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Prince of Persia: The Fallen King

The Fallen King takes the series back to where it all began: the humble 2D platformer. It’s hard to tell if that means a loyal return to the excellence of the original, or just more obligatory handheld shovelware – the sort of thing that results from strategy meetings where people with expensive cufflinks jabber on about ‘branding synergy’. All we can do is point at Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles, cough quietly, raise an eyebrow and let you draw your own conclusions.

The Fallen King follows the canon of the new, refurbished Prince, to be seen leaping onto bigger consoles later this year with acrobatic puzzles aplenty. The DS game doesn’t follow the same storyline, though. Instead, we see the Prince flee to a desert kingdom overcome by the mysterious Corruption, which only he and a partially corrupted ally, known as the Magus, can remedy. Turns out that saving the kingdom involves a lot of jumping about and beating up monsters. Again.

The game is controlled solely with the stylus. Poke at the screen and the Prince will leap over objects or do mischief to some hapless monster with his sword. Pressing any button on the DS toggles control between the Prince and the Magus, who can toss enemies aside and remove obstacles from the Prince’s path. Switching between characters like this could break the flow – we just hope there are enough puzzles to justify its inclusion. Lazy handheld knock-off or true-to-its-roots platformer? It could go either way. Also, should PoP be this cute? Even the glaive is cute. Glaives should never be cute.

Sep 11, 2008