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The Rogue Prince of Persia Preview

The Rogue Prince of Persia Preview

Developers Evil Empire, whom you may know from their work on Dead Cells and its DLC, including Return to Castlevania, Fatal Falls, and some others, are working with producers Ubisoft to release The Rogue Prince of Persia. Being a fan of both Dead Cells and Prince of Persia, I am excited to see how the two will combine. Guaranteed, this will not feel like the last game in the Persia franchise even though it is in the series!

RoguePrinceofPersia climb

Our story starts with the Prince trying to find a way to protect his kingdom from the Huns that are attacking. His father, the King, feels he is too inexperienced and won't accept his battle plans so the Prince heads out on his own to defeat the enemy and prove his worth. You quickly engage in your first battle with the foe, attempting to prevent them from entering the city borders. Here, you quickly learn how to control your character in this parkour-style game that has you running up walls to reach platforms, swinging onto wooden poles sticking out from the walls behind you, and flipping off barriers. The Rogue Prince of Persia makes it a breeze to scamper up walls and even run across them in the background, just like you would have in the early entries in the Prince of Persia franchise. I was playing with a controller, so it was very comfortable to hold the left trigger button to make the Prince grip onto the variety of structures that he would run up or on. I expected the controls to be a lot harder to learn, so I was very surprised to see that I was running around the level with no issues at all so quickly!

RoguePrinceofPersia wallrun

Each of the enemy Hun soldiers that you encounter has a health bar above their head; if it is red, they do not have a shield that you need to worry about, but if it is light blue, that means that they have a shield that will need to be depleted before you do actual damage to them. There are a variety of ways that you can quickly destroy these shields. You can kick your enemy into another foe or obstacle like spikes in the level, or you can do a downward strike by jumping off a higher platform and holding down and the bottom face button down that strong attack will take out the enemies shield and stun them. Otherwise, you can run in and repeatedly smash them with your weapon, though this could put you in range of being hit.

RoguePrinceofPersia backtobeginning

There are nine stops on your quest map to reach the end. Each stage has a different theme and some new enemies to tackle, though the further you go, the stronger they become. If you didn’t guess from the title, The Rogue Prince of Persia is a roguelite that has you starting from the beginning each time that you die. However, it is a lot more forgiving than a roguelike title since everything won’t be taken away from you. Sure, you lose the gold you picked up from defeated enemies and the weapons that you are carrying, but there are numerous things like weapons and medallions that you can unlock in Sukhra's Oasis before you enter Zagros Village, which is the first level that you will challenge. There is no death here as your Bola protects you; it will turn back time, taking the Prince to a safe place, which is the oasis. You will become very familiar with this place, as it is where you will always start your run, over and over again.

RoguePrinceofPersia wellofdreams

Each of these levels has a handy transportation system within them by using multiple Wells of Dreams locations. These allow you to fast travel between all the different ones on the stage. So say you find the street merchants but you don’t have enough gold to purchase the items you want. You can continue forward, defeating enemies to get more, so you can use the Wells of Dreams to bring you back to purchase the items you want. As you play and get more items, one of the medallions that you can carry will allow you to restore some health every time you discover one of these wells, so they become very helpful during your run.

RoguePrinceofPersia medallions

What exactly are medallions? These items can be found in chests, purchased from merchants, or picked up around the level; each one gives you a different ability, like Sticky Kick which spreads resin when you kick an enemy, slowing the foes in the area down; Flaming Projectile, that can restore energy points and set fire to the area, or Slicing Kick that throws daggers at enemies close to you. You can have up to four different medallions equipped at a time; if you come across others once you are full, you can use these to upgrade the ones you currently have equipped. A mysterious masked girl, named Paachi, whom you meet at the oasis, is responsible for all the medallions you pick up, and she can make you new ones for the cost of a few Spirit Glimmers. You find glimmers in the level or gain them from defeating enemies. The thing is, if you die, you will lose all these purple glimmers you have picked up. To prevent this from happening, you will need to interact with a pedestal burning with purple flames. This will send the Glimmers you have found to the Oasis so that you will still have them when you die. That way, when you go back to the beginning, you can spend it on new weapons or special medallions to unlock that you can show up during your future runs.

RoguePrinceofPersia glimmerpedestal

The aesthetic of The Rogue Prince of Persia is completely different from what we saw in the last Prince of Persia game. I was surprised to see simplistic painted backgrounds with our main Prince character looking like he walked out of a children's storybook. The portrait drawings while the characters are talking are pretty good, but I felt like the hero felt like a sketch when I was playing the levels. After a while, I got used to it, but in the beginning, it felt very odd. The music has an upbeat, Persian-inspired soundtrack that is very catchy. It can get a bit repetitive, but that is to be expected when you are playing the same level over and over again!

RoguePrinceofPersia leveldesign

I have to admit that in the beginning, the game felt quite frustrating, starting over again with basically nothing. I just couldn’t really get into it, but once I start finding items like the Spirit Glimmers that you can exchange to unlock special weapons and items, it begins to feel a lot more addictive. It’s always nice to feel like your run wasn’t for naught and you actually progressed a bit! If you are a fan of roguelites, like Dead Cells, and the parkour action of the Prince of Persia series, you should definitely check this title out! It might take a little bit of time to get drawn in, but it’s worth it. Some advice, don’t let the simplistic visuals trick you, this title is a lot more challenging than you may expect!

RoguePrinceofPersia traps

Alana Dunitz

Alana Dunitz

Staff Writer

Lover of all games, old and new!

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