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Prince of Persia: Warrior Within

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal Publisher: Ubisoft Entertainment
30 November 2004
Prince of Persia: Warrior Within - cover art
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352 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#1,846 All-time
#91 for 2004
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Title
I recently played Sands of Time for the first time and was really impressed with how well it has held up. I was also surprised that Ubisoft has decided to remaster it - it seems very unnecessary. I loved Warrior Within when it was originally released, but this game isn’t quite like I remember - maybe it is this game that needs the remaster.

After playing Sands of Time, the first thing you notice with the game is the different art style. Sands of Time went for a slight cartoon look so was often bold and colourful. I think even though it was fairly simplistic, it has held up better than this game which has gone for a darker, gritty aesthetic. It’s mainly different shades of grey.

The game is set 7 years after Sands of Time. An immortal beast and the protector of the timeline, Dahaka is after the Prince to kill him because that is his fate/punishment for interfering with the timeline. The Prince aims to go back in time and stop the sands being created on the Island of Time, therefore prevent the Dahaka from coming after him. It’s possible that because of this constant threat, the Prince is no longer his laid-back, charming self. Now he seems edgier, more aggressive, with a gruffer tone to his voice. In the opening chapter, he gets slashed and calls his enemy "bitch" which seems out of character for the previous version of the Prince.

The music in the previous game had a Middle Eastern feel with occasional rock guitars. Now they have gone further in the rock direction with more of a metal soundtrack, some parts even just having Godsmack instrumentals.

The women are more sexualised, with the camera focussing on a bare-bottom during some of the opening cutscenes, then giving you a good view of her attire which is the classic female armour that barely protects anything.

These changes seem strange given that the first game was successful. This feels more like a reboot.

At the end of the first game, the Prince returns the dagger to Farah but I wasn’t sure what happened to the medallion. It seems he still has it which gives him the time-manipulation powers, although you have to play through the prologue before you can use it.

I quite miss fighting alongside Farah, and trying to goad enemies away from her, and running to her side when she is overwhelmed. Now the Prince is alone for the entire game.

The combat has been revamped - which you are instantly introduced to. Rather than having the dagger as the secondary attack, the secondary weapon is now limited-use. So now you are constantly picking up enemies' weapons and using them until they break, or until you throw them as a projectile. Your main weapon is replaced many times as part of the story. You are significantly weaker with only one weapon.

There are now more combos to perform, but his fighting style is largely the same. Enemies no longer take turns to hit you. They are much more aggressive, they do longer combos so you spend a long time blocking. In Sands of Time, you had to finish them off before they regenerated. The regeneration idea has been scrapped which I think is disappointing. However the combat is much harder overall.

In fact, the combat was so hard, I struggled so much that I was replaying sections multiple times. I eventually restarted on Easy. It’s always annoying when you are asked to select a difficulty before the game starts but you have no idea what you are signing up for.

Even on easy, many sections had me replaying them. Even though there’s the rewind mechanic to alleviate this, I often found myself with only 1 or 0 sand so had to restart the sections anyway. Sometimes you can go through large sections without having the opportunity to heal. The game sometimes places you back at checkpoints rather than the save point, but you can be placed there with low health and no sand, so you end up retrying several times.

There’s other missteps in the game design. The female enemies that are like ninjas are so hard to take down. When the enemy is introduced to you, you have to fight one alongside many other enemies. Good game design would just put you one on one to learn the mechanics. However, no matter how many I encountered, I still couldn’t learn their attack patterns. They love dodging your attacks and flipping over you. I hated when they were placed on the beams or would wall run and slash you mid-run. The timing to defeat them seemed so narrow.

Water basins restore your health and save the game. In the previous game, you saved at sand storms which also showed you a video montage of upcoming sections. It was a bit hand-holdy but wasn’t that helpful. It would probably have more utility in this game, but they have removed it.

The platforming is largely the same as Sands of Time so you can run horizontally and vertically along walls, swing from poles, shimmy along ledges etc. There’s a couple of new mechanics like a rope that extends your wall run, or allows you to stop/change elevation. You can slide down curtains/flags. The usual traps of various blades and spikes are here too, and some sections are rather challenging.

Sands of Time was always pushing you to the next area with no reason to return to previous areas. Warrior Within is based on repetition and backtracking. Sometimes you go to an area, then instantly have to retrace your steps. There’s portals that you occasionally go through that toggles the time period, so often you have to backtrack through the same location but it can play differently with different paths. Some locations you see many times, but these can be brief. Enemies are respawned if you backtrack.

To travel between the time periods, you go through portals which have a trial-and-error task to activate.

