Prince of Persia HD has issues (Welcome to SACITSOTW)

Well, here we are. It’s technically Thursday at this point, and at 2:01 AM, even my bedtime is fast approaching.

In any case, welcome to Screw Assassin’s Creed, It’s Sands of Time Week. Or, simply, SACITSTOW.

You may ask, “why? Why give Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood the cold shoulder? You love Assassin’s Creed, don’t you?”

Well, yes. I do love Assassin’s Creed. I was excited for the third installment. I still want to play it, eventually. But, there are three reasons that I decided to drop the game for the theme week:

1. I’m still addicted to Black Ops, and I’d like to finish/review the game

2. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time HD was released over PSN two days ago. As many of you know, the Sands of Time is one of my all-time favorite videogames. An HD re-release is like Christmas come early for me.

3. I resent Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood for releasing only a year after Assassin’s Creed II. Give me some breathing room, man

4. I’m kinda broke. Oh wait, that’s four reasons.

So, yes, the theme week has shifted its focus to the Sands of Time. And why not? It’s a great game, and it has new relevance. And it only costs $15, which is four times less than the new Assassin’s Creed.

I downloaded the game on Tuesday night, and tried it out on Wednesday morning. I didn’t play too far; I stopped shortly after releasing the sands. Initial reactions? Well, unfortunately…

The game, for whatever reason, is plagued by audio issues. Voices in cutscenes always seem to work fine, but aside from that, it’s a crapshoot. Footsteps are muffled, sound effects for smashing objects has a weird echo, as do enemy voices. Sometimes, the audio cuts out entirely. (Or perhaps it’s just so horribly muffled I just can’t hear it.)

So yeah. Obviously, this is pretty unforgivable. Couple it with loading hitches (which never occurred in the original game) and the occasional game crash during loading times, and you have a game in desperate need of a patch.

However. Aside from these rather damning issues, I still found myself enjoying it for the visuals alone. Make no mistake, the game looks nice running in 720p. It’d look nicer running in 1080p, but I’ll take what I can get. Everything is (obviously) much crisper and cleaner looking, with more vibrant colors and much improved textures. Stonework, in particular, looks fantastic – text and symbols etched into the walls of the Maharaja’s castle pop out nicely. Even the character models, which were subpar even by PS2 standards, clean up very nicely. The Prince has never looked better.

So yeah. It’s pretty enough. But, as much as I hate to say it, you might want to wait for a patch with this one.

More to come.  I have some ideas for the week. Not all of which involve Black Ops.


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6 Responses to “Prince of Persia HD has issues (Welcome to SACITSOTW)”

  1. DarthGibblet says:

    - My policy with Ubisoft’s AAA titles like AC is to wait a few months. Not sure why, but Ubisoft usually drops the price of their games to at least $40 really quickly. Plus, I just played AC1 and 2 about 2 months ago, so I can definitely agree with you about needing a slight break from the franchise, no matter how much I enjoyed the first 2.

    - It’s a shame PoP is in such bad technical shape. I’ve never finished it, but it’s always been on my list of stuff to play at some point. Now, it would probably be easier to download the digital version and find where my old copy is, so I’ll be that much more likely to finish it once the game’s in a playable state.

  2. SiliconNooB says:

    I quite enjoyed ACII, but I need to put it a little further behind me.

  3. Ethos says:

    The Prince has looked better. In Prince of Persia (2008).

    And yeah, I’m very, very disappointed. I really want to play this. I’m worried that there won’t BE a patch. Typically when things are this bad, it only takes a few days.

  4. SiliconNooB says:

    It’s clear that they went cheap and nasty all the way. I wonder if the retail version had this problem, I read reviews from Eurogamer and IGN UK which didn’t mention anything about the sound issues …

  5. Ethos says:

    I wondered if it was just me, but Riddles is experiencing the same sound issues.

    I don’t think it’s cheap and nasty, really, because it looks good and it appears like it IS something that could be fixed with a patch. It feels like I’m only receiving one channel of audio, or something of that nature. But who knows, maybe it does run deeper than that.

  6. SiliconNooB says:

    Both of the reviews that I read criticised the game at length for not upgrading the HUD elements to match the up-scaled graphics, they felt it was sloppy, obviously I have yet to judge it for myself.

    The only reason I mentioned the retail version is because it seems obvious that the American download was a last minute affair, so I’m interested to see if the same issues hold true for the boxed version of the game.

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