|Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands|
Thomas Simon (Lead Game Designer)
Michael McIntyre (Level Designer Director)
Philippe Trarieux (Art Technical Director)
Zsolt Bakonyi (Art Technical Director)
|Director(s)||Jean-Christophe Guyot (Creative Director)|
Martin Schelling (Associate Producer)
puzzle-platformer, hack and slash
|Rating(s)||M for mature|
|Previous game (release)||Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones|
|Previous game (canon)||Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (game)|
|Next game (canon)||Battles of Prince of Persia|
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is a third-person action-adventure puzzle-platforming video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal, Quebec, Singapore and Casablanca. It was released in North America May 2010 across most major platforms and published by Ubisoft in western territories. The console and PC version of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is, chronologically the fifth game in The Sands of Time Trilogy. Canonically, The Forgotten Sands continues the story of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and occurs during the seven year gap between the The Sands of Time and Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, and before Battles of Prince of Persia. The Prince is sent to the former territory of King Solomon to study under his elder brother, Malik. When he arrives he discovers the palace is under siege, and in a desperate gamble, Malik releases "King Solomon's Army" only discover he has freed an evil Djinn named Ratash, who is determined to destroy humankind for imprisoning him. With the help of a water Djinn named Razia, the Prince embarks on an epic adventure in which he will learn to bear the mantle of true leadership, and discover that great power often comes with a great cost.
Announced in Winter of 2009, The Forgotten Sands was released across PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows, May 18, 2010. That same month three different versions of The Forgotten Sands were released for Nintendo Wii (developed by Ubisoft Quebec), Nintendo DS (developed by Ubisoft Casablanca) and PlayStation Portable (developed by Ubisoft Quebec and Montreal) in North America. Each version contains a different story from the primary console and PC version. They are largely considered alternate stories over direct follow-ups after the events of the primary The Forgotten Sands game. The primary console and PC version of The Forgotten Sands received mixed reviews; it was praised for its crowd physics and implementation of gameplay elements, but was largely criticized for its story, middling combat and the redesign of the Prince.
The Forgotten Sands was released during the promotion of the film adaptation of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, released May 28, 2010 in the United States. It was later released on the Valve Corporation platform, Steam, June 8, 2010. The game is available on PlayStation Network and was later made available for free on the PlayStation Plus platform September 6, 2016.
Following release of The Forgotten Sands games, the Prince of Persia series was officially put on hold in early 2013. While there were rumors of a new game during the summer of that year Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot stated it would be "some time" before any news regarding a new game for the IP would surface.
- "Visiting his brother's kingdom following his adventure in Azad, the Prince finds the royal palace under siege from a mighty army bent on its destruction. When the decision is made to use the ancient power of the Sand in a desperate gamble to save the kingdom from total annihilation, the Prince will embark on an epic adventure in which he will learn to bear the mantle of true leadership, and discover that great power often comes with a great cost."
- —Official Description
- Prince - The protagonist of The Sands of Time Trilogy. Fresh from his adventures in Azad, the Prince travels to Malik's kingdom to tutor under him when his brother releases the Sand Army. He works with the Marid, Razia, to recapture the Sand Army and Ratash when the seal that kept them trapped is broken and his brother is possessed by Ratash.
- Razia - The Queen of the Marid, Razia rests within her realm when the Prince and Mailk release the Sand Army and Ratash. Working with the Prince to undo their mistakes, Razia guides the Prince through the old kingdom of Solomon and endows the Prince with the Powers of the Djinn.
- Malik - The oldest son of King Sharaman, Mailk was protector of the kingdom that was once Solomon's and the keeper of the seal meant to keep Ratash and Sand Army from escaping. Misunderstanding what King Solomon's Treasure Vault kept inside, he released them both on the kingdom. When his half of the seal protecting him and the Prince is shattered, he is possessed by Ratash.
- Ratash - The antagonist of The Forgotten Sands. Ratash is an Ifrit who was trapped within King Solomon's treasure vault centuries ago to protect the world from his desire to destroy mankind and the Djinn who allied with Solomon. When Malik frees him, he attacks Malik's kingdom. When he possesses Malik, he attempts to escape the kingdom to destroy the world.
