This Prince takes platforming to new levels of brilliance

User Rating: 9.5 | Prince of Persia X360
I've never been into PoP of the franchise, the early originals passed me by and when I was introduced to 3D PoP games with "The Sands Of Time" series, the frustrating difficulty levels made me feel like the game had abandoned all sense of wanting to be entertaining and was merely there to be as irritating as possible. So you can understand it was with an air of scepticism I approached the new PoP game, the first in what will undoubtedly be a new trilogy within the franchise. Fortunately I would be proved that my scepticism had been misplaced.

In this PoP the Prince does not seem like a Prince at all in fact you question if he is a Prince in the first place he has such a "Aladdin" like attitude to things and seems to have more in common with a smart mouthed and likeable thief than the Prince of the SoT series. This is refreshing for a start as he has a lot of personality and when, on his misadventures he is flung into stopping an evil wizard named Ahriman, helping out the obligatory love interest the mysterious Elika on the way things get very interesting. The plot works well within it's cliches and it's the interactions between the Prince and Elika that make is so much more involving than many 3D platformers/action games out there.

Gameplay wise there isn't a whole lot new to the core gameplay here, The Prince and Elika must explore various worlds, fighting enemies, doing wall jumps and wall runs, doing impossible co-op moves and generally partaking in slick acrobatic gameplay. The combat is done more through quicktime events than anything else, but the thrilling visuals and attacks that accompany the battles make up for any lack of strategy some may percieve the combat as lacking. In each area you must first travel through it once while it is corrupted (a vile taint caused by Ahriman), defeat a boss, then heal it of corruption using Elika's powers. You must then go through the same area to collect light seeds which in turn grant you new abilites which allow access to new areas. There are 1001 light seeds in the game and only 600 are needed for completion but for perfectionist the option to hunt for these well hidden treasures is there.

Probably the aspect of PoP that divdes people the most is you cant die. If you fall to your death or an enemy is about to stab a huge pair of scissors in your spleen, Elika will always save you at the last moment. You have to replay a short section again if you do die, but in general you don't have to replay much. It's a great feature for me and combined with a save anywhere function all the issues with the original series are now gone completely and it's pure unadultarated fun.

Visually PoP is a beautiful game to play the Assasins Creed engine looks better than ever and the game dosent use load screens at all unless you quick teleport to another area. Combine this with a beautiful Arabian like score and you have one of the most visually and orally appealing games in years.

The game is decent in length too, about 20 hours if you do everything, maybe more if you want all achievements. Its a good buy or a rental.

So in summary if you want a beautiful platformer with lovable characters, thrilling combat and a challenge without the frustration then get PoP it's an astounding gaming achievement and one of the best games on the 360.