Video Game Review

The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

****

Ubi Soft For GameCube, PC, PS2 and Xbox

For those who actually remember the original trap-laden "Prince of Persia" games on the PC, the release of a new take on the Arabian adventure most likely elicited groans. After all, updates of classic games are almost exclusively poor. But great care has been taken to ensure that "The Sands of Time" does not betray its source material. The game not only pays homage to its predecessors, but also fuels them with new life in the form of awesome gameplay elements such as time traveling and aerial acrobatics.

The Prince has foolishly allowed the evil Sands of Time to escape their eternal hourglass, and you must help him rectify his error by slaughtering countless sand-filled zombies. Fortunately, no Arabian prince leaves home without his trusty scimitar, and with each fallen slave of evil, you capture the Sands of Time dwelling within his corpse. Using this sand, you can rectify any misstep the Prince may make. For example, if you see a long jump from a precarious cliff to a crumbling column, you might as well give it a try, because if it turns out to be too far a leap, the Prince can rewind time and give it another attempt. The ability to rewind time essentially eliminates the most common annoyance found in platform games: innumerable difficult jumps.

Not only does the Prince have amazing (yet realistically impossible) acrobatic skill, he also has first-rate combat proficiency. The Prince can leap from the backs of his enemies or propel himself from walls, gracefully transforming his countless enemies into fodder for his blade.

It is difficult to categorize "Prince." The game packs a compelling story, intuitive combat and massive environments to explore. But "Prince" infuses flawless platforming elements into what would otherwise be a straightforward action-adventure. These solid gameplay elements, plus an awesome Middle Eastern atmosphere, a rocking soundtrack and some seriously entertaining humor make for a very worthy addition to any game library.

Never miss a story

Get our weekly newsletter delivered right to your inbox.

More from The Eagle