Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands First Impression

The prince from the Sands of Time trilogy is back, and we find out what he was up to before his adventures in Warrior Within.

Even though Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands will be released roughly around the same time as the Jerry Bruckheimer Hollywood blockbuster, there is no relation to the movie at all, so don't expect a Jake Gyllenhaal-look alike or voice actor. The story does take place in the Sands of Time universe, though, during the seven-year gap between the Sands of Time and Warrior Within. The Forgotten Sands will focus on just one of the prince's many wild adventures and explains his drastic transformation from the once naive, cheerful young man in Sands of Time to the jaded, brooding character seen in Warrior Within.

Use your sleek moves to fend off dozens of enemies at a time.

The game starts off with an impressive, sweeping view of a city that is under attack as we see scores of sword-wielding men fighting along the battlements and fortress grounds. This besieged kingdom belongs to the prince's older brother, whom the prince has decided to visit, but it seems that he has come at a bad time--or perhaps just at the right time. With the ongoing chaotic battle unfolding in the background, we quickly made our way down along the stone steps, leapt gracefully from one crumbling ledge to the next, and deftly darted along walls to join the fight. The prince's acrobatic movements looked very familiar as he shimmied carefully across narrow ledges and somersaulted effortlessly from one pole to the next. The flow of combat was just as smooth, but one of the big changes will have you facing larger groups of enemies, ranging from a small group of three to a big group of 50. You won't be able to block anymore, so evasive maneuvers involve rolling and being quick on your feet. You'll still be able to perform some stylish finishing moves, like vaulting over enemies to stab them in the back, and you also have the ability to kick opponents down to stun them, then finish them with a quick jab. When facing a decent-sized group, you can crowd surf and hop on the heads of your enemies, then dance out of the way. This particular section of the demo was incredibly cinematic as the camera panned across the vast terrain to give you a sense of scale, and while we were fighting our way through the crowds, we could see the battle raging on in the background.

Next, we explored the sewers beneath the palace, which actually looked quite nice and sanitary with cascading waterfalls pouring out of several openings. The prince already had a solid skill set when it came to wielding his sword, but now, he can gain the ability to control the elements of nature. One of the first powers that he'll acquire is the ability to freeze water. Using the left trigger at any time, all the water in the area will freeze for as long as you hold the button. In this particular area, it will grant you access to wall run on ice to get to another platform. A yellow energy bar under your health bar depletes as you hold the left trigger, so you can't freeze water indefinitely, but it regenerates quickly as soon as you let go. Sometimes you'll be faced with some trickier platforming situations where you'll need to time your powers to get to where you need to go. As our prince made his way above ground and into the luxurious, cavernous palace, we saw water used to create some elaborate platforming puzzles. Timed water spouts along the palace interior were conveniently placed so that when we timed it correctly, we could show off our trapeze artist skills by flinging the prince from one frozen pole to the next. This was the only magical skill that we got to see, but we were told that you can also control the other elements like earth, air, and fire.

The prince will once again be able to rewind time as he did in the trilogy, so you can always go back a few seconds if you missed a tough jump or took too much damage. It costs energy orbs to do so, but your meter can be replenished by collecting more orbs from enemies or breakable items nearby. These orbs can also be used to execute more powerful and advanced skills. Another added feature is the ability to customize and upgrade the prince's combat skills from the experience that you gain while fighting. For example, your shield ability unleashes a burst of energy, which knocks surrounding opponents to the ground. But when it gets upgraded to a tornado, you can call forth a swirling wind that can easily round up and decimate anyone that gets too close. Another advanced move that we got to see was a dash skill that lets the prince dart from one side of a room into the next. This allowed him to plow through any unfortunate individual that happened to get in the way and provided a convenient alternative cross-wide chasm when there were no walls on which to scurry.

Control the elements and use them to your advantage.

Our demo wrapped up with a miniboss fight in a section of an underground ruined city, where we saw the prince fight against a decent-sized horde of skeletal warriors. The story behind these wraiths is that the prince's brother decided to raise a magical army of sand warriors to defend his kingdom from intruders at the beginning of the game, but this could only be accomplished at a huge cost. All the citizens have now turned into sand statues, and it looks like the undead don't intend to leave anytime soon. The miniboss we faced was a large charger that wasted no time trying to run us over. Fortunately, it wasn't very bright, so by carefully positioning the prince, you can lure the miniboss to trample the swarm of warriors in the way, which will save you the trouble of having to dispose of them yourself.

The Forgotten Sands looks and feels like a next-generation Sands of Time. It is full of rich and colorful art direction, as well as clever level designs. The prince represented a cross between the character models of the prince in Sands of Time and Warrior Within. He looks more mature than in the first game and maintains that mysterious air about him, but he looks less menacing than he did in the second game. The voice actor for the prince in Sands of Time, Yuri Lowenthal, returns so it'll feel very much like you're continuing the adventure immediately after the events of the first game. We were shown an incredibly beautiful area--which you'll come across multiple times in the game to meet a Djinn who gives you your newfound powers named Razia--that was reminiscent of the Fountain of Time seen in the first game. As we approached the empty gazebo bathed in moonlight, it was hard not to be taken with the soft silver glow of the moon that covered the artfully crafted landscape.

