In between his first encounter with the Sands of Time and his quest to prevent their creation, at one point the Prince goes on a journey to the kingdom of his brother Malik where he is to learn how to be a strong leader. But as is expected, considering his luck, he arrives in the middle of his brother being overrun by foreign invaders. As a last ditch resort, his brother unseals Solomon’s Army, an army with as many soldiers as grains of sands in the desert as well as a host of powerful Djinn including an especially powerful Ifrit named Ratash. They scare off the invaders, but now the Prince has to deal with an even worse problem, an uncontrollable infinite army. The prince encounters another Djinn named Razia, who tells him the army must be resealed by reunited two parts of a medallion back together, one possessed by him and one by his brother, and gives him a host of powers to aid him in his journey. However, his brother seems to be being tempted by the power he’s absorbing from defeating the soldiers of Solomon’s Army, and hence this is a far more difficult task than expected.
The Forgotten Sands is another great entry in the Sands of Time Saga. It has the same great platforming as compared to it’s predecessors, but feels a lot more fluid and natural. Part of this is that the controls are pretty different, not just in terms of the buttons actions are assigned to, but also in how the Prince controls in respect to the camera and such. This led to making a lot of mistakes early on, but ultimately I would have to say it’s a definite improvement. Furthermore, it also has a lot more variety in terms of mechanics through the use of various powers, without ever feeling overburdened by too many. The overall result is the most satisfying platforming yet. The combat too is very improved as well, featuring much more active combat and actually good boss fights. To be honest, I miss the stealth kills which I enjoyed more, but they aren’t as necessary as they were in previous games. Furthermore, the growth mechanic was also improved with a talent tree where you gain experience from defeating enemies, which also adds to the value of combat. So the game play, just as with each entry before it was a solid improvement over it’s predecessors.
The story however, was a good amount weaker than any of the previous entries. The story in all of the games in the main trilogy on their own isn’t great, but holistically the series’s story works out great, but all around this felt like filler, which I suppose it was. It somewhat tries to explain why the Prince was so dark in Warrior Within, but it feels somewhat forced. The Prince is still at his best personality wise, but the new characters all feel flatter. The graphics are definitely improved but the designs for characters, enemies, locations, etc. all feel less interesting. The soundtrack was still good, but the overall atmosphere still felt lacking. Hence ultimately in these regards it felt like a step back and much weaker.
A solid action platforming game that has game play that’s a solid improvement over it’s predecessors, but is seriously lacking in terms of story and style.
The Forgotten Sands is an entry to the Sands of Time saga, but is in a weird place as it sort of undo’s an earlier reboot of the series. I haven’t yet played the reboot, however though I will be playing it next.