Reviewed by Charlie Duke
Dec 9th 2004
Introduction:Prince of Persia 2 is a very long running series now and this is the fifth but not the final one. The sands of time which was out for Xbox only a few years back was a success and now Ubisoft wants to make it even bigger. Let's see how they did...
The Game:Prince of Persia 2: Warrior Within is a brilliant game for new gamers and retro gamers like myself. Almost immediately you are thrown into battle. Although disorientating at first players will soon get to grips with the fluid control system and throughout the game learn their favorite combos to dish out on unaware enemies. This brings me onto one of the big selling points of the game "Free form fighting". Although I think Ubisoft has made it seem more that what it is the combat is an excellent and a big part of this game. Being able to roll around an enemy run up a wall slash them in half and then strangulate a beast to death followed by slickly cutting their head off is incredibly satisfying especially if you did it all in slow motion using your time control. Yes the combat is cool and it's even better with your time abilities (Blinx anyone?).
The time abilities include rewinding time if you die or get really hurt and want to try again, slow motion to have the advantage over enemies and to beat time puzzles (e.g. A closing door). The last ability is being able to send a sort of earthquake around you knocking down enemies but I found this rather useless and not very fun.
The other part of the gameplay is the platforming and this is my personal favorite. It really does bring back the good old days of Mario and Banjo. There is a wide range of traps and these are all combined differently to present a very challenging and engaging situation. Sometimes I found myself failing to complete a platforming task several times, I really did have to step back and think where I was going wrong. Overall both the platforming and combat have been improved for this sequel but is a shame that there is less of a focus on the sand of time puzzles.
Sadly every game has its weaknesses and it's the glitches and bugs that mess up this title. So far I have encountered falling through the floor, the music stopping, music bugs and the dreaded crash at retry screen (the latter is very odd and must be experienced :D). I've also heard of people getting into a position of not being able to continue and the story being ruined by a certain "change". However don't be disheartened, although these bugs are frustrating it should not happen much just make sure you have a back up save a couple of checkpoints behind.
In closing it is important to mention that this is a big game to play through and with the brilliant story of time complications it's definitely worth playing through. If you complete it once it is likely you will want to play again and find all the artwork, extra weapons, extra health and the secret "true" ending. Good luck people!
Graphics & Sound:Prince of Persia 2 is not outstanding in the graphics or sound department. The graphics and texture are quite dirty and edgy which shouldn't really be the case on the same console that has games like The Chronicals of Riddick and Halo 2. Come on Ubisoft you can improve the graphics for Xbox! The environment still pack a punch though as they are huge and varied. This helps draw away your eye from the low polycount.
Sadly the sound is also a bit of a mish mash of different genres. There's rock by Godsmack and some other fairly average uncompelling background music. I can deal with that but the worst part is the little comments of the characters. The prince insists on saying "I haven't got time for this", "Arrrrrrrrrrgh" or "Hiyaaaaa" almost every time he swashbuckles his sword. Tedious at the very least.
Innovation:Although this doesn't bring much new to the genre it does improve on what other titles have not been so good at doing. The time controls are well rounded and the combat is great. I suppose what really stands out is the way the environment presents a platforming challenge without looking strange. It looks like a real place with great architecture and that really is an achievement.
Mojo:Prince of Persia 2 has the mojo compared to the last game. The step into the darkside away from the cartoony style of the previous titles was a good choice. You've just got to love the 'badass' look. Other things that add to the mojo are the great looking areas and the brilliant story, Ubisoft be proud!
Lowdown:A great title for platform adventure fans and an interesting new direction. Platform games have evolved and at the moment this is the game leading them. I'd like to see some competition now to bring this almost dead genre back alive, Blinx hasn't provided maybe Rareware will. Watch your back Prince of Persia you're only the best because the race isn't big.
Gameplay: 9, Graphics/Sound: 7, Innovation: 8, Mojo: 9. Final: 9