- King Solomon The late and former of ruler of the Kingdom that Malik now protects, Solomon was a great ruler and ally to the Djinn. He fought alongside the Djinn to defeat Ratash and sealed the army away. He allied himself with the family of Sharaman and saw to it that they continued to prevent the release of Ratash.
A Place Familiar
The Prince's tale begins in medias res. After entering the fractured and washed out realm of Razia, he is struck by a familiarity that he cannot explain. Approaching a fountain underneath a gazebo, he attempts to drink the water within when he notices a face within. Razia, awake and angry, demands to know who he is and what he has done.
A Kingdom in Trouble
The Prince departs from his home in Babylon at the request of his father, Sharaman, on a quest to see his brother, Malik. He is to learn leadership skills for his future. When the Prince arrives to Malik's kingdom, he finds it under attack by an army who are attempting to breach the treasure vaults for a great power known as "Solomon's Army". The Prince charges into the city, and tracks Malik to King Solomon's treasure vault.
Here, Malik proposes that he is fighting a losing battle, and needs to rely on a last resort or be forced to retreat. The Prince strongly objects, feeling that Mailk needs to tend to the people who've survived, but Malik releases Solomon's Army using a magical seal.
Solomon's Army is an assortment of different creatures, all made of enchanted sand. The Prince and Malik both manage to obtain halves of the seal used to unleash the army, and it protects them from being turned into sand statues, which is the fate of the rest of the kingdom. The seals also allows them to absorb the power of the enemies they defeat. Malik is separated from the Prince, who finds a portal that leads him to the domain of Razia, a Djinn.
Making Things Right
Razia tells the Prince that the only way to re-imprison Solomon's Army is to reunite both halves of the seal used to bind them. Razia gives the Prince special powers and has him set out to find Malik and the other half of the seal. When the Prince finds Malik, his brother decides he isn't interested in stopping Solomon's Army, but instead wants to destroy it and use its power to become a stronger leader.
The Prince finds Razia again and explains that he failed to reunite the halves of the seal. Razia she proposes his brother is being influenced by the Sand Army, an effect of absorbing too much of the power of Ratash's army, and that the power she gave the Prince offered him protection from this effect.
The Prince again sets out to find Malik again, but this time to forcibly take his half of the seal. Malik is stronger and manages to escape when he refuses to return the seal or listen to his brother. Pursuing Malik again, the Prince finds Ratash, the leader of the Sand Army, pursuing anyone in possession of the seal. Ratash presumably mistakes the Prince for King Solomon and attacks him. After the Prince outruns him, he concludes Ratash will go after Malik, and so sets out to find him again.
The Prince arrives in the throne room to find Malik and Ratash locked in battle. Though the Prince tries to aid Malik, he eventually fights Ratash himself when he believes the monster killed his brother after throwing him through the wall of the throne room. When the Prince manages to weaken Ratash and prepares to kill him, Malik reemerges from his fall and deals the "killing blow" himself. As Ratash begins to be absorbed by Malik's half of the seal, the burden of power proves too great and shatters his half of the seal. Malik is overpowered by Ratash and escapes the throne room in a fit of hysterical, using some of Ratash's powers to burn a path through the ruined palace.
Instead of pursuing him, the Prince returns to Razia. Razia explains that Ratash cannot be killed by any ordinary sword, and that what actually happened was quite different than what the Prince saw. Ratash actually killed Malik and possessed his body. The Prince doesn't believe this and sets out to find the Djinn Sword, which Razia says can kill Ratash.
The Prince continues to chase Malik in the hopes that he can reach his brother and urge him to fight Ratash's influence over his body. As he tracks Ratash and Malik, Ratash begins killing whatever portions of his army he comes across to regain his power. Ratash in Malik's body begins to transform the human to suit something similar to his original form. When his brother is completely transformed by the Ifrit, the Prince attempts to fight him again and loses the battle to Ratash, forced to escape when Ratash destroys the platform they fought on.
