Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was amazing. I think we said: ‘genius.’ The game was an action adventure offering in the truest sense of the term, featuring beautifully detailed levels, environmental puzzles, and, of course, the acrobatic Prince of Persia himself. It was an amazingly faithful modernization of a beloved classic. With the newest iteration in the series, Warrior Within, developer Ubisoft Montreal appears to have made a now darker tone which falls somewhat flat compared to the storybook atmosphere in The Sands of Time.
Warrior Within continues the beautiful prince’s story from Sands of Time. He unleashed time, but now he’s in trouble. He finds himself pursued by a big ugly and tireless darkness pit of doom called Dahaka. The Dahaka is a monster that destroys whatever it comes into immediate contact with. The prince sees no way out other than to go back and kill the Empress of Time to have ever prevented the sands from escaping. Kind of annoying — I know. If he succeeded in this, then Sands of Time would have never occurred…but all logical rants aside, his journey takes him to a the fortress deemed the Island of Time. Here, he finds himself fighting inside the castle through caves into gardens. The level of architecture, decent storyline, and simply amazing gameplay combat is one that makes Warrior Within a good sequel, even if it is not the best one possible.
There is now officially time travel that allows anyone to go back in the past and backtravel, something that Sands of Time missed out on. Warrior Within, for the most part, is still very linear even though it has that small hint of free roam signature of Ubisoft Montreal. Some later levels tend to get a tad bit confusing as to which direction to take. The prince has the ability to rewind time for a few seconds to correct mistakes, similar to the handheld titles and Sands of Time. Even now, after so many years, this conceit in a form of interactive literature allows for missed jumps to be redone without the use of a reload screen —unless you’re actually screwed in an infinite pithole. There are also other time-related abilities, like speed to avoid traps, and it is just something that Ubisoft Montreal used so effectively. Giving different purposes to the Sands of Time really display the power of the very idea.
Prince of Persia: Warrior Within is an excellent sequel to a game that caught many by surprise last year. Those who enjoy navigating through beautifully designed levels, complete with clever puzzles and traps, will love this. But something about the tone is still a bit disappointing. Tough luck for all us Sands of Time lovers, I suppose.