P Is For Predictable
Everyone’s favorite pixeled prince is back in Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, sequel to Sands of Time. And this time around he’s a roguish movie tie-in a la Jake Gyllenhaal (no complaints here). There’s just one problem. The game is more Cirque du Soleil than merciless massacring.
Sure, this platformer’s layout is exquisite and the astounding acrobatics fit like a familiar old pair of shoes. But, maybe that’s the problem. It’s all a bit too familiar. And the movie tie-in makes it that much more comfortable. Perhaps the spark is gone from our relationship?
You begin the game in your brother’s castle, which, unsurprisingly, is under siege. An army of sand has attacked and ultimately your brother Malik unleashes a seriously devastating, ancient force of evil in the hopes of saving his people. This backfires and you’re left to clean up the grit and grime. You’ll quickly discover that the enemies are easily dispatched, so it’s kind of a shame you don’t have a vacuum.
The Prince is up to his usual wall-running, pillar-scaling, palace-throttling shenanigans, and the gameplay and controls are essentially identical to Sands of Time. But, there are some new tricks, too, including the oft-demoed water freezing ability, which adds an interesting dimension to the puzzle solving, as you can freeze and unfreeze water in midair. Forgotten Sands is more linear than its recent brethren, but that’s actually one of its more endearing qualities as each level builds nicely to the climax.
Bottom line? Forgotten Sands is great for longtime series supporters who wish that Sands of Time had been longer…but there’s not much new material here.