As you return to the same locations in a different time period, it's easy to lose track of where you came from and where you are going, especially if you return to the game a few days later. Furthermore, you have more control over the camera, so now the camera angle often doesn’t guide you. There were plenty of moments I stopped and spent ages panning the camera around in order to look for any indication where to go. Sometimes it was something subtle like a tree branch that I could swing on. There’s a map, but it barely has any utility. It’s just an overall image of a building so there’s no real sense of orientation.

There’s a few chase sequences with the Dahaka which can be awkward as the camera keeps switching so you are running towards the camera. These sections are fairly brief.

There’s a few boss fights and some aspects can be unfair like instantly being attacked when the cut-scene ends - so make sure you hold the block button. The last boss seemed to be a bit glitchy where the slow time power sometimes got ignored then the boss deals insane damage.

I expected the puzzles to be elaborated on in this sequel, but it still often comes down to navigating to a crank and turning it until something happens. It looked like there was a complex puzzle in the Foundry near the end. However, I thought you didn’t get a great angle of the pipes you are lining up, and I seemed to turn a few cranks and solved it without much thought.

The story contains a few twists leading to multiple timelines and a time paradox which I enjoyed. If you collect all the life upgrades, you battle the Dahaka which is the canonical ending, otherwise you fight the Empress. I felt the few characters could have been developed more, and I miss the monologues from the Prince.

Despite there being separate volume sliders for music, effects and voice; voice is removed when you turn off the music. With Vsync turned on, I was constantly experiencing glitches where clipping a rock would send the Prince flying.

There’s plenty of annoyances with the game which can lead to frustrating gameplay segments that will have you replaying them multiple times, or just slow down the pace of the game with tedium. There are sections, and aspects that the game does right; some of the platforming segments are great, and the combat is more advanced than a lot of games. I know I’ve heavily criticised the game, but it’s mainly a disappointment when playing it after Sands Of Time.
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CaptainClam 2017-09-29T23:07:05Z
2017-09-29T23:07:05Z
3.0
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Less sand and more time wasting
Warrior Within is really a sequel that focuses on different aspects of the modern Prince of Persia formula. While i cant really consider either to be a favourite game of my, i must say that i enjoyed my time much more with Warrior within, as well as the Revelations game for the PSP.

The redesign of the prince to make him much more darker and angsty. To fit this, the game also looks more bleak and the enemies more horror themed. As much backlash this has received over the years, i find it more appropriate to the bigger focus on combat in the game. Combat now has finishing moves with decapitations, secundary weapons and overal a much bigger range of moves. Coupled with the more responsive controls, in essence this makes the game much more satifying to play and the combat becomes the highlight of the game.

The other half of the prince of persia formula is the platforming, and it received a major setback in this one. They are still present in abundance, but the level design is pretty terrible. I got lost so many times that i started playing with a guide at my side. The game offers a open world in a metroidvania style, but only offers one of the lamest excuses for a map i have seen. This kills the pacing and overal enjoyability, and in the end it was the main reason i dropped the game a little over halfway.

Overal i feel that in the end its a solid action title, but unfortunatly hampered by a lot of flaws in the level design.
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Threntall 2016-07-22T13:22:12Z
2016-07-22T13:22:12Z
3.5
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Prince of Persia: Warrior Within is the most unfortunate of sequels. It's the sequel that gets right everything its predecessor got wrong, and gets wrong everything its predecessor got right. Without series creator Jordan Mechner in tow, the franchise, for the 2nd time, forgot its strengths and fell into the realm of cliche. The game got backlash for its flaws and lame aesthetic, but anyone who played it could still attest to Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time being buried under it all. Without Warrior Within, we would have one less disappointing game in the franchise, but we also wouldn't have the best game in the franchise: Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones.

Just like its prequel, Warrior Within lets you know what the game is about from the moment of starting it up to the moment of launching into an epic battle on a sea-faring ship. A series fan could only feel his heart sink when seeing the material dealt with in such a crass, lame way. The entire game reeks of Mortal Kombat fan art scribbled on the back of a 4rd grader's history exam, with obscene gore and edgy dialog. Let's not mention the music, which had me putting the game on mute and listening to a podcast instead. That also solved the problem of having to deal with the game's inane story and the Prince's angst-ridden quips. Before I tear down the game even more, let's look at what the game did right.

The fighting is still far from fantastic, but Warrior Within implements a fighting system that Sands of Time could have used a year before. Between a more in-depth combo system and the ability to pick up an enemy's weapon, PoP:WW made the fighting sections flow a lot better. There are other little details that improved on the prequel. Not having to unequip your weapon and having a map were welcome additions. It's ironic that the map, as an idea, is a great thought but the execution ties-in with the game's greatest flaw.

