Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time Free On Uplay

Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time from 2003 is a cracking reboot of the platformer series, swinging swords and dashing along walls on a magical adventure with wizards and sand monsters and a narrator who keeps explaining that he didn’t actually fall on those spikes but he did but no not really but he did but not really. It’s framed as a story the prince tells, y’see, so deaths are explained as mis-tellings. Nice! And it’s just generally nice? The point is, right now Ubisoft are giving it away for free.

To celebrate turning 30, Ubisoft are giving away seven free games over the months to come and The Sands of Time is up first. I gave away a load of my stuff when I turned 30 to so I’ll say: hang in there, Ian Ubisoft; being in your thirties honestly is great. You’ll really appreciate the space you’re clearing out now too.

You will, of course, need a Uplay account and the Uplay client to get and play it.

If you need convincing, John will tell you it’s one of the best action games and my HYP has many fans praising the game in comments. It’s good video games.

If you’re going to leap into the comments to complain that this free game requires an account and software you personally dislike, know that I’ll be mighty disappointed in you. I know you’re trying, I do, and I won’t be angry, but I will be disappointed.


  1. Kreeth says:

    Still my favourite ending to any game ever, I think.

    Might dig this out and have another go, utterly fantastic game.

    • Scurra says:

      I might even go back and give it another go to see if I can actually see the ending. I have revisited it periodically, and I just can’t beat what I think is the final boss (it might not be, but iirc the difficulty ramp is quite significant, which suggests it should be.)

      It’s a fabulous game right up to that point… :-)

      • basilisk says:

        If I remember correctly, the actual final “boss” is a really difficult parkouring section that you have to get through without your rewind powers, and the final fight sequence that follows after that is rather easy.

        • DelrueOfDetroit says:

          I remember people made a big stink about it at the time.

        • jj2112 says:

          The elevator part with Farah getting killed repeatedly was far worse.

    • kalirion says:

      One of my favorite story endings, and the credits song fits perfectly – probably tied for my favorite with Still Alive.

      I really wish they’d stuck with the game’s ending for the Sands of Time movie, would’ve made it so much better.

  2. basilisk says:

    Yay! One of my all-time favourites.

    It would be lovely if they could also patch in widescreen resolutions and fix the controller issues, though. Last time I checked, both could be hacked in, but with somewhat wonky results.

    • Jalan says:

      That’s one of the pressing issues (re: the controller, that is) that also put a damper on my enjoyment of Soul Reaver. The keyboard controls were absolute junk (especially when it came to combat) and the only way to enjoy it was to map out everything to a controller.

      I’ve been curious about whether this suffers from the same problem, since the last time I played it was on the PS2 and I remember it having quite a heavy emphasis on manipulating the camera with the analog stick.

      • KenTWOu says:

        Regarding PoP controller issues, sometimes running diagonally does not work properly, because the game expects Direct Input values from analogue sticks.

    • jj2112 says:

      I installed the game recently and there’s a widescreen fix, only cutscenes are affected but it looks great.

  3. Wulfram says:

    So, is Uplay tolerable nowadays? Last time I interacted it was very annoying, but that might have been partly because Steam was getting in the way.

    • basilisk says:

      Uplay is pretty decent, actually. It’s very clearly become a much greater priority for Ubi in the last year or two, so it no longer feels like a vague afterthought and is getting updated with new features pretty regularly now.

      It’s not flawless, but it’s a perfectly usable piece of software. Most of the widespread hate is residual at this point. It’s really changed a lot over time.

    • welverin says:

      I didn’t have any issues with it when I played Assassin’s Creed Syndicate earlier this year.

    • jonahcutter says:

      I’ve put a lot of hours into Far Cry Primal of late, and I’ve had zero issues with UPlay.

    • Jenuall says:

      Have they added the ability to backup games yet? I have a terrible internet connection (~2Mbps) so the fact that Uplay forces me to re-download everything rather than be able to back it up locally is pretty annoying. There are a few games I have on Uplay that I would have re-played if it weren’t for the fact that I would have to spend several days re-downloading them!

      • basilisk says:

        Sort of. You can manually copy a game installation somewhere else for backup purposes and later use Uplay’s relatively new “Locate installed game” option on the game card instead of redownloading.

        It’s still Uplay, so it may not work perfectly every time, but in theory it should.

    • lglethal says:

      I had some problems with it back at the end of last year, an error that was preventing new games from being added. It was pretty widespread, and the Ubisoft support staff were as useful as a chocolate teapot. I found the solution by accident and posted it on the support forums, which got me lots of thanks but the support staff were bloody useless.

      Still apart from that, Uplay seems to work without any problems these days. It just sits in the background for me (like Steam or Origin), it doesn’t seem to chew too many resources, so all good.

  4. MonkeyMonster says:

    I remember it wonderfully from age old ps2 days… I think plus remembering and doing all the extra bits for the extra health bars!

  5. welverin says:

    Was this a limited time thing, because I am not seeing it.

  6. Derpkovsky says:

    I literally just bought this game in the GOG sale and now it’s being handed out for free…. Oh well, O guess I got it on both platforms now.

  7. RabidLime says:

    anyone know if this has steam controller support? i already have a copy from steam but the controller support is garbage.