Convinced his brother is dead, he returns to Razia who decides to accompany him into the bowels of the old Kingdom's runs. They travel down into the underground city of the Djinn, Rekem. During their travels, Razia's power within the ruins begins to lose its influence as Ratash gains more and more strength.
Eventually, they find the Djinn Sword and Razia merges her essence with the blade, explaining that only the power of another Djinn could destroy Ratash. With Djinn Sword in his possession the Prince returns above ground and sets out to find Ratash. When he does, Ratash has doubled in size, his power and size literally fed by the sandstorm that is destroying Malik's kingdom.
Fighting through the storm, the Prince eventually makes his way to Ratash and kills the Ifrit with the enchanted blade. With Sand Army destroyed and Ratash dead, the sandstorm subsides and the Prince finds Malik laying on the ground, dying. Before passing, Malik reassures his brother that he will make a fine leader.
Realizing that the Djinn Sword no longer contains Razia's spirit, the Prince returns to the underground and returns the Djinn Sword to its resting place out of respect to his friend. With Malik's kingdom in the hands of his advisers, the Prince sets out to inform his father of Malik's death.
- Main article: Sand Army
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands retains the original platforming and puzzle environment elements that were introduced in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The Forgotten Sands also incorporates combat similar to that of Warrior Within and The Two Thrones that is largely dependent on acrobatic movesets and traditional hack-and-slash mechanics. With the Anvil game engine, combat scenarios in The Forgotten Sands will see the player fighting upwards to fifty or more enemies on-screen at a single time.
The newest and major gameplay element for The Forgotten Sands is that of "Powers of the Djinn". As the enemies in the game are not created from the Sands of Time and the Dagger of Time remained (at the time) under the protection of Farah, a different type of enemy and magic are faced.
In the story of The Forgotten Sands the Prince must fight against the Sand Army created from the desert sands themselves. With the help of the elemental magic from Razia, the Prince can wield the powers of the four elements and time itself. Element based powers, such as "Trail of Flame", "Power of Flow", allow the Prince to attack enemies with water and fire based powers; the "Power of Time" and "Power of Memory" allows the Prince to manipulate the natural environment around him, as well as reverse or manipulate time as he would with the Dagger of Time.
When fighting against multiple enemies of varying sizes, as the Prince, players are encouraged to create connective combos and chain attacks using the all of the Powers of the Djinn at their disposal. Eventually, the climax of the game will require players to use every single power earned. In order to create stronger and longer attacks, The Forgotten Sands uses an Upgrade Menu reliant on experience points gained during combat. Certain powers (such as "Whirlwind", "Stone Armor" and "Ice Blast") can be upgraded up to four or six times. The stronger the attacks, the easier the enemies faced will be defeated.
DRM and UPlay content
Uplay is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications service created by Ubisoft to provide an experience similar to the achievements/trophies offered by various other game companies. The service is provided across various platforms (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Facebook, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, OnLive). Uplay is used exclusively by first-party Ubisoft games, and although some third-party titles are sold through the Uplay store, they do not use the Uplay platform.
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is the first game in the Prince of Persia series to utilize UPlay content. The Forgotten Sands uses an enhanced version of Ubisoft's DRM system that requires the player be connected to the internet in order to play the game. The newer version of UPlay loads the game's content from Ubisoft's servers. If a internet connection is not detected, the player will not be allowed to continue to play the game. June 28, 2010, The Forgotten Sands’s DRM was cracked, the code was replaced with offline equivalents While the requirement for a permanent internet connection was removed by Ubisoft, only versions of The Forgotten Sands downloaded directly from UPlay's launcher and Steam client do not require a constant internet connection for the single-player campaign. Physical versions of The Forgotten Sands may still require an internet connection to play.
The following content accessible through UPlay are the achievements: "Memories of Azad", subtitled "Reach the thick of battle" (ten UPlay points), "Solomon's Army", subtitled "Release Solomon's Army" (twenty UPlay points), "Not What it Looks Like" (thirty UPlay points), and "Eye of the Storm" (forty UPlay points).
