Review by sector40

Reviewed: 01/16/06

The two princes battle for the one throne

The third installment of the PoP series brings this trilogy to a trilling conclusion. The game reverts back to the original linear format that is honestly more enjoyable. To begin his story the Prince has the enjoyment of watching his city, Babylon, burn to the ground, his people getting slaughtered, and his newfound love, Kailenna, be murdered before his eyes. Welcome home. As he focuses on his hatred and revenge a new part of him comes into the story, the Dark Prince. In a schizophrenic sort of way, be begins to talk with himself to try to sort out his swirling emotions. Throughout the game this new “relationship” turns into conflict and the Prince must make a decision: to give into his anger, or to rise above and do what is right.

Control: 9

The Prince is easy to control. He moves how you want him to and doesn’t overstep as some other characters to in other games (Conker, Jak, etc…), which makes platform leaping a cinch. Rarely does the camera get into an awkward angle and when it does, it is easy to correct. There is a new technique that is integral to the prince’s longevity called the speed kill. The prince can now sneak up behind enemies and quickly dispatch them as long as you press the correct buttons in time. This is a great addition to the game, but the window for doing so is not more than a second. You may find yourself using quite a bit of your sand to go back and do this properly. Other than that, the control is just what a gamer would want.

Game play/ Story: 10

The story picks up right where Warrior Within left off. The Prince is on his ship sailing home with his new fling when he sails into Babylon harbor (that doesn’t exist, right?) and has his ship torched and sunk upon sight. The rest of the game is him getting closer and closer to the leader of the army that did this to him. As I mentioned earlier, the format returns to that of the Sands of Time where there are multiple areas that are points of no return. I prefer this style as it makes the game seem longer and stretched out instead of compact and confined. There are some new environmental elements such as shutters that act like springboards that propel the Prince along after a wall run, vertical crawl spaces that he can shimmy up or slide down, and plates on walls that he can stab his dagger into and hang from. Also there was an amazing absence of swinging blades, buzz saws, and spinning spike trunks here as well. I guess that it would have shown a lack of ingenuity if these elements still played a crucial role.

Sound/ Graphics: 10

Not much can be said about the graphics except, wow. The coloring, lighting, textures, and backdrop are all well done. As with all games, the environments look like they were drawn instead of looking natural, but that is the limit of technical advancement that we have right now. Put aside that point, and there is not a whole lot bad to be saying here. The cut scenes are inching towards Hollywood production value. Seen from a distance they could be mistaken for being a movie.
The sound holds it’s own as well. The voice acting is superb. The music, that has a Persian influence, is appropriate and comes and goes at the right times. If you have a bad experience with any of this, then you must have a defective disk.

Length: 8

This game should take a person who has played one or both of the other games 9 to 12 hours the first time on easy. This has the typical length of an action/adventure game.

Re-playability: 2

There are artwork and video clips to unlock, but those will be open by the time the game is completed. It might take another half an hour to look at it all, but afterwards there really is no reason to play the game again. Nothing will change. The only reason would be to try and find all 6 of the health upgrades, or maybe to try normal or hard difficulty.

Conclusion: 9

This is a great game with a great ending to a great trilogy. If you enjoyed the first two games, then you will enjoy this one as well. If you have not played the first two games, then you should start with them and work up to this one. This is a definite rental, and I would only recommend buying it if you are a collector, you don’t like renting, or none of the video stores around you ever have it in.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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