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14 January 2009

Prince of Persia: Reviewed (and confirmed Non-DRM for all Retail DVDs!!!)

Three words. Fan-freaking-tastic.

Prince of Persia (the fourth in the new series that started with Sands Of Time) is everything I was hoping for and more.

First off, lemme get the DRM crap out-of-the-way; because we all know how much we loathe being plagued by it as paying customers.

I bought my copy of the game from NothingButSoftware.com and ended up receiving a Canadian print DVD (had English and French manuals and a "T" rating that said Adolescent instead of Teen.)

I was nervous at first, because something in-the-back-of-my-head remembered only USA DVDs being non-DRM. I'm not sure what my damage was, because I couldn't find any information to back that up. I did read about others getting the DVDs (all of which have copy protection warnings on them) but have reported installing and playing without being connected to the internet.

One friend bought from GoGamer.com and received a CD from Australia or somewhere off this continent. His also installed and played fine with no internet connection.

So I gave mine a go, and sure enough... no DRM on mine either! It's SOOOOOO nice to be able to just launch the game and not be required to have the DVD in.

After installing, I saw a pop-up for a split second that made me think the DRM was really there, but it turns out it's an auto-patch app to make sure your game is up-to-date before playing. Some might argue this is a form of DRM because it's attempting to "phone-home", but again, the game will play without a network connection, so the auto-patcher times out and moves on. No big.

What IS big is the fact that the game is truly non-DRM AND a wonderful experience in one.

I'm not even 1/4 the way through yet, and I'm just craving more and more each time I sit down with it. I don't want to stop playing; I just want to find out what cool moves/powers we'll have next... what kind of crazy level design the next challenge has and to see Elika's and the Prince's chemistry build.

The banter between the two is enough fun to have players sit and continue pressing "T" (talk) until they're recycling dialogue. Some information is pertinent and some is just fun chat with each character giving the other attitude.

The artwork is classic gorgeous Prince of Persia, with some sweet, fluid cell-shader rendering of the characters and enemies. The cinematics use the same engine and are smoothly integrated with the gameplay to make a seamless experience.

The premise of the game is to take the Prince and Elika through corrupted lands to reach the "Fertile Grounds", fight a mini-boss, have Elika heal the grounds; then commence in the 2nd phase of gathering Light Seeds.

Gathering enough Light Seeds will grant new powers and open new areas, in your quest to keep the dark god Ahriman from escaping his prison and ending civilization as we know it.

I highly recommend Prince of Persia; not only because it's an incredible game, but because we can really send the word out that we want to stop the DRM madness.

I like the game enough I may buy another copy in the near future.

Kudos Ubisoft Montreal! You all did it right on this one! I'll be replaying this like I do Sands of Time.

See more HD screenshots of Prince of Persia (1920x1200 @ 2xAA) Each screenshot is approximately 6.6MB

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