Prince of Persia: Epilogue (review)

Prepare for a moody Elika when she wakes up. Not an end-of-the-world morning person apparently.
After that ending (FIRST GAME SPOILER: The Prince releases Ahriman to resurrect Elika) of the first game last year it’s a relief we don’t have to wait a year or two for more. If you didn’t already know, this isn’t a full-blown sequel to last year’s best adventure game, it’s more of a segue before the bound-to-be-announced-soon sequel. Unless of course, Ubisoft is planning on slowly drip-feeding us one downloadable episode at a time?
Understandably, Elika isn’t too pleased and is giving the Prince the cold shoulder. So despite his best efforts to lighten things up this is a much darker affair which kind of comes with the territory of imminent global destruction via an angry dark god.
It’s not just the atmosphere between the two that’s got bleaker either; most of Epilogue takes place in an underground ruin which is pretty damn miserable to look at. Unlike last time out there’s no ‘land healing’ to inject life into the surroundings so don’t expect to see any sun-kissed cliff-faces or lush flowers springing up anywhere, the only plant-life around are some living, red, vine-like weeds that’ll snare you if you linger too long.
It’s a much more linear affair this time with just the one environment with one route through instead of the open world hub style of the last adventure. The collectable Light Seeds are gone too so there’s not much incentive to replay the game apart from rounding up the extra gameplay Trophies which are awarded for say finishing under two hours (easy if you stop trying to get Elika to talk) or finishing without getting rescued twenty times or more (much harder than it sounds).
The only addition to the fight scenes is the ability to attempt a sprint attack by bashing X from a distance and hoping you can time a rush attack. You might use it at the start of a fight but that’s about it. Enemies are lazily recycled from the main game including the Mourning King, the Warrior and the Hunter. They have the sprint ability too but you should really be concerned with the quick-time-events where you have to time the on-screen button prompt to perfection, as the window of opportunity is considerably crueller than last time out. But, as in the last game, you still can’t actually die thanks to Elika stepping in to tidy up after your flustering thumbs.
Be careful what you wish for
Many players of the first game complained that it was too easy with its simple platforming and ever forgiving fight scenes. It would seem that Ubisoft were listening, so don’t complain now because the latest adventure has gotten nasty. For example the black blobs of Corruption rolling around on the walls, waiting to swallow you up are everywhere for the first half of Epilogue. To make matters worse, the checkpoints have been stretched to fiendishly harsh distances for the extensive climbing sections, almost to the point of going “screw this” and chucking your pad out the window. Almost.
Almost, because if you did enjoy the last game, a chance for another taste is essential, especially given its ending. But is it worth £7.99? Not really. Especially if you managed to pick the main game up a few weeks after release in the Xmas price war for a tasty £17.99. This is just over two hours long; the main game was around twelve hours. Do the math. But, like me, you’ll probably ignore that in order to find out where this stunning adventure is heading, just don’t expect too many answers or any sense of closure. It seems Ubisoft have drafted us in for the long haul.

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