The latest edition to the Prince of Persia franchise, The Forgotten Sands, isn’t likely to blow your mind as successfully as the previous Sands of Time title. However, with new elemental abilities to investigate, plenty of good old fashioned free running to enjoy and beautiful high definition graphics to look at in a multitude of different scenes, this game certainly has a lot to offer fans and newcomers to the series alike. Some small flaws may halt your total enjoyment of The Forgotten Sands, such as some awkward camera movement and the overly easy, button mashing based combat. These negatives are clearly outweighed however by challenging activities, a fun and interesting plot and intricate and long levels.
One notable difference between The Forgotten Sands and its predecessor is the removal of the open world experience that characterised it. Instead, we find ourselves in a more traditional platform game, with levels created in an entirely linear fashion. Don’t let this put you off though, as this formula works exceptionally well with the game in question; your skills developing through the levels as the challenges become more difficult.
A different take on the skills to be developed throughout the gameplay of this particular title add a new take on the series. Although you will have the usual ability to hop lightly from post to post and to run easily along a wall, other entirely new moves can be unlocked as you progress. Take the ability to turn water to ice at the touch of a button, for example. A path once blocked by a waterfall could now turn into an easy path to scale, or a jet of water once innocently spurting could now be a pillar for you to vault across. The water based antics will start simply, but before long the challenges will become increasingly more complex, perhaps forcing you to freeze water as you jump, or break through a waterfall just after the ice has melted. There is plenty to keep you on your toes, and as other skills are added to your repertoire, the different challenges will continue to perplex and entertain you.
Unfortunately the creativity demonstrated within the intricate design of the levels is sorely lacking within any combat sequences that you encounter. All of the smooth combat features that we loved from previous titles have been removed; leaving us with what is essentially a button mashing combat experience. Although combat skills can be learnt as you progress, the more skills you train, the easier the combat becomes, removing any challenge that might have existed.
Fortunately anything that The Forgotten Sands lacks in its limited combat system, it makes up for with its brilliance as a platform game. Although the new skills may take some getting used to, the intricacies that they add to the incredibly well designed levels will keep you amused for many hours.