The ILG Coint & Plick Awards

Coint & Plick 2008 #39: Prince of Persia

Posted in 2008 by trdn89 on February 23, 2010

17 points, 2 votes

Official game site

Jamescobo: Who gives a shit how easy it is? Have you seen how gorgeous this game is? Don’t you want to see as much of it as possible? Thank God it’s easy!

Iroquois Pliskin: Think of it as ‘Parappa the Rapper meets Aquanaut’s Holiday’ and you’re getting in the right frame of mind to appreciate what it’s trying to accomplish. The series’ trademark acrobatic platforming has been reimagined as an exercise in rhythm-based gameplay: you hit various buttons with correct timing to transition from wallruns to bar swings to longjumps. By eliminating death from the scenario (your magical companion swoops in every time you fall into an abyss and cheerfully deposits you on the last bit of stable ground you touched), the game encourages you to traverse the game-world without stopping to think about your next move. And this is how Prince of Persia goads the player into pursuing its core experience: falling into a rhythm, sight-reading your path on the fly and losing yourself in the simple joys of motion. The legibility of the environments (there’s always clear visual cues– scratched-out patches on the wall, woodlined crevices, blocky hooks– that indicate the right course through the world) removes the ‘puzzle’ from ‘puzzle-platforming’, but your compensation is the fact that the world itself is a shimmering, colorful treasure. It’s the closest approximation of an inhabitable painting yet seen in video games, and over the eight hours it took me to complete the game its relentless beauty never wore on me. It’s a world that exists to be seen, not beaten. Bits of rhythm-based combat and simple lever-pulling puzzles interrupt the platforming at points, and while both are diverting, these elements seem to exist in order to punctuate the platforming segments rather than compel in their own right.

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