Review: Prince of Persia Epilogue

Note: Since Prince of Persia Epilogue is a DLC add-on expanding Prince of Persia’s storyline, I may reveal spoilers about the original game in this review. So if you haven’t played the game yet you may want to take caution before reading on. For more on the full Prince of Persia experience, read my review here.

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For the most part, the advent of downloadable content has been a great thing for gamers, developers and the gaming industry as a whole. It has proven to be a great new method by which developers can regularly expand their games after their initial releases to keep fans playing for much longer (and less prone to trade games in once they finish). Unfortunately, though, there is a dark side to DLC. While many publishers use DLC to truly expand existing titles with original content, some have become involved in what I think is an incredibly shady DLC practice of holding out standard game modes or levels that were likely intended to be in the final game by the developers only to charge for them shortly after the game’s launch.

Which brings me to Prince of Persia Epilogue, a short 3-hour downloadable expansion to last year’s new Prince of Persia that continues the Prince and Elika’s story beyond its cliffhanger ending. Given PoP’s somewhat unresolved conclusion, some might consider Epilogue to be DLC of the money-grab sort I just described. It’s a close call, but ultimately Epilogue proves to be on the good side of the DLC battle. Ubisoft isn’t charging you to see the game’s “real” ending or anything dubious like that.

Epilogue picks up right after PoP’s closing events, with the Prince having resurrected Elika and subsequently released Ahriman back into the world. This opens up a new dynamic in their relationship as Elika becomes angry with the Prince for bringing her back and loses confidence in her powers, while the Prince becomes the uplifting voice trying to convince Elika that her powers are only growing stronger and that she is the only person capable of defeating Ahriman…and she didn’t need to sacrifice herself to do it.

Like before, Epilogue too ends with a cliffhanger setting the stage for the next installment, but I thought it closed out this chapter in the new PoP very well.

While the Epilogue’s main purpose is to bridge the storyline to the inevitable sequel, some exciting new gameplay elements have also been introduced to liven up the experience. This extended adventure takes you to a new region of the kingdom known as the Underground Palace and presents you with a new Energize power plate that temporarily reconstructs parts of the environment so the Prince can show off his wall-running chops. You still can’t “die” with Elika by your side, but the pacing and platform design have been cranked up a notch to challenge your acrobatic platforming reflexes even more. Gobs of corruption traps ooze across the underground tomb’s walls, so more than ever you have to stop and examine their movement patterns before attempting to maneuver past them.

Sadly, boss battles are once again heavily repeated here. Within only a couple hours, you wind up battling a shapeshifter that morphs between the Warrior and Hunter forms at least three or four times, and then on top of that you must take on the mourning king just as many times, maybe even a couple more. You get a new Sprinting Clash special attack to battle these bosses with at least, but it’s still sad to see that in such an artistic and beautifully-designed game that the developers couldn’t come up with more inspired and varied boss encounters.

Along with roughly three additional hours of gameplay and story, the Epilogue chapter also comes with additional bonus content to go back for in the form of 10 new trophies/achievements, hidden glowy Frescos, and unlockable character skins that show what Prince and Elika looked like in the prototype stage (Elika originally had white hair, yikes!). For $10/800 MS Points it would’ve been nice if the run time was longer by another hour or so, but as is you still get your money’s worth from this downloadable expansion.

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Pros:
+ Further evolves the relationship between the Prince and Elika
+ New Underground Palace region adds more challenging platform puzzles
+ Three hours of story and gameplay plus added bonuses is a fair value at the cost

Cons:
– Even more recycled boss battles

Game Info:
Platform: PS3 and Xbox 360 Downloadable Content
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft
Release Date: 3/5/09
Genre: Action/Adventure
ESRB Rating: Teen
Players: 1

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!