Prince of Persia: Warrior Within PlayStation 2
Developed by Ubisoft Montreal Studios
Release Date: Out Now
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was a phenomenal game and easily one of the best games we reviewed last year. Everything about it was first class, apart from the lack of subtitles of course, from the beautiful graphics and special effects to the combat system which proved to be very enjoyable indeed. With the game being so fantastic it was inevitable that we would see a further Prince of Persia title and that title is Prince of Persia: Warrior Within.
The game begins in the most dramatic fashion possible and continues the story from The Sands of Time. First of all the Prince is being chased by some unseen enemy and as it looks as though he's about to finished off he suddenly appears on a ship that's about to be attacked by some demonic force led by a powerful female warrior who seems hell bent on destroying the Prince. Finally both the Prince and the mysterious warrior, who has been sent by the Empress of Time to kill the Prince, do battle and we see the Prince get thrown overboard. It turns out that because the Prince was the one who opened The Sands of Time he must die. To that end a guardian known as the Dahaka has been sent to kill the Prince. In order to save his life the Prince will have to go back in time and kill the Empress of Time to prevent the Sands of Time being created. It's a difficult task for the Prince and one that's fraught with danger.
Opinions are going to split as to whether or not Warrior Within is a better game than The Sands of Time. The reason for this is that there is a much greater emphasis on the combat this time around. The combat system has seriously been beefed up and the combat itself is far more gory and blood filled. Minutes into the game you'll be learning how to decapitate your enemies and when you do you'll see the blood fly all over the place. The combat system is head and shoulders above what's on offer in other action games though. (Sorry, no pun intended). The game has 30 different combo systems with 50 special attacks which is absolutely amazing. Thankfully the tutorial messages will teach you the important basics of this combat system and pressing the start button will allow you to access a Combo List that shows you all the combos you can perform with both single and dual weapons.
A Prince of Persia game wouldn't be the same without it's platform elements though and Warrior Within has it's fair share of them although as the above paragraph indicates this sequel does rely more on combat. There's plenty of devilish traps and puzzles in the game, which have all been well designed, that will test the Princes acrobatic abilities. For me these sections of the game are the most enjoyable and make a nice change of pace from the gory combat that can become a bit too much at times.
The Sands of Time was visually stunning and Warrior Within is equally spectacular in terms of it's graphics. That's not to say it's more of the same though. Warrior Within is a darker, more sinister game and this darker edge that the game has is most noticeable of all in the visuals. Battles are blood filled and your enemies look more horrid than you could possibly imagine having played The Sands of Time. The special effects in the game are amazing though. Everything from heat haze to motion blur to the water effects look absolutely first class. The cutscenes are once again superb, probably only bettered by those of Square Enix's finest efforts. The new combat system demands great animations and that's exactly what the game has. The only thing I would complain about is that the camera angles can, at times, be annoying. You can't always control the camera and there are moments, such as when you're being chased, when the camera can prove to be a real pain.
The Sands of Time was disappointing in very few ways but the one omission that was unfortunate was the lack of subtitles. This mistake hasn't been repeated though and deaf gamers will be able to fully enjoy Warrior Within because it is subtitled. The cutscenes are subtitled with white text that's quite large and is easy to read, even on a small screen. Tutorial messages also appear in text. These messages are very important as they introduce you to the basics of the new combat system that you'll need to master very quickly indeed. As we've already mentioned you can access a Combo List from the pause menu which is essential as there are so many combos in the game that it's not going to be possible to remember them all. The video clips in the extras menu aren't subtitled.
Is Prince of Persia: Warrior Within a great sequel? Yes. Is Warrior Within better than The Sands of Time? That's a question that's a little more tricky to answer and it all depends on whether or not you were happy with everything in The Sands of Time. Combat is more gory and the game on the whole is far darker than The Sands of Time. Personally I think The Sands of Time is still the best Prince of Persia game to date but it's an added bonus that Warrior Within is subtitled and that deaf gamers will be able to follow the story this time around. The enhanced combat system is very impressive and the Warrior Within has more combat situations than The Sands of Time did in order to show off this combat system. If you didn't want to see more combat in the game though this may be a little disappointing. Overall it's an impressive sequel to what was an excellent game.
Game Rating: 8.9/10
Darker and definitely more combat heavy, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within is a great, if surprising, sequel to The Sands of Time
Subtitles have been included this time around so you'll be able to fully enjoy the game.