Reviewed on Game Cube

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within

Reviewed By: Justin Hilton aka Atticus

Computer Platform: Game Cube (Nintendo)
Produced by: Ubi Soft
Price Range: $41-50
Learning curve time: 1-30 min.
Age level: Mature Teen to Adult
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Overall Rating:
Genre: Action/Platform
Christian Rating: 3 of 5
Gameplay: 4 of 5
Violence: 2 of 5
Adult Content: 2 of 5

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within.  Illustration copyrighted.

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within

Set ten years after the events of the critically acclaimed Sands of Time, Warrior Within has the Prince on the run from his own fate. Having turned back time and changed his fate, the Prince has been doomed to die at the hands of the Dahaka, an immortal creature spawned by his own disruption of the Timeline. Now, after evading the Dahaka for ten years, the Prince is getting desperate. He makes for the Island of Time, where the Sands were first created, and plans to go back into the past, and stop them from ever being created, thus erasing his incident with them from existence. But fate has other ideas…

Improves on the original's gameplay structure in almost every way. Fighting system is great, plat-forming is unchanged for the most part, but still awesome. The segregation between the two is gone, and it's very noticeable. The very best parts of the game are when the plat-forming and combat mesh together perfectly. It's fantastic at those parts. Warrior Within longer than the first game, as well, and the new fighting system offers a lot of options on how to dispose of your enemies, apart from the rather repetitive, simplistic boss fights. At the outset, the story shows a lot of promise, but by the end, it's too muddled and confusing to really care about anymore. The cut-scenes are well made, however, and it's easy to feel sorry for the Prince during them. All of those feelings are washed away when the actual gameplay starts up again, though, as the new “dark” feel falls totally flat. The new Prince is a total jerk during gameplay. You know that the mature attitude is forced when your cha racter starts spouting such profound lines as "You should be honored to die by my sword!", "I am the Prince of Persia! and a King of Blades!" or simply "RAAAAAH!!!…" when you break a pot with your sword.


Graphics and Sound
The graphics in Warrior Within, while technically nice, are brought down by a design team that seems to have been told "Remember, we want this to be dark and mature, so make sure you make everything as monochromatic and lifeless as possible." As far as sound goes, Warrior Within isn't exactly a joy to listen to. The music is mostly heavy rock-centered, but anyone knows that nu-metal boy bands have no business getting anywhere near one of the games in the classic Prince of Persia franchise. The in-game voice-acting is horrible, as well, and the enemies' voices sound like nails on a chalkboard. The entire game feels a bit rushed, too, with the music cutting in and out at the wrong times, and you will frequently run into glitches, like running through a wall, or an enemy disappearing before your eyes. Mediocre work in these categories, and it all feels a bit unpolished.

Violent Content
NOTE: This game features an option to turn the blood off, which is why it earned a “heavy” rating, as opposed to “extreme”. The violence is extreme, and the Prince has moves that allow him to cut, stab, strangulate, or decapitate enemies in projectile fashion, meaning that the enemies' disembodied heads fly about twenty feet in a sickening display of splattering blood, or he can slice them in half head-to-toe, or side-to-side. However, it must be noted that when blood is turned off, enemies do not lose any body parts, they simply keel over.

Sexual Content
The game opens with a full-screen shot of the villainess' unclothed rear-end, which can't mean anything good for the rest of the game. The same villainess is “clothed” in what looks like a skimpier version of Ivy from Soul Calibur's outfit. You didn't think that's possible, but she proves us all wrong. Another character, Kaileena, wears a dress that is totally open in the front, and exposes much of her ample chest. Some female enemies, called Blade Dancers, make sexual comments to the Prince like "this position suits you" or “the pain is so pleasurable” WHILE THEY'RE KILLING YOU. Totally unnecessary stuff here, and yet another byproduct (or tool) of marketing the game to an older crowd.

Language and other negative elements
As far as language, their are two swears in the game, one is uttered when the Prince screams "Die! You b******!" at the Dakaka, and the other when he takes a slash to the face from the villainess, and screams. "You b****!". Some may be offended by the game's more fantastical elements, like the Sands of Time, or magical creatures and objects. It's nothing above the level of, say, Lord of the Rings, though.

Warrior Within feels like a missed opportunity. It has the makings of greatness, but it gets dragged down by the new bad attitude that has infested the game. I feel foolish because it was one of my own most anticipated games. It's also almost impossible to recommend to Christians, as well, because of its explicit violent and sexual content. I say bah to you, Ubi Soft.

Year of Release—2004

Negative—Ubisoft really dropped the ball with this one. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, was almost completely blood-free, and had very little objectionable elements. But with Warrior Within, Ubisoft has fallen into the rut that so many other developers have fallen into. Ubisoft has succumbed to the notion that all games need to be “edgy”, and have therefore changed the Prince's personality from the confused, reluctant, and charming hero of The Sands of Time, to a vengeful, careless, and violent anti-hero. As if that weren't enough, the fitting orchestral score found in TSOT is non-existent here, it's been replaced by …Heavy Metal guitar riffs! This is a game about Ancient Persia! What place does Heavy Metal have here!? My Ratings: [2 / 3]
   —Jeff, age 15

Neutral—I enjoyed playing this game. I cant say I loved it, but I had a little fun. The sword-play is very realistic, but the gore is sickening. You do, however, have the option of turning it off. After certain sword combos, the game shows, in slow-motion, the bodies of your decapitated enemies falling to the ground, complete with blood-spray. This is the only aspect, it seems, that the designers carefully detailed. The games music is methodical metal guitar. I, a fan of metal, was not impressed. It seems to be inserted in all the wrong places. The language isn't as bad as I expected, after seeing how violent and sexual the rest of the game is. The adult references are heavy, showing many barely clothed, or mostly naked shots of some of princes female enemies. The graphics are somewhat disappointing. At the beginning of the game, you are prepared for something amazing. The graphics in the cut scenes are very good. Unfortunately, the gameplay is not so. Yet again, one of the more important aspects of the game My Ratings: [1 / 3]
   —Taylor Zook, age 15

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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