PoP:WW lacks the previous game's pace and design -- tragic since these are the traits that made Sands of Time memorable. Ubisoft Montreal, knowing they made a better fighting system, throw in 10x the enemies and lose track of expertly designed environments to navigate. I got lost so often that the game became a chore to go back to. As you return to the same locations in a different time period, it's easy to lose track of where you came from and where you are going. Even worse, the map does absolutely nothing other then tell you what section of the game you are in, which seems more of a self-congratulatory act on Ubisoft's part of making such a giant world rather then an effort to help the player navigate these confusing levels.

I could also gloat about the awful boss fights and stale art direction, but PoP: WW mildly succeeds because of one thing: it's more Prince of Persia! The fighting becomes a bigger chore then the first game, only because of poor implementation, but you still have some very satisfying puzzles and platforming. At twice the length of Sands of Time, Warrior Within spreads itself thin and it shows. Then again, it was twice the amount of time to spend with the Prince until the next game came out. The game's biggest enemy is now The Two Thrones, the massively successful sequel that combined both game's strong points and offered a classic action-adventure title that stood up to God of War in 2005. In retrospect, Warrior Within is a standard case of being a stepping stone in a trilogy, which is always preferable to being a sinking ship.
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SUPER_Lonely_Panda 2016-04-06T00:18:34Z
2016-04-06T00:18:34Z
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avoidbeing Prince of Persia: Warrior Within 2024-05-21T22:03:22Z
PS2 • XNA
2024-05-21T22:03:22Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
trashjunkie Prince of Persia: Warrior Within 2024-05-13T19:08:41Z
Gamecube • XNA
2024-05-13T19:08:41Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Bubu66 Prince of Persia: Warrior Within 2024-05-12T03:44:32Z
2024-05-12T03:44:32Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Froot Prince of Persia: Warrior Within 2024-04-25T20:48:27Z
PS2 • XNA
2024-04-25T20:48:27Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
LanI Prince of Persia: Warrior Within 2024-04-13T22:17:05Z
2024-04-13T22:17:05Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
EGO_ Prince of Persia: Warrior Within 2024-04-13T13:05:41Z
Windows
2024-04-13T13:05:41Z
2.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
blacktomatoemperor Prince of Persia: Warrior Within 2024-04-10T10:56:23Z
2024-04-10T10:56:23Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
tmaroga10 Prince of Persia: Warrior Within 2024-03-31T18:33:02Z
2024-03-31T18:33:02Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MagicRock Prince of Persia: Warrior Within 2024-03-30T17:36:11Z
2024-03-30T17:36:11Z
4.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
anncian Prince of Persia: Warrior Within 2024-03-24T21:40:25Z
2024-03-24T21:40:25Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
AxeWorld Prince of Persia: Revelations 2024-03-21T23:25:34Z
PSP • XNA
2024-03-21T23:25:34Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ArpeggiDivision Prince of Persia: Warrior Within 2024-03-20T17:32:10Z
2024-03-20T17:32:10Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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ESRB: M
Player modes
Single-player
In collections
Also known as
  • Prince of Persia: Revelations
  • Prince of Persia: El alma del guerrero
  • Prince of Persia: L'âme du guerrier
  • Prince of Persia: Spirito guerriero
  • プリンス・オブ・ペルシャ ケンシノココロ
  • View all [5] Hide

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  • Previous comments (3) Loading...
  • Burninate 2021-07-28 23:04:45.601776+00
    amazing edge
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  • NickFerrant 2022-06-14 03:53:25.154135+00
    Extremely Edgy.
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  • Banana_PD 2023-02-28 14:43:43.2159+00
    Ubisoft just ripped off what Naughty Dog did with Jak II
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  • sunshinerecorder 2023-06-09 12:00:18.188019+00
    I'll never forget how my father raised his eyebrow as he heard YOU BITCH while trying it out before I got to do that. Great game, extremely memorable when you're 10 to 14 in terms of aesthetics/ost/the baddie, shame about the edge memes.
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  • DomMazzetti 2023-09-02 02:04:54.961747+00
    the one where he yells
    reply
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  • Drug_Use 2024-01-10 05:02:11.266737+00
    Probably the best example of how to make an actually intimidating chase boss, I dare say more than Nemesis in the original RE3. Every chase sequence by the Dahaka gives me some hardcore PTSD. The gameplay is very good too. The tone change was wildly unnecessary and didn't age well but I still like how this one plays better than the first one.
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  • Coldplaz 2024-04-26 19:31:13.043978+00
    Peak 00s edgekino
    reply
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  • Drizoen 2024-05-20 08:03:59.384583+00
    "hey babe, how's the metal bikini armor feeling between your cheeks?"

    such stupid design lol
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