Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
|Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands|
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands cover art
|Composer(s)||Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows
Wii, NDS, PSP
|Series||Prince of Persia|
|Engine||Anvil / Jade|
|Release date(s)||Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable:
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, Platformer, Hack and slash|
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is a multi-platform video game produced by Ubisoft which was released on May 18, 2010, in North America and on May 20 in Europe. The games mark a return to the storyline started by Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is the title of four separate games with different storylines. The main game was developed for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows, while the other three are exclusive for the PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, and Wii.
The PSP and Wii versions were developed by Ubisoft Quebec; the PS3, Xbox 360 and Windows versions were handled by Ubisoft Montreal with the help of Ubisoft Singapore; and the Nintendo DS version was made at Casablanca.
The Forgotten Sands returns to the storyline established by Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and concluded by Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones. On December 14, 2009, Ubisoft UK released the first details of the story on their official video portal.
The game is an interquel, taking place in the seven-year gap between Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Prince of Persia: Warrior Within. The Prince character is supposed to be a cross between the character models in these two games. He is again voiced by Yuri Lowenthal.
Note: This plot is the one found in the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC versions of the game.
The Prince is riding through a desert on his horse, on a quest to see his brother, Malik, and learn about leadership from him. When the Prince arrives at Malik's kingdom, he finds it under attack by an army which is attempting to breach the treasure vaults for a great power known as "Solomon's Army". The Prince charges in to the city, and tracks Malik to the treasure vaults. Here, Malik says that he is fighting a losing battle and proposes to rely on a last resort or be forced to retreat. The Prince strongly objects, but Malik releases Solomon's Army using a magical seal. Solomon's Army is an assortment of different creatures, all made of sand. The Prince and Malik both manage to obtain halves of the seal used to keep the army contained, protecting them from being turned into sand statues, which is the fate of the rest of the kingdom.
Malik is separated from the Prince, who finds a portal to the domain of Razia, a Djinn of the Marid race. Razia tells the Prince that the only way to re-imprison Solomon's Army is to reunite both halves of the seal. Razia gives the Prince special powers and sends him to find Malik, and the other half of the seal. When the Prince finds Malik, he is not interested in stopping Solomon's Army, but instead wants to destroy it and use its power to become a more powerful leader. This is explained by Razia: whereas the Prince is using the power gifted to him by Razia, Malik is using power taken directly from those he defeats. The Army's sand is gradually affecting his mind, making him susceptible to Ratash's influence. The Prince again sets out to find Malik, but this time to forcibly take his half of the seal. When he finds him, Malik is stronger and manages to escape. Pursuing Malik again, the Prince finds Ratash, Ifrit leader of the Army, searching for the seal. After the Prince outruns him, he concludes Ratash must now be chasing Malik, and so sets out to aid him. The Prince arrives in the throne room to find Malik and Ratash fighting, and he aids Malik. The Prince and Malik seem to kill Ratash, and Malik absorbs his power, shattering his half of the seal. Malik then runs off, seemingly in a hysterical fit, using some of Ratash's powers to escape.
The Prince pursues him, and again finds Razia. Razia explains that Ratash cannot be killed by any ordinary sword, and that what actually happened was quite different than what the Prince saw: Ratash has actually killed Malik, and possessed his body. The Prince doesn't believe this, and sets out to find the Djinn Sword, hidden in the ancient city of Rekem, which Razia says can kill Ratash. Along the way, the Prince chases Malik, now being used by Ratash to retake the Ifrit's original form. The Prince loses a battle to Ratash and, convinced his brother is truly dead, finds the Djinn Sword. Razia soon bonds with the sword, giving it the power needed to destroy Ratash. The Prince again searches for Ratash. When he finds him, Ratash is now gigantic, literally fed by the sandstorm which has come over the palace. The Prince uses the sword to kill Ratash, and, when the sandstorm subsides, he finds Malik dying. Malik says to tell their father that Prince will be as mighty a leader as Solomon, then dies. In an epilogue, the Prince tells of how he took the sword back to Rekem, where he thought Razia would want to rest, and how he must now set out to inform his father of Malik's death.
