PC Games The Rogue Prince of Persia preview

Published on June 4th, 2024 | by Ali Arkani

The Rogue Prince of Persia Preview

After more than a decade of not having a single Prince of Persia released, 2024 became the year we got two of them! The Rogue Prince of Persia is a roguelite side-scrolling platformer in development by Evil Empire.

Set in the heart of the Zagros Mountain region in ancient Persia, the game follows the prince on his quest to save the land from the invading Huns. As the Prince goes through different areas, he meets new characters that are going to help him on the way and when killed by the enemies, his magical bolas will send him back in time to the beginning of the game where he must try again.

Platforming and combat are the building blocks of the gameplay here. The prince can use wall-running and hanging from different objects to reach across the screen to his objectives, collecting valuable upgrades and power-ups along the way. The game has a procedurally generated level system which makes each of its six currently available bioms a little bit different during each run.

The Rogue Prince of Persia preview

For a game focused on gameplay more than anything else, The Rogue Prince of Persia’s combat is currently by no means carefully crafted. The most unforgivable issue is the melee weapon balancing. There are several types of melee weapons available such as an axe, two types of spears, two types of swords, claws, and finally daggers. Each weapon has a special move and a normal combo but the combos and special moves of almost any weapon except for daggers are just a pain in the neck.

Most weapons are slow and at the same time don’t inflict much more damage compared to daggers which are the default weapon of each run. At the same time, the special moves of most weapons aren’t so special either and don’t make any sense. For example, the broad sword’s special move will launch enemies into the air but the game doesn’t have any kind of aerial melee combo available as a follow-up! It feels that the combat is just a mash-up of devs’ brainstorming without any consistency and depth to it. That really kills the joy of trying out different builds with different weapons which is a mortal sin for a roguelite title.

Ranged weapons aren’t in any better shape either. There is no aiming available for these weapons and they attack directly forward. That’s why if any enemy is just a bit above or below their line of sight- like some enemies sitting on traversal poles-, the weapon just misses them. I really can’t understand what the point of having a ranged weapon is when it can’t be aimed!?

The Rogue Prince of Persia preview

The music is perhaps the game’s best feature. The music composed by Danny Asadi, the Iranian-American artist of the game is a great fusion of Iranian traditional music with electronic beats and touches of trap music. The sound of traditional Iranian instruments such as Tar, Daf, Santoor, and Ney brings an exotic feel to the game’s levels; making the player feel like they’re in a different setting than most Western titles while the electronic bass & kicks add the excitement needed to get in the flow of an action game.

The Rogue Prince of Persia is kind of a mixed bag in its current state. It’s not as perfect as games such as Hades II but it has the core mechanics that are perfectly working. Perhaps with a bit more time and polish, it can become what both devs and fans would be proud of.

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