The Rogue Prince of Persia

Review

The Rogue Prince of Persia is a side-scrolling roguelite developed by Evil Empire, the creators of Dead Cells, that is part of Ubisoft’s efforts to bring back the historical IP with multiple 2D and 3D titles. The game has been released on Steam through the Early Access formula, so anything can change before the final release. The premise for the story is very simple: you are the purple Prince of Persia and the Kingdom has been invaded by the Hun army which is corrupted by dark tribal magic. Stuck in a timeloop, you must fight, jump and wall-run through each level to defeat the king of the Huns and save your people. Thanks to a magic artifact, you are always brought back in time after you fail, which is a very common trick for souls and roguelike games in general, but makes even more sense for the Prince of Persia and the special rewind ability he has in every game. Dying, learning from mistakes and repeating is a key part of the experience. Each time you fail and restart, new characters join your base camp, offering their services and enhancing the narrative, though the story is still incomplete at this moment, so it’s impossible to evaluate it.



The game plays similarly to Dead Cells, but with even more smooth parkour movements such as running, jumping, dashing and wall-running, being extra careful about enemies and traps’ location. Linking together movements with precise timing is not only fun, but also very important because it’s really easy to be quickly surrounded by enemies as you never know what you will find at the end of the screen. Levels are procedurally generated, meaning every run can be different (theoretically), but since the game is still in early access you will feel some sort of repetitiveness after playing for a while. Combat is a mix of melee attacks and ranged abilities, but it feels awesome when mixed with the parkour acrobatics and when you use the environment to cause extra damage to enemies. Their AI is quite decent and they can be very aggressive, while the few boss fights are too hard and unbalanced right now, mainly because bosses have a huge health bar and you can’t easily dodge their attacks like you normally do with standard enemies. Weapons appear randomly in chests after being unlocked and they include daggers, spears, bows, chakrams and a grappling hook that can only be used to get enemies closer to you (unfortunately it can’t be used for traversal). Currently the variety of weapons is lacking, but that’s understandable considering the early access version. Throughout the game you will also obtain a form of currency that can be exchanged on various merchants to unlock new weapons and power ups. The latter are in the form of medallions that can be equipped on four slots, and they include different passive abilities that add some effects to your attacks, such as fire, poison and more. Weapons and medallions can be further upgraded by spending currency back at the base camp.

Visually speaking, the cartoonish hand-drawn art style is simple but gorgeous and very colorful. For some reason, characters have a blue-purple skin tone, but you quickly get used to it as it perfectly blends with the color scheme of each level. The soundtrack is awesome and includes a mix of hip hop, electronic and middle eastern tunes that give the game a unique atmosphere. The PC version runs great and the game isn’t very demanding, but there are only a few graphic settings at the moment. Surprisingly, the Steam version doesn’t even require the use of Ubisoft Connect and many players will certainly appreciate having one less program running in the background while gaming.

The Rogue Prince of Persia feels like a great mix between Dead Cells and Prince of Persia that can be enjoyed by fans of both games. In its current state there isn’t much variety or content, but the core mechanics, the gorgeous visuals and the amazing soundtrack have built a solid and fun experience. There is still a lot of room for improvement and balancing, but Evil Empire already has a proven track record and The Rogue Prince of Persia will be likely supported for a long time just like Dead Cells before. In any case, my evaluation is based on the current state of the early access version, as things can obviously change for the better or worse in the future.

Review written by Sonic Punk for Zeepond.com

The Rogue Prince of Persia Steam Store Page


Positives

+ Smooth mix of parkour movement and combat
+ Beautiful art style
+ Amazing soundtracks
+ No Ubisoft Connect platform required

Negatives

- Not many unlockable weapons (due to early access)
- Boss fights need balancing

Review Summary

While still in need of more content and balancing, The Rogue Prince of Persia offers a really fun and unique roguelite experience, with beautiful visuals and an amazing soundtrack.

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Zeepond Rating: 7/10

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