After finally completing my long list of video games, I’ve decided to pick up Prince of Persia (2008) for a second time. It was not my first foray into the PoP world; I’d given The Sands of Time a try when it was released in 2003 and discovered that the gameplay wasn’t for me (perhaps I just didn’t have the mechanical aptitude at the time). But the aesthetic style of the 2008 game drew me in, and so I gave the series another shot.
When I began to play PoP, I discovered a number of things that I enjoyed: the art style, the acrobatics and fluidity of the gameplay. But the aspect I enjoyed the most was the writing.
My friends have heard me rave about the writing in PoP before. The story, while first appearing simplistic, is actually quite intricate; the game reveals its detail much like the peeling of an onion. Within the writing we get not only a world filled with mythology and lore, but we get excellent characterization. The Prince and Elika have very distinctive personalities (although one would argue that they would have to in order to cement the game as the only major characters). The reason for the fantastic characterization, though, can be attributed to the way in which the writing blends concepts of faith, fate, and responsibility with the styles of tragedy and comedy. The writers clearly understood when the game needed to be serious and when it could loosen its belt and have a little fun, and execute it with near-perfect balance without compromise to the message and tone of the story.
To say more would never do the game justice–you simply have to play it if you enjoy a superbly written script.
And for those who will never play the game, you owe it to yourself to watch one of the most amusingly scripted moments I’ve ever discovered in a video game.
Now, Ubisoft, where is that sequel?