Prince of Persia 2: Warrior Within - PC

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Also for: PS2, Xbox, GameCube
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal Soft. Co.: Ubisoft
Publishers: Sold Out (GB)
Ubisoft (GB)
Released: 3 Dec 2004 (GB)
28 Apr 2006 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 16+
Accessories: Control Pad


Arguably Ubisoft's biggest franchise and most respected game, Sands of Time, the long awaited update to the platform classic, proved there was life in the old series yet, delivering a wealth of innovative and spectacular platform elements and combat techniques. A year on, a somewhat ambitious sequel from the French outfit's Montreal studio has been finished, named Warrior Within, and it's looking bigger, better than its predecessor in just about every way.

Several years after tinkering with the Sands of Time, the unfortunate prince finds himself hunted by Dahaka, a relentless immortal of sorts bent on sealing a horrible fate for the old-school hero. But of course, you're not about to let that happen. Tired of being the squeaky clean protagonist, the Prince of Persia's new philosophy is to look after 'numero uno', defend his own life and let no-one get in his way. In short, the setting for Warrior Within has a much darker theme.

Beginning the game proper, those already familiar with Sands of Time's platform style will have few problems mastering the prince's platforming abilities in Warrior Within. Little has changed here in terms of the game's play mechanic. Like before, players can jump chasms, run up walls and swing from a number of conveniently positioned poles. There are a few new traps for players to negotiate too, but the real change comes in the form of a largely non-linear game structure. Where the player's choices in Sands of Time were somewhat limited, those honing their skills in Warrior Within are mostly free to back-track to previous stages in search of hidden treasures and those elusive power-ups. Furthermore, the need to revisit old places - in two different timelines, we might add - also lies to rest any rumours of Warrior Within's short-lived lifecycle.

The game's combat system however, marks an even more notable change in the series. Considered a little too simple and perhaps even repetitive on occasion, Sands of Time's limited fighting skills have been completely overhauled for the sequel, instead offering a more dynamic play mechanic that accommodates several free-form fighting styles. Players can wield weapons in both hands to increase their chances of success, or keep one hand free, which can be used to grab or restrain your opponents whilst you slice and dice them. Furthermore, Warrior Within is host to a series of unique and formidable bosses that are often huge in size and that demand real player skills to overcome.

It's difficult to say if Warrior Within is a better game than Sands of Time, but we can be sure that it's just as enjoyable. A destined hit, and rightly so.