Prince of Persia: Warrior Withinby Stephen Cameron
November 17, 2004
Last year, in my opinion, the game of the year was not one that topped the sales chart. It wasn't a racing title from Microsoft Game Studios nor was it a blockbuster game from Rockstar where you run around steeling cars. My game of 2003 without a doubt was Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. When I was asked to write a HANDS ON preview of Prince of Persia: The Warrior Within I jumped at the opportunity because after being bombarded with so much useless news about the Master Chief I was due for a refreshing change of pace. And what a change it is.
Without giving away too much of the story, you will find this new adventure takes place several years after The Sands of Time. This hiatus had a profound effect on the Prince but not in a good way. He returns with a very dark and troubled demeanor. You will notice the effects his inner demons have cause him the first moment you see him on screen. He looks leaner, more muscular with a deep scowl on his face that shows he is out to get the world and will fight anyone or anything that gets in his way. You will see these fights will occur in spectacular fashion.
This anger has helped the Prince learn a variety of new combat techniques. You will be able to approach your battle strategy with many options. These options will include carrying two weapons at the same (dual wielding for lack of a better term), pick up new weapons from the ground (including the clutches of a dead enemies hand), the ability to throw your weapon, leap over an opponent and come down behind them to slice them in half or you will be able to interact with the environment to unleash a devastating attack (for example swinging from a pole to come at a foe). These ravenous attacks can also lead to some gruesome deaths that will see enemies beheaded or sliced in half. These horrific deaths were not seen in the Sands of Time. It remains to be seen just how ruthless the Prince will stay.
You will also find yourself thinking, “it’s a god thing the Prince has learned these new moves” because you will notice just how much hard the enemies have now become to defeat. You will notice the AI is vastly improved. Enemies will now adjust to your fighting style so you will be forced to learn combos and constantly change your style.
Fighting is not the only style that has undergone a major transformation, as you will notice the tremendous production values that have been added to the Prince of Persia series. I liken the first game to an art film – it was a beautiful looking game that challenged your mind. The Warrior Within has gone in the complete opposite direction going for the blockbuster action movie approach with gripping action and a lot of violence.
I’m guessing this was done to attract more fans to this stellar franchise. Will it work? Well that remains to be seen. I think fans of the original will return to see just what has become of the prince but will they be turned off by this change? After all, the Sands of Time was such a great alternative to all the other titles. I am very much looking forward to the final version of the game but like our storied Prince, only TIME will tell.