Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
I like Prince of Persia games. They generally have an interesting blend of puzzle-platforming and combat. Some games have skewed one way over the other, and this is one of the ones that skewed towards being mostly puzzles. This is far from a downside, as combat has generally been the weakest point of the games, even Warrior Within whose selling point was a huge combat system.
This is no Sands of Time-style game, so you might be disappointed if you're expecting it. Instead, the Prince's magical galpal Elika saves him from falling off ledges. There's also no time powers at all, but it's made up for. In a Sands-series PoP you'd need those time powers to recover from (among other things) getting swarmed by gangs of monsters, but there are none of those in this game, either. You face around seven unique enemies in the whole game, and each level is a massive platform puzzle just to get to the boss of that zone. You do get special powers which are unlocked by collecting Light Seeds, and while each boss' set of levels requires two of the four powers to complete, you can tackle those levels in any order you wish. These powers are only usable on special devices set into the floors and walls, allowing you to fly, run up extreme lengths of wall, and so on.
Combat is much simpler than Warrior Within or Two Thrones, but not as simplistic (and aggravating) as Sands of Time. The Prince can block with his sword, punch people in the face, grab and throw them, do sword attacks on ground or in the air, and even Elika is mapped to a button. All these attacks can and should be chained together for some tasty combos. My favourite involved blasting an enemy with Elika's magic, jumping on their head, having Elika hurl me into the air, then falling straight down for a final slash of the blade.
This game, more than any of the previous, really captured the sense of intense lonliness someone would feel wandering a blasted, devastated land. Ironic, since for the first time in the series, you have a constant companion who the Prince talks to and gets to know. It's not a love story, but when the end game goes down, you do understand why the Prince does what he does.
As usual for PoP, the level design and music are gorgeous. Definitely the kind of game you should play just for the craftsmanship.
Clearly, you should buy this game. Not enough people did when it came out, and a lot of people bitched to Ubisoft about "a bloo bloo bloo, this is not my Prince, wahhh" so it hasn't got a sequel and Ubisoft cranked out a new Sands game instead. There's a DLC pack with some new levels or something, but I've never played it. We'll probably never get a sequel to this Prince, which is sad. He's basically Han Solo, and who doesn't love Han Solo?
Game Traits applied to Prince of Persia (X360) by dancercotillion