We're quite eager to see more of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, which is set to be released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC sometime in May. The Wii and DS versions will be entirely different games built specifically for their respective platforms. We'll update you with more information as soon as it becomes available.

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Discussion

387 comments
shadow551991
shadow551991

and I'm prince's fan except that last part wasn't so satisfying. since that sands of time. WW was great for its time, and ended two different ways as I'm sure u all remember. I'm really eager to know whats the story all about in forgotten sands. when i heard the news about the last PoP I had something like this new coming PoP in mind. but what i had in mind is coming out early next year! any way im expecting it to blow me away like warrior within did. good luck prince.

shadow551991
shadow551991

if u look at warrior within, u find some of the elements of ancient persia in it, the game's named prince of PERSIA, i expect it to represent the name and make the world feel like ancient persia more than WW. and hey i see the amulet he threw in the sea on his chest again. how did he get it again??!! and somthing else, have u ever thought why "THE PRINCE's" name is THE PRINCE??? why hasn't he got any name of his own?

weapon_d00d816
weapon_d00d816

I'm really glad they're going back to a more Warrior Within style game. WW was the best in the series. The Prince felt like a true warrior, not some kid with a sword. Plus, the darker Gothic-ish architecture was really cool. It was great if you can get past the cheesy metal riffs. (I don't have anything against Godsmack, but come on >_>)

frozen_liquid
frozen_liquid

its going to be a great game! what was with the 2008 installment?? such a buzzkill.

RaveNRolla
RaveNRolla

finally! why did they bring out that last part again? (did they try a disney version?)....;) back to swinging swords n turning back time and (i sincereley hope) slowing down time!

Anarchist93
Anarchist93

looks great, sounds great, worth the wait. ability to control stuff is awesome. hope people wont buy the game just because of the movie.

zestmmx
zestmmx

@ Giglioroninomic, dude you should study history. I am persian and trust me persian is no arabian. Yeah pesrian empire role 2/3 of the ancient world but that aint mean we are Arabs. India, most part of the russia and ... were also part of the persian empire. I dont care how retarded prince looks. as long as they give an experience like the one they gave me when I played Sands of time 7 years ago, Im cool with it.

oajlu
oajlu

it looks like assassin's creed with persian style...

rugripper40
rugripper40

@G4mBi7....yeah man i agree...warrior within rocked bigtime

G4mBi7
G4mBi7

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

zcb4573
zcb4573

This has been one of my favorite series since the reboot. I skipped out on the last game but I'm very excited about this one. And the movie could be the worst movie ever made.

Giglioroninomic
Giglioroninomic

Re-skull......Persian is Arabian. Obviously you never took history or looked at a map but Persia was the ancient name for the lands which, get this, comprised modern Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, etc., all countries dominated by the PERSIAN Empire. Persian Gulf, that give you a hint?

hotbodyboy_2006
hotbodyboy_2006

@ Re-Skull Who bothers? We all want good and smooth gameplay which POP 3D lacked...inspite of being such a great idea was a poor implementation. SOT games had the smooth gameplay. So it doesn't matter if its prince of america or prince of egypt. What i want is the same quality of gameplay of the SOT series and not like the last garbage called POP 2008. @ Sheik_Ajmal I am sure it will only have the great elements of WW and not the prince screaming abuses at women. So the SOT baby fans can also be happy and the true manly WW fans are also happy.

Re-Skull
Re-Skull

these stuff is more like arabian and indian not persian ! and game characher is like what i seen in might and magic old game, like a GOTHIC WARRIOR !!!!! best i played are POP3D and POP(elika princess in 2008 !) i don't know ubisoft what want to do ?!?! this company better send someone to : Iran ===> Persepolis(shiraz)/kerman/hamedan and some more cities and take a look at carves in this places --- see more old perisan people. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persepolis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arg-%C3%A9_Bam too many inspires of this game series are taken from Persian Islamic ages. Islamic not belong to ancient persia.

Sheik_Ajmal
Sheik_Ajmal

I havn't played new POP, but I think its like warrior within........ I think this is going to be cool...... great screenshots too......

zeonfollower
zeonfollower

Reminisce of Prince Of Persia The Warrior Within... I think. But its cool nonetheless

robph4
robph4

im going to rent this one just to see what its about

stevescouse123
stevescouse123

like the sound off this loved the other games will be getting this when is it out anyone know

Velyal
Velyal

Meh... Fix the problems presented in the latest iteration of PoP and continue the new series. The game would of been even better if it was linear and if you could die. I'm not for going back to the Sands of Time series. It's done;it was great. Let it rest.

ghost94666
ghost94666

Ubisoft has avery good games this game seems amazing

Dan21278
Dan21278

Controlling elements looks kinda cool. I really wanna try this game out. As long as Ubisoft is doing I have Faith. ^_^ @ Night_dude: Did you spell sword wrong? lol