Two additional versions of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands were released with additional content for players to download using Ubisoft's UPlay software or Valve's Steam client. May 25, 2010, Ubisoft announced a unlockable skin of Ezio Auditore da Firenze from Assassin's Creed 2 would be available for download for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Additionally to unlock the skin of Malik's armor in the game, players would have to text "PRINCE" to 44144 to get it.
Depending on the version bought, the "Collector's Edition" of The Forgotten Sands included a free download of the Xbox Live Arcade game Prince of Persia Classic or Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
The "Digital Deluxe Edition" of The Forgotten Sands for Steam included a digital download of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, and the soundtrack composed by Steve Jablonsky.
Features included in both the Collector's Edition and the Deluxe Edition are an unlockable theme for The Forgotten Sands (ten UPlay Points), an Experience Point Boost (twenty UPlay Points), the unlockable skins of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, Malik's armor, and the Sand Wraith from Prince of Persia: Warrior Within. The Forgotten Sands also included a unlockable "Survival Mode" (forty UPlay Points).
Connecting the PlayStation Portable to the PlayStation 3 would give those specific console users two upgrade units when playing on the PlayStation 3, and unlock an alternate skin from The Sands of Time when playing on the PlayStation Portable. PlayStation Portable users could download a version of the game from the PlayStation Network and launch it using the PSP.
- Main article: Achievements and Trophies in The Forgotten Sands
The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of The Forgotten Sands features forty Achievements worth a total of 1000 gamer points (the latter on the Xbox 360). Four of the achievements ("Memories of Azad", "Solomon's Army" "Not What it Looks Like", and "Eye of the Storm") are UPlay exclusive achievements, worth ten to forty Uplay Points.
When development of The Forgotten Sands began, Ubisoft Montreal started with the intention of exploring the seven year gap between The Sands of Time and Warrior Within. The aim with the design was to return to the "charm and adventure" of The Sands of Time that was lifted from stories like Arabian Nights.
The Forgotten Sands was designed with the second generation iteration of the Anvil Engine, a internal game engine created by Ubisoft Montreal to develop other Ubisoft games such as Assassin's Creed 2, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, and Assassin's Creed Revelations.
The strengths of the engine allowed the developers to design larger environments, and incorporate over fifty character models in a single area at once. They could also render background sequences with Non-Playable Characters within an environment that were otherwise implied or rarely seen in earlier games like The Sands of Time and The Two Thrones.
Following its announcement, Lead Level Designer, Michael McIntyre, explained that the choice to return to The Sands of Time Trilogy over the 2008 remake of Prince of Persia, was the development team and fanbase's favoritism for that particular universe.
The original soundtrack for the console and PC version of The Forgotten Sands was composed by Steve Jablonsky and Penka Kouneva. It is the first soundtrack in The Sands of Time Trilogy that was not composed by Inon Zur or Stuart Chatwood, who were composers for The Sands of Time, Warrior Within and The Two Thrones. The Forgotten Sands also marks the first Prince of Persia soundtrack since The Sands of Time that was released by Ubisoft Music for North American Audiences, as the previous soundtracks for Warrior Within and The Two Thrones were never available outside of Japan.
As with The Sands of Time and The Throne Thrones, Yuri Lowenthal reprises his role as the titular Prince of Persia. The supporting cast includes the voice of John Cygan as the Prince's elder brother, Malik; Salli Saffioti provides the voice of Razia, and Fred Tatasciore voices the antagonist Ratash.
Ubisoft Montreal deliberately used the promotion of Walt Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer film adaptation of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time to expose a newer and larger audience to the original Sands of Time Trilogy that began in 2003. May 13, 2010, prior to the release of the game, Ubisoft released a flash game version of The Forgotten Sands to play for free.
Ports to Other Systems
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands was developed as a multi-platform game, made available to all seventh generation consoles during its initial release in May of 2010 and the PC in June of 2010. Each version of The Forgotten Sands varied depending on the console and contained different scenarios.