- The Prince: Fresh from his adventures in Azad, the prince is now stuck in a new epic adventure
- Malik: The Prince's older brother, who unwisely releases the Sand army to save his kingdom
- Razia: A mysterious woman and queen of the Marid, who endows the prince with control over water and time
- King Solomon: The ruler of the empire, and ally to Razia
- Ratash: The main antagonist, an Ifrit who attacks Malik's Kingdom
Forgotten Sands is available on all major gaming platforms and is to "feature many of the fan-favorite elements from the original series as well as new gameplay innovations", according to a press release from Ubisoft. The DS, PSP and Wii versions are developed separately and will feature different gameplay than the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows versions. With Ubisoft's feature Uplay, players may unlock Ezio, the main character from Assassin's Creed II.
In the PS3/Xbox 360/PC game, throughout the game the Prince learns new powers. The biggest new feature is the addition of elemental powers, which bring a new dimension to the core gameplay, because of the way these powers interact with each other and the Prince's other abilities. There are four core powers in the game: Fire, Ice, Wind and Earth. Each of them translates to a different power during combat, such as the ability to "solidify" water fountains and turn them into climbable columns. Besides these core powers, there are also minor powers, that can be purchased to enhance the Prince's abilities from Razia. These minor powers include a shield and the power to summon small tornadoes. The combat in the game is similar to combat mechanics found in The Sands of Time. The Prince will be able to fight multiple enemies in one battle, up to 50 at once. An important part of the combat is "crowd control" and evading enemies, as well as combos. There is no blocking and quick time events are used only to finish bosses in the game.
Digital rights management
The Forgotten Sands uses an enhanced version of Ubisoft's digital rights management system (DRM), requiring the user to be connected to Ubisoft's servers in order to play. This new version loads part of the game's content from the server and will not allow the player to continue if a connection to the server does not exist. On 28 June 2010 the DRM was cracked by replacing the code with offline equivalents. The requirement of a permanent internet connection while playing was finally dropped. Versions download directly with the Uplay launcher and with the steam client do not require a constant internet connection to play single-player.
Marketing and release
A trailer for The Forgotten Sands was premiered worldwide on the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards. To promote the game, a Flash minigame was posted on Newgrounds and several other popular gaming sites.
While not a direct video game adaptation or containing elements of the film, the game's release coincides with the May 2010 release of Disney's film adaptation of the video game, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley.
A Digital Deluxe Edition of The Forgotten Sands is also available on Steam. It includes two new skins, a new exclusive map for survival mode, the game's OST, as well as a free copy of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. A free copy of Prince of Persia: Warrior Within was given to those who pre-ordered The Forgotten Sands on Steam. Another combo of the Deluxe Edition also includes the Official Strategy Guide from Prima.
|This section requires expansion. (March 2011)|
The game received positive reviews on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Its main criticism was overly simple combat and short length. The PS3 version received a score of 7.0 from Videogamer, 7.5 from GameSpot, and an 8.0 from IGN and IGN UK.
The Wii exclusive version also was well received, scoring an 8.0 from IGN, 8.0 from Nintendo Power's June 2010 issue and 84% from Official Nintendo Magazine. Particular praise was given by all three magazines to Graphics, Sound, complex level design and the "Sand Power" move set, the combat system was generally considered too basic, and the game camera occasionally annoyingly constrictive.
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands was released for the Wii on May 18, 2010 in North America, and May 20, 2010 in Europe. It was developed by Ubisoft Quebec exclusively for the Wii. The game features a completely different storyline and setting from other versions, as well as gameplay mechanics, as the game makes use of the Wii's motion control as well as conventional buttons. While other versions of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands feature powers such as water or time manipulation to aid the player, the Wii version has its own unique set of powers: It features a "Spirit Hook", which serves as a grip which the player can deploy in certain areas on walls; a "Whirlwind", which acts like an elevator the player can deploy in certain places on the ground; and a "Magic Sphere", which the player can deploy in midair to act a safety net, breaking the player's fall and suspending them there.
The Wii version of the game also features local multiplayer, in which a second player can aid the first player by freezing on-screen enemies or traps for them, or helping to unlock secret areas. Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands for the Wii also features some bonus content, such as unlockable in-game character skins, art galleries, developer diaries, bonus levels, and the original 1992 version of Prince of Persia. The game received generally favorable reviews, having received a 77/100 at reviewer aggregate Metacritic, and it is popularly referred to as having last generation graphics and dull combat, but was generally praised for its unique and creative gameplay mechanics.
Characters of this version include:
- Zahra - A female genie that the Prince bought in a market
- The Beast - A grotesque creature that the prince will have to chase
- The Sorceress/Nasreen - The main antagonist, an evil creature that controls the magic vine called the Haoma
The PSP version is a side-scrolling 2.5D platformer that roughly follows the same style as the other versions. It has a different storyline involving freeing the Sisters of Time, a different setting and antagonist.
