Prince of Persia: Warrior Within Review
While Warrior Within's combat and satisfyingly long campaign improve on last year's game, the now darker tone falls somewhat flat compared to the storybook atmosphere in The Sands of Time.
- More puzzles, more wall-running, more
- Longer campaign
- Improved combat
- Gorgeous looking environments.
- Lost a lot of the charm of last year's game.
When Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was released last year, it was a very pleasant surprise. The game was an action adventure offering in the truest sense of the term, featuring beautifully detailed levels, environmental puzzles, and, of course, the acrobatic Prince of Persia himself. It was an amazingly faithful modernization of a beloved classic. With the newest iteration in the series, Warrior Within, developer Ubisoft Montreal appears to have addressed the biggest complaints about its forebear, which specifically involved its repetitive combat and short length. Yet while Warrior Within's new combat and satisfyingly long campaign improve on last year's game, the now darker tone falls somewhat flat compared to the storybook atmosphere in The Sands of Time. In addition, technical issues on the Xbox and PS2 platforms also mar the experience a bit. However, make no mistake: Warrior Within is a still a very worthy sequel.
Warrior Within continues the prince's story from last year's game, so, because the prince has unleashed the mystical Sands of Time, he finds himself pursued relentlessly by a menacing time monster called the Dahaka. The Dahaka is a beast that devours everything in its path like a walking black hole, so to escape it for good, the prince decides he must travel to the past to kill the Empress of Time to prevent the creation of the sands entirely. Sound like a conundrum? Well, if you can accept Back to the Future, you shouldn't have any trouble suspending your disbelief for the plot in Warrior Within...although the game is probably meant to be taken more seriously than the Michael J. Fox film. The prince's journey takes him to a ruined fortress on the Island of Time, where you'll find yourself fighting inside the castle, in mysterious caves, and in the outdoor gardens, where some of the game's most attractive level architecture can be found.
Warrior Within borrows a page from the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past in that you'll be exploring in the same areas in two different time periods. Special rooms scattered throughout the fortress let you to shift back and forth between the past and the present, and areas of the castle will change accordingly depending on the time period. So, for example, the clockwork tower that had delicate machinery and giant working gears in the past looks run-down and broken in the present day, with tree branches poking through walls and ruined pieces of machinery scattered on the floor. Of course, the path you take to navigate each room also changes depending on the time period you're in.
The new time travel mechanic serves to lengthen the game, but it also adds an element of backtracking that wasn't present in The Sands of Time. This isn't to say that Warrior Within involves as much open-ended wandering as, for example, a Metroid game. For the most part, the game still plays in a very linear way, but in some of the later levels (which feel like they were a bit rushed), it isn't always made clear which direction you should be going in. An in-game map always shows your current location, as well as the time period you should be in, but the lack of detail in the map makes it impossible for you to know exactly how you need to get to your next stop. This can sometimes lead to a bit of frustration as you fumble about, but, for the most part, it isn't a problem...so long as you're paying attention to the clues the game gives you. The good news is that even discounting the time lost from deaths and wandering aimlessly, Warrior Within is a much longer game than The Sands of Time. In fact, it should take the average player around 15 to 20 hours to complete. While the middle of the game feels like it drags a bit, an interesting twist toward the end has a drastic effect on gameplay. This same twist also freshens things up for the home stretch, which ultimately delivers you to the final, rather difficult, boss fight.
Like last year's game, the prince has the ability to rewind time for a few seconds to correct mistakes. This is a clever game conceit that lets you make up a missed jump or a combat blunder without wasting time to reload the game. There are also other time-related abilities, such as speed, which come in handy for both combat and getting through traps. There are additional spell-like abilities that can knock back and damage multiple enemies that surround the prince. All these are limited by sand slots, which can be recharged by defeating enemies in combat or by breaking open jars and other items strewn about various rooms.
The biggest new addition to the game is a deeper combat mechanic. The prince is now capable of dozens of different weapon combos, and these are context sensitive depending on whether you are holding a single weapon or dual-wielding two weapons. With a single weapon in hand, you can grab enemies and throw them. You can even strangle them. Dual-wielding takes away your throw options, but it lets you perform much more powerful weapon combos. What's interesting is that the effect of your moves changes depending on what type of weapon you have in your left hand, which is the prince's less-dominant hand. With a mace in your right hand, you can knock opponents to the ground, while a sword in your left hand lets you to chop enemies in half with certain combos. The weapon in your left hand also degrades with use, so you'll always need to pick up new ones that are dropped by fallen foes. Otherwise, you can choose to throw your secondary weapon at enemies in attempts to impale or behead them. You can, of course, still vault off of enemies and walls for more-powerful slashing attacks, and a new pole-swinging attack has been added. There's also plenty of blood and gore in Warrior Within to further spice things up. As a result, beheadings and halved bodies are par for the course once you get used to the better fighting moves.
Of course this is the best in the series. The Two Thrones was a disappointingly hurried game and Sands of Time was just too simple; both are lovely though. but this... this was just something else. Those intense Dahaka chases, that unique combat style, beautiful environment, ample amount of secrets, puzzles and weapons and two endings!... man brings back memories. (Add the babes to the list!)
I dont know what happened to you guys who wrote the review but this game is best in POP franchise(my opinion)
- Player Reviews: 180
- Game Universe:
- Arabian Nights (PC),
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (PS2, XBOX, GC, PC, GBA, PS3),
- Prince of Persia (GB, PC, TCD, GBC, UNIX, GEN, GG, NES, SMS, SNES, DC, SCD, AMI, MAC, X68, ST, APL2, MOBILE),
- Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (PS2, XBOX, GC, PC, MOBILE, PSP, IP, PS3),
- Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (XBOX, PS2, PC, GC, MOBILE, MAC, BB, PS3),
- Prince of Persia: Rival Swords (PSP, WII),
- Prince of Persia (PC, PS3, X360, MAC),
- Prince of Persia Classic (X360, PS3, IP, AND),
- Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (X360, PS3, DS, WII, PC, PSP, MOBILE),
- Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame (PC, MAC, SNES, GEN)
- Number of Players: