Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands marks the return of this storied franchise to its roots. After the well-received 2003 reboot of the series, more recent games have garnered more criticism than praise.
It seemed very much that the franchise had run the Tomb Raider route: Gamers simply had grown tired of it. The Forgotten Sands does its part to return the franchise to the good graces of the gaming public, but it doesn't do much more than that. Continuing the earlier Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time story line is interesting, but in the end, many gamers will think that finishing this game will be more of a chore than an adventure.
That said, this is a great introduction into the series for anyone who hasn't played a Prince of Persia game.
The game starts off strong and sends the prince straight into the combat and acrobatic puzzles for which he is so well known. The effort and polish put into the core gameplay mechanics are clearly visible, as Ubisoft Montreal did a fantastic job of nailing smooth and largely irritation-free gameplay.
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The prince runs up walls, solves puzzles and wages combat with his enemies in a rewarding way. It seems, however, that almost all development time might have been put into this work instead of balancing it out over all game elements.
Outside of the core game mechanics, the game starts to fall apart. The story is all but forgettable, and the visuals and audio are average at best. It is not an ugly game, but it's a far cry from some of the top-tier games this year.
As far as in-game skills, the ability to rewind time is back and is a welcome return. Once the prince gets deep into his story, the combat and platforming become thoroughly difficult, and the ability to rewind to just before you sent him plummeting to his death is quite nice. But beyond this basic gameplay element, the combat and platforming sections quickly become repetitive.
Gamers who haven't played a Prince of Persia title this generation, or even the most recent, will have fun this go-round. But if you've played any of the recent games, you probably can relegate this to a rental.