just a few weeks after its console counterparts, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time grabbed players by the collar and held onto them for a good ten or so hours of gameplay giving them a full adventure, with great graphics, and a decent enough storyline. Coming from the same developer who made Splinter Cell, Ubisoft released Sands of Time to not only hardcore Adventure gamers, but because of the ease of playing style and the overall fun game, they also released it to the general gamer easily giving them a handhold for the Adventure Game of the Year Award for 2003. Stemming from, but not following the two games previously released under the Prince of Persia name, Sands of Time sends the player through puzzles, enemies, and the occasional banter between the prince and well, himself.

In Sands of Time, you've unlocked the Sands of Time in the opening movie and you'll spend the rest of the game righting the wrong that you alone committed. But you won't have to do that alone, you'll enlist the help of a captured foe's daughter named Farah, plus the helpfulness of a couple of differently powered swords and the Dagger of Time which will little by little, regain the sands of time that were lost in the beginning. The story itself was written nicely and keeps the player engrossed in it for much of the game relying on conversations between the prince and Farah about different situations within the game including the love story built around the Arabian and Persian. The Sands of Time has many, many puzzles that must be solved to advance further in the game, but still with many puzzles, they can only be solved one way and because of that, the gameplay is pretty linear. Which leaves the replay value mostly for people who want to play with a higher rate of difficulty. But the first time you play through this game, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment for the puzzles that you'll solve throughout the many large, sometimes enormous rooms you're put into where you have to travel from the ground floor up six or seven flights without a stair in sight.

As the prince, you have the ability to run along the wall, run up the side of a wall, swing from pole staff to pole staff, jump from stone column to column, and many other acrobatic abilities just to progress through the game in the way of puzzles. You'll find that you have to use the whole environment to proceed through each checkpoint. And those moves are just while solving puzzles; the moves you'll be able to do while in combat will definitely separate this game from any other. Never have I seen more fluidity with combat in a game as I did in Sands of Time. Ubisoft was simply amazing in designing the slashes and jumps that the prince could do throughout a sword fight with either one or multiple enemies. Between being able to spear off a wall to push an enemy down or jumping from a wall over the top of an enemy to slash it across its back, you as a player will be able to build up multiple combinations throughout the game's fighting sequences. And there are many, many fighting sequences throughout the game, but they never seem overdone or tiresome because of the different techniques you can use while in battling one monster or another. While facing one mummified attacker, you're able to back flip to the one behind you and then proceed to jump over the top of him, literally walking up his front side to his back to take him out from behind. You'll look forward to the battles between you and 20 enemies because of the fun that can be had during the drawn out skirmishes. And one thing that helps the combat in the game is the responsiveness in the controls. Even with a keyboard and mouse, the combat can be flawless with the different combinations of buttons to push.

The graphics in the game are separated into two categories. In one end, there are the character models which were good at best. Each character and monster looked different in the game, but alone there was nothing too spectacular and defining about them. One does have to note that the character model looked realistic during the combat scenes which is a feat in itself because of the motions that the prince went through during the intense battles. That's not to say that the character models were ugly, just for 2003, the character models were a little lacking, but don't just overlook the graphics entirely because you'd be overlooking the environments within the game located around and inside the Arabian temples. The rich detail that was applied to the locales and rooms within and outside the temple walls were done exceptionally well throughout the entire game. Whether it was during the daytime, the nighttime or whether the prince was outside, or outside, the game world looked great. When balancing upon a stone pathway hundreds of feet above the long bridges between temples, you'll definitely take a moment to notice your surroundings and the time that was taken to present them fully. Sound within the game was also done well by the developers. The music definitely fits the mood whether you're waking around outside the temple listening to the hollowing winds or whether you're battling the mummified remains of your own palace guards. The pace of the music settles in with the atmosphere of your surroundings being that it dies down when you're towering over the height of the temple tower looking down upon all you've accomplished so far, but speeds up over time in different situations always pushing the player further never making them feel left out because of the selection of music.

Once you finish certain areas, you're allowed to save your progress of the game, which is nice because you get to see what percentage of the game you have completed. While this is nice, it definitely shows the linearity of the game. But also, before you're able to save, the prince is given a vision of what takes place next; hints on how to complete the next puzzle, and other such helpful notes on enemies you'll face coming up in the game. While this can be a nice feature in the game, it can also be something that hardcore adventure gamers will scoff at because of the ease that it brings to the puzzles. That's not to say that puzzles are simple in any retrospect, while some may be easier than others, certain puzzles will stand out with giving the player a sense of accomplishment after completing them.

The A.I. within the game is something that could have been improved slightly. Enemies will attack the same way each time, only slightly changing their swings as they try to tear the prince apart with their own swords. While their fighting styles may be constant, the level of the combat depends on you the player because of the different techniques you can display through different button combinations. Whether you have fun in the game truly depends on how you want to play. Do you want to do the same fighting combinations over and over or do you want to try and make new combinations up. It's all your choice.

Overall, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is a definite play for all Adventure gamer players and also something that the regular gamer should pick up because of the fun that can be had during the ten or so hours while playing through the game for the first time. See if you find all the power-ups your first time through and maybe try going through it again at a different level of difficulty for the fun of the battle scenes if nothing else. Sands of Time should is a game that anyone can get into, and a game that most players will get hooked on.
Gameplay9.00
Graphics9.00
Sound9.00
Story/Plot9.00
Replay Value7.00
Stability9.00
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