  8. Baron Bacon V says:

    This just gave me my first excuse to open Uplay in well over a year, and, by god, it seems decent now. THey Steam-ed up the UI, and it seems tolerable. Now that both UPlay and Origin are OK, what DRM is left to hate? Epic Games Launcher?

    • Einsammler says:

      Windows Store, obviously!

    • April March says:

      Cool guys hate all of them. *sloppy tongue kisses with GOG*

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      GOG Galaxy was pretty crappy when I used it last year, to be fair it was in beta. I don’t know if it’s been improved.

      • Fontan says:

        It’s better, but still a bit bare-bones. Perfectly usable though, haven’t had any issues with it.

        • laiwm says:

          That’s the trick with these things, isn’t it. GOG does its job fine with no frills and doesn’t get in my way, whereas Uplay used to do its job badly and be annoying to boot. Glad to hear Ubi have upped their game.

      • Czrly says:

        Nope. It’s still absolutely awful. In exchange for achievements – which hold absolutely zero value for me, personally – you get to type your password (or go cut and paste it from your password manager if it’s a complex one) every few days when GoG Galaxy randomly forgets it and you get to watch update progress bars every few weeks for updates that seemingly bring nothing new.

        I wish they’d stuck with GoG Downloader. They could have gutted it to make it light-weight and added the option to notify you when updates are available. After that, one needs nothing else.

        • Plake says:

          Don’t know what you’re talking about… I use the GoG client for over a year and i don’t get more frequent updates on the games, than in steam. And since i first started it, i never had to retype my password.
          Sounds like your PC is an a$$…!

  9. April March says:

    Does the modern version have subtitles? Then again, with the combination of better audio hardware and a firmer grasp of the English language I might not need them.

  10. ye-ole-PK says:

    Once again Ubi tossing around bits to tempt people to install their uplay crap.

    my motto is till “Uplay = No Way!”

  11. freedomispopular says:

    What’s up with adding the first name Ian to things?

  12. jrodman says:

    I’d plausibly buy it again without UPlay.

  13. RaunakS says:

    The game still has a lot of issues, even though I personally feel the Sands of Time trilogy is possibly the greatest gaming series of all time. Much of it is fixed through subsequent games, but it still feels jarring in 2016.

    I was watching the youtuber Céline play through it (link to and it was interesting the kind of hurdles the game puts the players through – from fight sequences that go on way too long, to audio dialogue too low to hear anything, to extreme camera control issues. There is a lot of jankyness beneath the lovelyness of the game.

    A remake or some amount of touching up is very much in order I feel. Prince of Persia is perhaps the best dead IP in gaming, next to the Half Life series.

    • Tobberoth says:

      I disagree, this constant shit-waterfall of useless remakes need to stop. I haven’t played sands of time since it was released and started replaying it now, and IMO it’s perfectly fine the way it is. Are there issues with the game? Sure, but no game is perfect and the issues are not issues because the game is old, it’s just that it was designed that way. It’s more or less just as fun today as it was back then.

      That said, a sequel to this particular line of Prince of Persia games would be amazing. The december 2008 Prince of Persia was awful, so that one should rightfully stay dead. Making yet another reboot might be too much, but a new pure prince of persia taking plenty of inspiration from Mirrors Edge would be sweet as well, the “parkour” mechanics of PoP has always been a bit too linear for my taste.

      • Czrly says:

        Remakes can be good. Some really are: Trine 1 with its new engine and Homeworld’s remakes are great.

        The problem is caused by publishers who want to flog an old idea for cash and make minimal effort remakes that sell on nostalgia value alone. Instead of fixing what’s broken, they wrap an old, great idea in cheap-plastic “newness” and throw it over the fence.

      • Urthman says:

        Except for story, writing, and a couple misguided chariot sequences, Two Thrones surpasses Sands if Time in every way. The combat itself is much better, but the way the stealth system ties combat to the parcour stuff is really great. It’s one of the best uses of a quicktime-type mechanic where the only penalty for failing a stealth attack is you have to do a regular battle, which is pretty fun anyway. And the artwork and level design are fantastic (although Sands of Time does a better job of making you feel like the game takes place in a single coherent location).

  14. Mi-24 says:

    I remember this! I think I got stuck on the boss fight shown at the top where all the bloody enemies would respawn. Time for a reinstall

    • laiwm says:

      Glad I’m not the only one with bad memories of that room.

    • jonfitt says:

      Yes! I got stuck there too. Never saw the ending :(

      Oh and this was only a couple of years ago, so I’m not going to try again.

  15. balinor says:

    I’m still finding it incredibly annoying that Uplay limits my password size to 15 characters.

    • KenTWOu says:

      Uplay password policy is a bit of a mess. I remember, there was a security breach years ago, so I’d changed my Uplay password, so it had some weird symbols in it like @ or $ and later Chaos Theory didn’t allow me to put that password in to login for co-op.

  16. frightlever says:

    And Nox is free on Origin. Cute game, if a bit fiddly these days.

  17. sonofsanta says:

    Good Lord, is it really 13 years old? I remember what a revelation it was when it came out, playing through the whole thing in a single sitting in halls of residence on a friend’s PS2.

    Curse this relentless march of time and mortality.

  18. Michael Fogg says:

    Halp? When I click either on the link above or the banner in the Uplay browser I only get a blank page. I have the game on Gog already but still the heart flutters at ‘free stuff’.

    Oh, and thx @frighlever for tip on Nox!!