Dtrav
Dtrav

@ninjaroach81 what a great wife!

ninjaroach81
ninjaroach81

I just hope they put in enough development time on the gameplay and puzzles, and not just focus on making really pretty environments. The Sands of Times games were so good that my wife would ask me to play, so she could watch! DAHAKA FTW!!! (even though that bastard would piss me off every time!)

bigmack_20_20
bigmack_20_20

I haven't played the new PoP but from what I saw i wasn't impressed. Any hardcore SoT player could see that there was no challenge. If you think about it the whole game was a puzzle because you would get thrown in a room and have to think how you would get out and platform while you did it but i didn't see that in the new PoP. I played the entire SoT series many times and i am on the fence about bringing the old prince back. on one hand we get the Prince that made the games good and memorable but also the SoT tale did end and i don't want to see one of our beloved character exploited and over-used when we have such good memories of him. maybe if they brought back the same prince but started a whole new tale altogether a brand new adventure then i could fully get behind it

risseer23
risseer23

Ya ok Hotbody..Gow kills prince of persia.The Storyline alone in Gow wins.Just add in the graphics and controls and its a sweep.Dude seriously i doubt this game will get past a 8.0 on Gs, much less any publication.

game-junkie-man
game-junkie-man

thank God this one isnt a cartoon like the last one -_- ...

Footos_mints
Footos_mints

**Spoilers of warrior within Does this mean we might see the dahaka :O that would be so kool getting chased about by that thing again.

abuabed
abuabed

Glad Ubisoft realized their mistake with the latest PoP, this one looks like what we're used for.

SERGE_Let
SERGE_Let

Finally it seems this game will make justice to the Prince of Persia games because the last one did not have good critics

O2F4C3
O2F4C3

... i'm so glad that the original Sand of Time is backwards compatible with the 360 'n i keep my copy... :D I'm looking forward to seeing if they do justice with this next-gen' re-vamp of a classic. I'm still tranna figure out WTF they were thinkin' with that last game... (i was this close to tears... t'waz SO!... SO... WTF!!)

Wartotehlock
Wartotehlock

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Night_dude
Night_dude

finally a real prince of persia the last 1 sucked as hell i mean wtf is wrong with his sowred ????

hellmonster
hellmonster

finally a new prince of persia cuz the last one was soooooooooooo bad thank god

rod232425
rod232425

Georg_Maximus that is the greatest truth on comments history brother!!

tpeeple1
tpeeple1

i agree with georg maximus.

tpeeple1
tpeeple1

nothing about psp? typical... Sounds like a fun game though. So this is in between sands of time and warior within. Hmm, after I play this, I will see if it this game is better than the two thrones, I really liked that one. Looking foward to it.

th0s3
th0s3

ok... now that's good news :)... i am... eager... to see more!!!

hotbodyboy_2006
hotbodyboy_2006

The Prince Of Persia games came way before GOW and DMC were even planned. The Prince Of Persia games Invented Fantasy Action Adventure which was Revolutionized by the Legend Of Zelda games. Comparing pure CRAPPY hack n slash games like GOW to Prince Of Persia and Zelda is utter Blasphemy and such people should be treasoned......

hotbodyboy_2006
hotbodyboy_2006

The Prince Of Persia games came way before GOW and DMC were even planned. The Prince Of Persia games Invented Fantasy Action Adventure which was Revolutionized by the Legend Of Zelda games. Comparing pure CRAPPY hack n slash games like GOW to Prince Of Persia and Zelda is utter Blasphemy and such people should be treasoned......

biokrysty
biokrysty

the old version of pop and the best one to

Georg_Maximus
Georg_Maximus

Argh, why on earth do people bring GoW/DMC here?? For goodness sake, PoP kicked ass while Kratos was still pooping in his diapers. Can we please enjoy our games for what they are, without having some tween wizkid boasting his enormous insights into gaming history by comparing every effing' fighting game to GoW? I've seen it so many times: great fighting games are given mediocre ratings just because some idiot pulls that old Kratos horse from his sleeve and labels it a GoW rip-off. A good amount of us has never even played GoW as it's PS exclusive, and what's that on the very top of this page?? Ah, an X360 tag! So if all you wanna do is complan that every game that involves a sword fight is a GoW wannabee, then please close that hole in your head through which has entered too much burgers and coke, cause the only thing coming out of it is belching.

Bucketnoise
Bucketnoise

Oh. So, this is basically just like every other Prince of Persia game out there, minus the originals? Whoopdy-doo.

eagle_eye939
eagle_eye939

Just can't wait for the new PoP specially after the last disappointing one and I'm glad they didn't do a sequel to that stupid last PoP I don't know how they came up with that I mean I didn't know that a PoP game could be that bad but they've proved it can be worst then I've ever imagined in that last missed up PoP excuse of a game.

chedison
chedison

lol @ hitmanr93. Any action game whatsoever with a sharp object used as a weapon is a GoW/DMC wannabee!!!!!!!