grumbel's Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (PC) review

Annoying,frustrating and one of the worst sequels ever

[This review was written while playing the Windows version of the game in Linux under Wine]

On the technical side, Warrior Within has the same small problems as Sands on Time, but adds some more on top of it. It requires a no-cd crack to function in Wine and when you up the graphic detail level the picture ends up being upside down. Playing a bit around with the detail level and Wine configuration makes things playable, but still leaves a little upside-down artefact when one slows down the time. But since you don't run around in slow-mo all the time its completly playable from start to finish, you however lose quite a bit of graphical detail compared to Windows.

In terms of story Warriror Within pretty much is a 180 turn compared to Sands of Time. Where Sands of Time had depths, athmosphere, Warrior Within is just flat, dark and bloody. The dialog and story that made the first game interesting, is nearly completly missing here, the princes dialog is mostly down to a bunch of *grrrr* and *arrg* sound effects, the skill to say complete sentences seems to be gone missing in this part of the series. Neatless to say, this part doesn't really connect much at all to the first one, so if you are looking for a decent sequel, you won't find it here. On the positive side, the story features some classic time travel twist, nothing you haven't seen before, but a little fun in what otherwise is just a completle failure.

Ignoring all that and focusing on the game itself, it also has plenty of problems of its own. Unlike Sands of Time this game features a much more non-linear level design. While your progress is still linear, the levels allow almost complete backtracking, this more then once ends up being heavily confusing, since a wrong turn can easily have you running around in circles for half an hour. That the game features two time zones and actually requires backtracking on a regular basis only makes matters worse, since it gets much harder to figure out if you are actually on the right path or not. The game does feature a map, but its as useless as maps can be, since it gives no precise indication where you are, where you have to go or how you reach it. Its just a undetailed picture with your character and an X and those don't even get updated after every change room, so its near impossible to figure out anything from the map

I also found the fighting system to be pretty terrible. It is often taughted as one of the good point of the game, but I found the fights to be overly long and just plain annoying. Not sure if I just didn't get the combo system or what else might have gone wrong, but it just wasn't any fun meshing on the same enemies over and over again.

On the positive side of things some of the jumping and running is still fun. I however found it to be a little confusing this time around, distances seem harder to judge and the animation often doesn't seem to properly fit in, i.e. you have jumps that look like the prince shouldn't have made them, but you still end up sticking to the ledge. The locations are much less memorable then those in Sand of Time, but given how bad most of the rest is thats one of the smaller problems. In terms of graphics there was one nice level near the end that features some pretty smoke effects, with smoke getting blown away when you swing your sword, neat stuff.

Warrior Within also features some unlockable artwork, but unlike Tomb Raider, its very badly hidden. You have to find a bunch of tressure cheats that unlock it, but they are completly randomly places, so you have really no motivation to actually search for them, you just stumble upon them by accident every now and then.

Overall the game just wasn't much enjoyable and its probally best to just skip it and ignore it.

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