Publisher:Ubisoft Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 Release Date: Q4 2008
There are few titles in the gaming industry that are as consistently revered as the Prince of Persia games. There are games we think are as constantly held aloft, definitely, but in reality most titles haven’t been around long enough to claim the kind of respect that games like Sonic, Mario and Prince of Persia have.
I mean – yes, Halo is all well and good, but it’s little more than an infant compared to the fearsome Prince. Jordan Mechner’s original timed platformer has more than a decades experience over Master Chief and Cortana.
That isn’t to say that the Prince of Persia series hasn’t been over rough ground – the Prince’s first 3D outing under the direction of Red Orb Entertainment was a largely forgettable affair marred by bugs and glitches.
Since the franchise migrated to under Ubisoft’s control, the Prince has gone from strength to strength. It has completed a diverse trilogy that tracked the Prince’s personality as he fell from childish naivety, to adolescent embitterment before rising to adult responsibility in the Sands of Time games.
Not that the Prince’s developing character matters all too much at this stage though – as we found out when we got a chance to look at Ubisoft’s brand new Prince of Persia title recently.
In the Prince’s latest outing, the developers and designers at Ubisoft Montreal have gone back to the drawing board. There, they’ve wiped the slate clean and decided to start a brand new series of adventures with the Prince – this time heavily influenced by the mythology of Scheherazade.
Thus, the Sands of Time are no more – there’s no rewinding the clock for the Prince now if he makes a wrong move and if he finds himself about to be impaled on a bed of spikes then there’s no hope of being able to freeze time and duck aside.
That said, the changes to the franchise haven’t stopped at wiping the slate clean and starting a new trilogy. The next Prince of Persia is a decidedly different game with a fancy new cel-shaded look, a semi-whimsical presentation and a whole new array of game mechanics notably showcased in the Prince’s new partner, Elika.
In fact, Ubisoft hasn’t just left it at that either – the developers have even stripped the Prince of his royal birthright in the new title and the focus of the story is changed because of it. This new Prince (or princely character rather) isn’t the noble kings son trying to save his people as he was in Two Thrones and nor is he the spoiled brat or indulgent tit that he was in Sands of Time or Warrior Within.