On December 20, 2011, the PC and Console version of The Forgotten Sands was released on PlayStation Network, retailing at $19.99. The game was also released for free download for PlayStation Plus users for a short time. It was re-released again for PlayStation Plus on September 16, 2016 for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 users.
- Main article: Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (PSP)
The PlayStation Portable version of The Forgotten Sands was released May 18, 2010 in conjunction with the primary version of the game. In this version of The Forgotten Sands, a prophecy foretells that the royal blood of the Prince's family will end the reign of a fire spirit named Ahihud. The Prince, locked away in a tower by his father for his protection, escapes and is subsequently kidnapped. With the help of the Sisters of Time, the Prince fights to stop Ahihud from taking over the world.
- Main article: Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (Wii)
The Nintendo Wii version of The Forgotten Sands was release May 18, 2010 in conjunction with the primary version of the game. When the Prince meets a Genie named Zahra, he is tricked into opening a pathway to a forgotten kingdom named Izdihar. When he removes a sword from a altar, he unknowingly releases a Sorceress and an ancient evil known as the Haoma.
- Main article: Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (DS)
The Nintendo DS version of The Forgotten Sands was released May 18, 2010 in conjunction with the primary version of the game. When the Prince is abducted by a mysterious Cult. Wanting to use him for a blood sacrifice, the Cult takes him to a temple in India where he meets a Djinn named Razia. When Razia's powers and the Prince's memories are taken, the two must help each other escape from the Cult and prevent them from destroying the world with the resurrection of their Master.
The Forgotten Sands was promoted heavily during the Pax East event in March of 2010, well into its release on May 18, 2010 in North America. June of 2010, The Forgotten Sands trailed behind the likes of Red Dead Redemption (#1), Super Mario Galaxy (#2) and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (#5) at the sixth spot in UK sales. July 2010 saw The Forgotten Sands drop to the ninth spot in UK sales charts while its contenders and Crackdown 2 remained strong with leading sales. September 27, 2010 saw an increase in sales for The Forgotten Sands, which reached the seventh spot in UK sales.
The PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 version of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands received positive to mixed reviews following its release in May. GameRankings and Metacritic gave it a score of 74.82% and 75 out of 100 for the PlayStation 3 version;; 75.52% and 74 out of 100 for the Xbox 360 version; and 78.22% and 75 out of 100 for the PC version.  Major criticisms of The Forgotten Sands were often concerned with overly simple combat, lack of innovation and its brevity in comparison to the older games in The Sands of Time Trilogy.
In Tom Mc Shea's PC review for GameSpot, he criticized the game for borrowing too much from 2003's The Sands of Time, stating, "The opening level, in which you try to break into a castle under attack, borrows heavily from the opening sequence of its predecessor, and it seems as if the predictable level design is a portent of things to come". Additionally, he lamented the removal of the open-world design of older games and criticized The Forgotten Sands for its linearity, and overall considered it a forgettable experience.
Bob Mackey of the defunct gaming website 1Up.com, reviewing both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 port, believed, that while The Forgotten Sands was a "polished riff" of 2003's The Sands of Time, it was a refinement of the original game's gameplay mechanics and performed well as a platformer in a "post-[Assassin's] Creed world". With regard to combat, Mackey states, "Also in the tradition of Sands of Time, combat is The Forgotten Sands' low point; though the battles never get quite as tedious as they do in Sands, fighting hordes of enemies comes off as nothing but needless padding in an otherwise focused game".
Brad Shoemaker of Giant Bomb, reviewing on the Xbox 360, was less glowing about The Forgotten Sands and the return to The Sands of Time Trilogy over the 2008 reboot of the series. "Despite the finely tuned level design and decent variety in the action, Forgotten Sands just feels a little rough around the edges". He criticized the game's lack of production quality in terms of visuals, believing it to be underwhelming in comparison to then current generation console releases, and thought the environments were too similar to the other. He additionally criticized the Prince's new look, remarking, "[...]I disliked the weird design of the prince himself so much that I played most of the game with him wearing an Ezio costume, as soon as I unlocked it".