Wednesday, November 3

Game: Prince of Persia (360) Click for more info

It was my mistake really. You see the first rehash of Prince of Persia (of Sands of Time, the one that was adapted for film) was absolutely brilliant. It flowed, it was simple, the game mechanic was brilliant and the balance between platform puzzling and combat was genius. I never played the two sequels, but I assumed that they were more of the same; which is why I made it a point to get this, the second re-imagining of the franchise.

Despite being well received by the critics, I'm struggling to understand why. The biggest issue I have with it is the non-linearity of the maps - instead of having to get from A to B, you now have access to a multi-dimensional hub from which you can access various pseudo-sand-boxed worlds. The reason for this is because progress is no longer geographical, it's statistical. In short, the game is now a glorified collect-em-up. Yeh, that's right; GTA has a lot to answer for.

It's a fatal mistake in my opinion. There's only so much wall running you can do before the lack of progress makes it feel like a waste of time. What's worse is that you need to collect to open up new worlds, and the maps are so tight with collectibles that the whole thing becomes a bit of a chore to play. Which is a shame, since the non-collectable bits (ie the combat and puzzles) are quite good in their own right - it just sucks that they make up such a small part of the game.

It's such a pain that I'm considering writing the game off before completion, something I rarely do. I guess it goes without saying that I don't recommend POP.