Prince of Persia Revelations ReviewCain Dornan
The Prince of Persia series has now established itself as one of the most commended action adventure titles on consoles and PC. Since the franchises revival with The Sands of Time, the series has now seen three different titles gracing the consoles and PC. While fans of the series considered the The Sands of Time and The Two Thrones to be spectacular titles, many felt that the second title, which arrived in-between the two aforementioned titles and carried the subtitle of Warrior Within, to be the most disappointing of the three titles in the series, which raises the question as to why Ubisoft has decided to remake it for the Playstation Portable. Its even more interesting as to why Ubi has and had not sent the first game, The Sands of Time or the latest game, The Two Thrones, to Sonys handheld system.
Its possible that the development team wanted to offer gamers an enhanced version that fixed any problems that fans found with the original Warrior Within. The truth is, though, that Prince of Persia Revelations carries more problems than the entire Sands of Time trilogy combined, offering a sloppy and frustrating experience that is plagued with sound problems and countless unacceptable bugs.
Revelations carries the same storyline of Warrior Within. After causing havoc with the Sands of Time and altering his fate in the first game of the trilogy, the Prince has been forced to spend his time fleeing from the Dahaka; an invincible demon-like creature who plans to kill the Prince for his part in altering the time line. The Prince seeks advice from a wise old man, who tells him that he will die as you cannot change your fate. Determined to set things straight regardless of the advice that he has been given, the Prince sets sail for a mysterious island where the Sands of Time was created. His plan is to travel back in time and prevent the Sands from ever being created, effectively removing his involvement from the destruction of an empire that caused the tampering of his fate.
Since Revelations is a part of the Sands of Time trilogy, youll make use of various time-controlling elements throughout your quest. The Prince is able to reverse time and slow it down, which is also complemented with a number of battle-orientated manuevers. The ability to control time is one of the key aspects that sets the Sands of Time apart from other platformers as the game heavily relies on the unique gameplay element.
Those who have played through Warrior Within will find that a majority of the environments have remained intact. There are, however, a handful of new areas that extend the already lengthy experience, adding new areas to explore and additional battles to take part in. These areas are usually noticeable, as they appear to offer less creative flair than the original areas that were taken from Warrior Within. The new areas also seem to regularly suffer from Gameplay bugs, with one area in particular standing out. This area requires you to make your way down a steep Cliffside, jumping from pole-to-pole, landing on cliff cut-outs and then making your way onto blocks that fall if you stand on them for too long. This area contained an unbelievable number of bugs that caused the Prince to roll continuously after falling from a slight distance, the inability to rewind time at various points and the game even failing to restart correctly after death, requiring you to quit the game and re-load through the main title screen. You quickly get the impression that the developers have rushed the games development to get it on store shelves as quickly as possible, with this impression carrying over to many other aspects of the game.
Another problematic aspect of Revelations is the camera, which appears to have taken a turn for the worst with the games port onto the PSP. Quite often the camera will go to frustrating points that prevent you from clearly seeing what is happening around you. This is particularly regular during the platforming aspects of the game, where the camera will zoom into your character far too close or become locked within a corner that offers little view of the area around you. Although you can manually control the camera by holding down the left trigger button and then rotating the camera with the analogue stick, the problem is that this process not only slows down gameplay as you cannot move while controlling the camera, but you are also limited in which directions you can move the camera. In all too many occasions I was forced to blindly jump from a ledge, hoping that there was something close that the Prince would either land on or hold on to. It causes a lot of trial and error that is certainly not needed, as frustration is ensured when you are forced to attempt the same sections multiple times due to the camera angles blinding you from clearly seeing your surroundings.
For whatever reason, the developer has also failed to successfully port the games sound onto the handheld system. The music regularly cuts in and out as the game struggles to load the required material from the UMD disc, which also extends to major graphic lag on occasions. Speech during cutscenes suffers from the same problem, as you are often presented with cutscenes where the speech is several seconds delayed, the characters mouth moving only for their speech to behind several seconds after it should have began. Its not a major Gameplay-effecting problem, but it does lower the games otherwise impressive presentation considerably.
Revelations offers an almost identical battle system to that found in Warrior Within. The Prince is able to perform a large range of acrobatic offensive maneuvers using both the enemies and objects around him. The battles gradually grow more difficult as you progress through the game, with a decent variety of enemies being encountered. There is also the occasional large enemy battle sequence that involves more than a simple sword duel. These enemies usually require attacking a weak spot while they romp around. Once you have inflicted enough pain to the weak spot, youll need to climb atop the creature and begin attacking another specified weak spot, which is usually the back of their head. These battles occur at various points throughout the game, offering a more challenging experience than the usual enemy drones.
Revelations offers a solid visual presentation that includes strong environment detail and pleasing character models. Although there is occasional slow-down during high action sequences, the majority of the games visual appeal is thoroughly pleasing for any PSP gamer. A wealth of detailed, although slightly blurred cinematics complement the solid in-game visuals.
Prince of Persia Revelations had the potential to be a truly stellar PSP release but falls short due to the sloppy console-to-handheld port. Its clear that the developers have either rushed the development cycle or have simply pushed the PSP hardware too far, as the countless gameplay bugs and unreliable sound significantly ruins the experience. If you own Prince of Perisa: Warrior Within there is little reason to pick up this handheld port. If youre a handheld-only gamer and wish to capture a glimpse of what you have missed with the console and PC titles, its worth a look, only if you are willing to handle the countless bugs and problems that the game suffers from.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.