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The Rogue Prince Of Persia Review (Early Access)


2024 has been a very good year for Prince of Persia . After seeing the franchise reborn with the excellent The Lost Crown , the series receives a new, totally different title with a very bold proposal with The Rogue Prince of Persia ,  released exclusively for PCs. With a more artistic feel and flirting with the indie world , we have a very unusual adventure.

After all, it is very rare that studios like Ubisoft agree to hand over their most classic properties into the hands of third parties, especially with the same creative freedom seen here. However, the partnership here with Dead Cells ' Evil Empire was very successful and shows how this return to 2D is almost a one-way path for the saga.

Although it is still in Early Access, The Rogue Prince of Persia oozes personality and shines due to the way in which the studio managed to reimagine such a classic series in such a simple way and, at the same time, with an addictive complexity. 

It's difficult to define The Rogue Prince of Persia as anything other than a Persian offspring of Dead Cells , as the 2017 game's influence is more than evident here, particularly in the gameplay and the types of challenges the player encounters. So, we have a very agile roguelike full of layers to test your skills.

Game uses temporal looping as a narrative gameplay element to justify the roguelike in a very intelligent way (Image: Screenshot/Durval Ramos/Canaltech)

The plot is very simple: Persia is invaded by the Hun army and the Prince needs to find a way to end this threat — especially because he is one of those responsible for this attack. But things get complicated when the protagonist finds himself trapped in a time loop. 

Thus, he is forced to relive the same day over and over while trying to find a way to end this curse while also trying to eliminate the invaders.

It's a very basic script, but it makes good use of the dynamics of a roguelike to develop its story and also its mechanics. As trying, dying and starting again is a central part of the entire experience, looping becomes a narrative feature that matches the gameplay very well.

In this sense, there is nothing very new or different from what other games in the genre already do, as is the case with the recent Hades 2 . But this is not a demerit for The Rogue Prince of Persia , as it knows how to use very well this back and forth born of trial and error both to advance its plot and to encourage the player to always try to go further.

There are some very creative solutions to tie these two aspects together and make the game more cohesive. The dynamics of mental maps connect seemingly disconnected information at the same time that finding survivors or traces can unlock new areas and expand the paths you can follow with each new run. Again, nothing revolutionary, but very well thought out.

But it's in gameplay that The Rogue Prince of Persia . Owner of a beautiful artistic style that seems to have come out of the pages of a European comic, the game makes a beautiful bow to the original Prince of Persia , from 1989, by placing the Prince once again to deal with challenges on a 2D platform.

Only, unlike The Lost Crown , things here are much more basic than mystical. The new hero has no control over time or anything like that, limiting himself only to his parkour skills to overcome obstacles and defeat his enemies.

And that's what makes the gameplay of The Rogue Prince of Persia so enjoyable. Evil Empire added a wall-walking mechanic that messes with the jumping dynamics. With this simple addition, vertical and transversal exploration gain much more prominence, in addition to many layers of challenges.

There are many paths to explore and ways to deal with the same obstacle with this simple mechanic. Walking along the wall can make you go further, reach an unexpected item, create a new route or even be your trump card in combat. It's something quite simple, but it makes all the difference. 

So, even though Early Access is quite short, with only six different scenarios, there is a lot to explore and do thanks to this mechanic. The design of the levels is very well constructed to test your mastery of this transversal movement and it is this that gives agility and fluidity to this new version of the Prince, differentiating him from other incarnations.

All of this makes The Rogue Prince of Persia a game very full of life and possibilities, but somewhat limited. As it is still in Early Access, the number of levels, enemies and even weapons and items at your disposal is much smaller.

This is expected, as Evil Empire and Ubisoft already commented in the game's announcement that the idea was to make new content available over time, expanding the possibilities based on feedback from the community itself. And the good thing is that there really is a lot to grow and apply the good ideas that are already present in the game.

For now, the game only contains six available stages and two boss battles. It's a reasonable amount for the amount of times you'll die, but it doesn't help the feeling that it takes a little more. Furthermore, the fact that there are only 8 main weapons and 6 tools also limits the creation of new builds somewhat.

What avoids making The Rogue Prince of Persia repetitive are the medallions. Throughout each run, the Prince finds different medallions that grant new abilities and improvements that considerably change the overall dynamics of the game. Some will make your attack stronger, while others create effects on enemies when performing certain actions — and combining these skills generates new powers.

It's a smart way to vary the gameplay and make each attempt to face the Huns different, encouraging exploration and treating the back and forth in the time loop as something fun.

The only point against this logic is the slightly exaggerated level of difficulty, which makes the Prince extremely vulnerable and fragile. Any banal attack from the nastiest enemy will take away between 25% and 30% of your life bar and the impossibility of improving your defense or even carrying more healing items tends to make things frustrating as you realize who your hero is. made of glass.

However, it is far from being a critical problem and can be easily overcome with an update or the release of content that gives the protagonist more resistance. After all, that's what Early Access is for.

Thus, the final balance of The Rogue Prince of Persia is more than positive. Proving that the creative freedom for others to explore already known franchises can be a great path to renewal, we have a title still in development that makes an excellent debut. More than that, it attests to the good momentum of the series and leaves us looking forward to the scenes in the next chapters.


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