The game features a plot in which the prophecy is written that a member of Prince's royal family will bring an end to an evil fire spirit Ahihud's dark reign over hidden mystic land. To ensure his survival, the evil spirit's minions hunt down those with the royal blood of Persia. Prince escapes his tower, where he is kept protected by his father, and pursues a mysterious guiding light, which turns out to be Helem, a spirit of Time who promises to help the Prince defeat his enemy. Together, they journey to mysterious, hidden kingdom which is revealed to be the holy site where the first god came to create universe. The kingdom is fully under control of Ahihud, who aims to devour the land's magical energy, the Elixir. The player has to confront Ahihud's sand monsters, collects Elixir to boost his own strength and vitality, and find portals to spirits realm, where Helem's sisters is to be freed. Each freed Sister of Time grants Prince a new ability to control time, like freezing a selected spot or creature, or hasting it. After making his way through the mystic land, Prince defeats Ahihud's two most powerful servants, the gigantic guardian of the palace and the sand assassin, who was created to hunt down Prince's relatives. In the end, Prince is able to kill Ahihud in his own domain in spirits realm, fulfilling the prophecy and restoring the mystic land to its former glory.
Characters of this version include:
- Helem - One of the "Sisters of Time", she will help the Prince throughout his journey
- Ahihud - The main antagonist, mightiest of the fire spirits, he'll try to kill the Prince because of a prophecy.
As of 15th June 2013, the game has sold 0.33 million units worldwide
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands for the Nintendo DS is a handheld 2D side-scroller installment to the franchise, in a similar fashion to the series' previous DS installment, Prince of Persia: The Fallen King. The game is entirely stylus-controlled, featuring no button use. To maneuver, the player must hold the stylus in the direction relative to the Prince character where the player wants to move. To climb, the player must hold the stylus part way up a wall, to jump, the player holds the stylus at the other end of the gap. Combat in the game is stylus-controlled as well. To defeat enemies, the player must slash them. This is done by moving the stylus diagonally across the enemy the player intends to attack. The player can also manipulate the power of the sands with the stylus; if the player rubs a streak of sand with the stylus, it becomes a pillar of sand, which the player can use to jump across gaps.
The player also has the advantage of sand "powers": If the player dies, they can tap an hourglass symbol on the touchscreen and rewind time to the last time they were safe. The player can also slow down time if there are any obstacles that are moving too fast for the player to traverse. The player has a limited number of times they are able to use these powers, as they have a set number of sand orbs, which allow them to manipulate these powers. Should the player face death without rewinding time, they will revert to their last obtained checkpoint. Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands for the DS also features an economic system, allowing players to collect ruby throughout their adventure for various feats, and in between levels, exchange the ruby with the merchant for additional power-ups, such as additional in-game costumes, weapon upgrades, health bar extensions, and additional sand orb slots. There are also sessions of the game in which the player rides a horse, using the stylus to steer the horse left or right to evade obstacles.
The plot of the DS version centers on the Prince character being abducted by a cult. This cult brings the Prince to an ancient temple in India and uses his sword, which houses the Djinn queen Razia, to obtain a blood sacrifice from him. Using the Prince's royal blood and Razia's Sand powers, the cult liberates an evil force locked in the temple, erasing the Prince's memory and stealing Razia's powers in the process. The temple collapses as the evil is freed, and the Prince falls into a pit. At the bottom, Razia's spirit leads the Prince to his weapon, and tells him that the ceremony he was abducted for is the reason why he doesn't remember anything. She informs him further that he is a prince, and that he and Razia are longtime friends, which the Prince believes. He decides to follow her instructions warily, as he doesn't remember anything himself. They escape from the bottom of the collapsed temple and Razia tells the Prince that their quest must be to hunt down and kill the three members of the cult who abducted them.
The three cultists stole the Prince's memories and Razia's Sand powers during the ceremony and therefore mutated into gigantic Sand monsters. Razia says killing them will give the Prince back his memories, and Razia her powers. The Prince and Razia then set out across India to hunt down and kill the three cult members, which they succeed in doing. With all their powers and memories restored, they now set out to hunt down and kill the resurrected leader of the cult, who is slowly conquering the world, starting with the conquest of Babylon. They succeed in killing him, but at the cost of Razia's life. The Prince throws the sword in which Razia resided off of the top of a tower in Babylon, and it dissolves in the desert sand.
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