I borrowed this game from a friend of mine two days ago and after two seven hour sessions have succeeded in conquering it. A such it was a little shorter than I would have liked, but overall it was a fun game. The combat system is fairly simple and easy to master. Clicking the attack button swings your sword, secondary attack swings your dagger, and attacking while using the direction keys and/or jump allows you to execute flips, spinning kicks, and climbing an enemy and vaulting over them to attack them from behind. There are also two types of wall attacks that you can use, jumping horizontiallly in a dive or pushing off in a jump to clear an enemey and then attack as you are coming down. Blocking is also very easy. Simply hold the key and all incoming attacks are blocked except for low attacks which must be jumped. If you get the timing down you can also execute counters from the block stance.
Along with the combat the main part of this game is figuring out how to get where you need to go buy running along walls, hanging off of ledges, climbing poles and such. They did a pretty good job with the "auto-grab" so that it is almost impossible to accidently fall off of a ledge or if you come up a little short on a jump you don't just bounce off and fall to your death. If you do make some bone-head mistake you can always use the sands in your dagger to reverse time for up to a few seconds and make sure you don't fall off or are able to avoid the enemies attack. The dagger isn't infinite, but does come in quite useful at times.
My only real complaint with this game are the camera angles. Sometimes they just automatically change so that you are no longer running in the same direction as you were an instant ago, a problem in combat or on certain narrow paths. On occassion I ran right back out of a room that I had just gone into because I didn't release run quickly enough. Sometimes the angles also make it tough to see exactly what is going on, but most of the time this wasn't an issue for me.
Overally, if you are looking for a relatively short game (14-16hours), enjoy sword fighting and jumping around a lot, and overall pretty graphics then you could think about picking this game up!
To me this is coolest game I've played in a LONG LONG time. Everything is great about it. The graphics are great, music is great, storyline, voices, and everything else you can think of is just awesome. I disagree with the camera angle comment though, there is much much much worse ones out there (A few times it gets annoying but you just have to get use to it). When I first read about the game I thought the idea of running along walls, reverse time, and drinking water to refill your health was kind of stupid but once I started playing I just loved it. The only problem I had was conquering it, now I have to wait a few more years hopefully for another Prince of Persia game.
P.S. I suggest though that you DON'T watch the visions, they help you out too much. It's your choice though.
I liked the ending, left it open for a sequel. There probably won't be a sequel for awhile according to an article from Gamespot.
"And while Mechner says it's unlikely he will get deeply involved in another Prince of Persia game anytime soon, Sands of Time has rekindled his interest in making video games after a string of crushing disappointments. "
It's a fairly long article but it is a good read. It talks about the making of it and what was cut out, etc. etc. Here's the link if anyone cares.
I liked it.. but they puzzles (if you want to call them that) were simply handed to you on a silver platter. What they should have done was used the visions for more of a hinting to the puzzles and add way more difficulty to the puzzles.
There was only ever one way to do all of them.. they could have made it tricky, instead of dead-obvious.
If they would have done that, they would have got my vote for game of the year.