An aficionado of the third-person platform genre, I truly hoped that 'Prince of Persia' would abridge the distance between two titles of personal interest: 'Assassin's Creed', developed and published by the same company as Prince of Persia, Ubisoft, and the long-awaited 'God of War 3', which I have been craving for since completing the last installment of the series on Playstation 2. With the two aforementioned games as my measuring stick to all other platform games, I found it hard to enjoy this game as much as I had intended before looking into it. However, whereas the game has flaws, there are a few aspects to it that might just counterbalance the negative ones.
The story pivots on the seemingly fortuitous encounter between the protagonist, a quick-witted bulky adventurer who lost his donkey on his way back home from a troublesome tomb-riding ordeal and a sage yet mysterious young woman. As their paths intertwine, the damsel in distress discloses her regal lineage to her savior, explaining how her kingdom has fallen prey to the abrupt release of the malefic deity that her family has kept segregated for generations. Although an opportunist, the young protagonist eventually offers his help and embarks on an adventure that will take him and his newly found companion through a mythical world fraught of merciless fiends and demonic minions who will stop at nothing to champion the predominance of their evil divinity.
Whereas clichéd and repetitive, the story mode may still be considered innovative and fraught with several metaphors and life maxims, seeing how the player can learn more about the princess by asking her questions throughout the different stages of the game, and, as a result obtain a personalized encyclopedia of visited places and people, and discover how the protagonist and his guide gradually fall in love. As an innovation per se, I found particularly interesting the absence of the typical difficulty levels that are common to almost all video games. In my opinion, the philosophy behind this choice might be that the publisher wanted to provide its players with a game mostly centered on the interaction with the environment, expanding the usual pattern - jump, move, crouch, dive - to a wider range of acrobatics that will allow them to fly sky high through swanky Persian buildings, spiral into the air, run-wall over steep facades and much more.
In terms of gameplay, if the flawless interaction with the environment deserves kudos, the combat leaves a lot to be desired. Nicely hard and enhanced by magic elements, the number of combos, both the basic and the hidden ones, is ridiculously scant and inevitably reduces the game to a continual performance of similar manoeuvres; what is worse, the variety of enemies and main bosses is quite limited, as the player will rarely get into combat during the game and will feel as if he or she were playing the same opponent all over again.
On the whole, I will give this game three stars because the interaction with the environment surely warrants recognition. However, provided the shortness of the story mode and the easiness with which Playstation trophies can be achieved , Prince of Persia's longevity can get players going as far as a couple of days ( maybe three if players should decide to clear additional contents), and is surely not a game that will appeal to fans of online gaming. As my personal recommendation to fellow third-person platform aficionados, I do suggest to rent it out only to give it a go and see if their opinion upon it should differ.