You know that one kid in high school Ė the one that was super nice in Jr. High but then decided over summer to wear thick eye linger with matching lipstick and chant My Chemical Romance Lyrics? Or what about that one guy that always wore leather everything and treated Metallica like a religion? Iím not quite sure which one fits the bill more, but both are great comparisons to this sequel to Sands of Time.
This time around, Prince is hunted by the armies of Fate. He is preordained to die for what transpired in the first game, despite the fact that he reversed time so that it never happened. He has become a battle hardened warrior whose life is filled with strifeÖso says the flavor text on the back of the case. If you ask me heís just a violent guy that likes Godsmack. This game is just so one tracked that it hurts. Tits, blood, metal! These are the only three things the developers were concerned with. Gone are the entrancing traditional eastern songs blended with rock instruments. Gone is the terrific narrative. Gone is pretty much everything that made the first game so great.
The graphics are bland, jagged and muddy. How is it that the game before it looked so stunning, and this sequel looks so much worse? Environments are much less impressive and the majority of things are just dark as depressing. God forbid you should see a ray of sunshine. Maybe if the series had started this way, that wouldnít be such a problem. It seems Ubisoft cared more about attaining that M rating than making the product passable.
There is a much bigger emphasis on combat, which would have been fine if they had fine-tuned it. Prince can now dual wield, and while always equipped with a main weapon he can pick up other weapons in the environment. There are many more combos than before, and your secondary weapon can be thrown. Since the enemies are not made of sand and do not require absorption into the Dagger of Time, you can instead throw enemies while wielding only a single weapon. At first it was kind of interesting, but it got old really fast and was never as interesting as it was in Sands of Time. Since the enemies arenít made of sand, they also bleed. Now, the humans in the beginning of Sands of Time and well as Prince himself bled in the original but they just blew it out of proportion here. Beheadings and blood spray abound, and I wouldnít mind if it wasnít so forced. Yeah, in your face, look at all that M rated VIOLENCE! Have some Godsmack too! IÖ..STAND ALONE!
Platforming is much the same, but not many improvements were made at all, and since PoP is a platform adventure game, that isnít good. The only real improvements are the ability to slide down curtains. I also didnít much feel like adventuring this time because all the environments are drab and unimpressive. If it isnít recycled from the Sands of Time (but done worse), itís recycled from earlier in Warrior Withing. The one cool thing added was the ability to shift time through magical portals, thereby changing the environments. Too bad the level design was awful. Sure, weíve seen time travel in everything from Ocarina of Time to Chrono Cross, but itís one of those gimmicks that just works in games as a universally cool addition.
I already mentioned the absence of the great musical score from the first game. Instead, you just have metal guitars and a couple of licensed Godsmack songs. Donít get me wrong, I love metal, and Iím even a Godsmack fan, but what place does this have in an action adventure platformer set in the Middle East? Itís just the gameís attempt at being edgy and cool. Licensed music is likewise ok in a game, they just went about it all wrong with this one.
I donít have a problem with violence. I donít have a problem with darkness. I definitely donít have a problem with heavy metal. What I have a problem with is Ubisoft butchering a sequel to a wonderful game by trying to be ďinĒ and making it like 3/5 blockbuster movies at the time of release. Every time I even look at this game I think of Chronicles of Riddick, or Underworld. Itís not that I have a problem of either of those series Ė I love both of them, but Prince of Persia is not these things, so why is it trying to fit in with them? Warrior Within isnít just a horrible PoP game, itís a horrible game altogether and the only reason you should waste your time with it is to point and laugh.