The popularity of these HD collections is making me realize just how awesome some of the games from last generation truly were. God of War, Sly Cooper and Tomb Raider have all given gamers a chance to experience these classics in a new light. Ubisoft is now joining the fray with the Prince of Persia trilogy. Released entirely during the PS2/Xbox days, this trilogy is one of the best platforming experiences of the last decade, and truly much better than the previous efforts in the series. If you missed these games the first go-around, you now have no excuse not to enjoy them.
The story throughout the trilogy follows the exploits of everyone’s favorite Prince as he comes into his own. Each game focuses on a different turning point and it is all delivered, for the most part, coherently. Sure there are some cheesy lines and Warrior Within’s excessive use of Godsmack, but it is still a heartwarming tale that is worth taking the plunge.
The biggest draw of these games was always the use of time powers and the immaculate platforming segments. When the original game launched in 2003, it had been a long time since a game had put so much emphasis on navigating large scale environments. Fans of Assassin’s Creed have this series to thank as inspiration. Of course, when you fall from a mountainous ledge, the game’s other hook came into play. The Prince has access to time powers, thanks to the Sands of Time. This basically allows him to rewind time to avoid having to do entire segments over and over.
As the series progressed, these time powers expanded in numerous ways and even made their way into the recently released Forgotten Sands, which is as close to these originals as Ubisoft has. The collection in and of itself starts off strong with the Sands of Time. Warrior Within is widely considered the weakest of the three, mainly due to the developers really trying to make the Prince more edgy than he really needed to be. Two Thrones ends the trilogy nicely by striking a balance between the two. Any way you slice it, this collection is more than worth the price tag, especially considering the upgrades.
Like most HD trilogies, PoP has been enhanced for today’s generation. The engine has been overhauled to support widescreen TVs and HD resolutions. Sadly, the cut scenes are the same ones from the original game, so they stand out like a blurry sore thumb. Amazingly, the game engine has held up extremely well over time. The environments look great and the large vistas are just as fun to traverse as they were when the games originally released. Character animation certainly shows its age, but when you consider it has been almost a decade since the first game debuted, it is easier to swallow. Ubisoft has also added support for 3D, if you have the means to experience it. Honestly, with a game like this I could take it or leave it, but it is a nice inclusion.
Sadly,those are the only additions to the games. This is a straight collection and nothing more. There are really no new special features or updates outside of Trophy support. I am also not a fan of the game selection screens in these collections. Having to manually exit each game after selecting it is cumbersome. You would think it would be simple enough to have a ‘return to main menu’ option, but alas, this is a minor complaint. How often do you intend to switch games?
This collection is definitely a strong one, and anyone who enjoys games like Assassin’s Creed, and never experienced these, is in for a treat. Some small additions or extras would have been nice, but like most of these collections, the games you are getting for the price are more than worth it. Even if you have played through them already, the enhanced visuals and nostalgia are reason enough to take the journey back through these classic platformers.
Review copy provided by publisher.