I did not play the Sands of Time trilogy before trying The Forgotten Sands. I wanted to try it first as a standalone game and see how I felt, and then see its inspiration and how it compares. And, though I wasn’t expecting to be, I was extremely pleased.
The Forgotten Sands is one of those games that I feel deserves a cult following. It’s remarkable in some really great ways, but also flawed. And though it doesn’t seem like the game has gained much of a following, consider me a fan. Let’s get the good out first: Price of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is a ton of fun. And that matters a lot, right? This game is filled with incredible platforming, incredibly clever platforming and puzzles that are interesting, if not too difficult. Though the platforming is very similar to The Sands of Time trilogy, I wouldn’t call it a carbon copy so much as I’d say they didn’t fix what isn’t broken. Instead, they added things like the ability to freeze water, and a few other quite memorable abilities that I really enjoyed. The adventure is also quite well paced, and though the combat starts slow it ends up being quite a bit of fun, if not exact a standard-setting combat system. And honestly, though others have said otherwise, I didn’t find this game to be short. It was at least 10 hours, and the length felt just right for what it was (and considering how cheap it can be found now).
There are flaws, of course. One is definitely the combat system, as it’s definitely not complicated enough to be much fun until later, though it rarely gets in the way. Another big one is the game’s story. I always want to watch a game’s story progress, but the cutscenes interrupted the game so frequently sometimes that I found it just annoying. The story, in the end, isn’t that bad, but they definitely could have put less focus on it, because it’s hardly a gem. Still, the main point is the platforming, which is spectacular.
The graphics, however, are a bit hard to give a score for, because it’s as though two different development teams designed the levels. Some levels have some very inspired visuals that look beautiful, and some just all look basically the same. Though this isn’t terribly detrimental to the game, it’s definitely not the biggest looker.
There are flaws in this Prince of Persia, but it was definitely worth the price if you can find it for under $20. It’s overall a very good experience that culminates into a really fun and cinematic boss fight at the end. It’s a great game, and I’d say that just because it doesn’t have quite the content of other releases doesn’t make it not worth playing.