Prince of Persia
The Sands of Time

Format: Xbox
3 307210 146557
Age Restrictions: 7+

Amidst the sands of ancient Persia, a young Prince unleashes a deadly evil. Embark on a harrowing quest to restore peace and the fabric of Time. Wield the power of the Sands of Time - a mythical force allowing the Prince to erase the past, behold the future, and freeze the present. Ancient Persia, mythical and deadly, holds a staggering array of landscapes and kingdoms to explore and conquer...

This is one of those rare games that feels like an out of body experience to play. No, I'm not being over the top here. Do you remember the first time you played Tomb Raider? Do you remember how you just couldn't believe how fantastic the graphics and gameplay were? Well Sands of Time delivers a similar feeling to a more demanding audience.

It's very easy to forget you are just playing a game as you get caught up in the action. Running around the large environments is a visual treat to behold - it's also something you'll be doing a lot of as you try and work out the many puzzles laid out before you.

The action sequences (or fighting, as we testerone fuelled males like to call them) are also amazing. Moves not unlike those in the movie The Matrix are easy to pull off and look almost as good. And as you progress through the levels, more moves are added to your repertoire to ensure that the game doesn't go stale too quickly.

The only real complaint is that - and this is a genre specific problem that can be levelled at many similar games - when engaged in fighting, or other activities where you really need to be able to see your character, the camera will occasionally position itself behind an object. This makes it difficult to attack your foes. And while the games developers have tried to get around this by allowing you to move the camera angle, it is still frustrating to have to do this while in the middle of a battle.

Slight moan aside, this is one of the best games I've ever played. If this doesn't win an award for best game of 2004 I'll eat my boots!

Nick Smithson

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