The first thing that hits you about this game is that it's bloody gorgeous. Actually, maybe not. I'm trying to think back to when I first started playing the game. You begin with a short cut-scene where The Prince (note: not actually a prince) is trudging blindly through a sandstorm. He promptly falls down a cliff and is landed on by a beautiful woman.
The game is pretty nice looking at this point, but nothing to really phone home about. The world is currently painted in grays and browns, but with a half painted, half cell-shaded look. In fact, until you heal the first Fertile Ground, the game is pretty grimy and depressing.
Of course it's covered in the corruption of a long-trapped god of darkness. That tends to dampen any landscape.
The more you play, and the more of the land you heal, the more fantastic the world becomes. Not just by pallet swapping the oily textures for greener, livelier ones either. As you push further into each of the areas, you get a chance to see how they link together. You get a chance to view the breadth and scope of the world. Many of them have heights from which you can see the whole vista, what you've healed and what you haven't.
It really is quite stunning. I could probably continue gushing for another couple of paragraphs, but I'm trying to keep this short.
The best part of the visual direction in Prince of Persia is that I didn't have to squint at my Standard Definition TV once to appreciate it. It probably looks even better on an HDTV.