previewed on PS3
Old and New
This holiday season, Ubisoft will release a new installment in their beloved Prince of Persia series. The game is simply titled Prince of Persia, suggesting that Ubisoft wants this to be a reinvention of the franchise and, judging from what we’ve seen thus far, that seems to be the case. Prince of Persia is definitely a departure from the Sands of Time trilogy that gamers everywhere came to love, with a new Prince, a fresh illustrative visual style, and loads of innovative gameplay mechanics. All this new, however, is wrapped around the same formula that made the originals such a hit - making Prince of Persia an intriguing title, and one you should definitely put on your radar.
The Prince we came to know from the Sands of Time trilogy is long gone, a thief and treasure hunter (who has, once again, no name) has taken his place. Returning from an adventure and laden with treasure, he’s caught in a freak sandstorm and finds himself in the garden of the Tree of Life. There, he meets a girl named Elika, and they witness the Tree’s destruction and the revival of Arihman, the god of corruption. From there our duo embarks on a journey to defeat Arihman before his evil can spread to the outside world.
The Core Mechanics
The Prince is once again an incredibly acrobatic character, capable of running on walls and leaping across chasms. Platforming is an essential part of the gameplay, and will remain almost identical to the prior 3D entries in the series. The main difference this time around is that Prince of Persia uses Assassin’s Creed’s Scimitar engine, permitting the game to expand past the narrow hallways and rooftops of the Sands of Time trilogy. This new tech allows much larger worlds such as those seen in Assassin’s Creed, supporting the game’s open oasis setting.
The combat system has also remained virtually untouched, although it has more in common with the original 2D games than the 3D Sands of Time trilogy. Instead of fighting off dozens of enemies at a time, Prince of Persia focuses on one-on-one combat. You’ll never see more than one enemy onscreen at a time, and this allows the dev team to make each creature smarter and deadlier than ever.