Monday, June 9, 2008

The New Prince of Persia

In the last week of November in 2003, a friend of mine called me up to check out an amazing game. He was the more popular guy in the gang as he owned an ATI 9800 Pro (the most amazing graphic card at that time). So, I went over to his place and found him playing the Prince of Persia: The Sands of time. The first thing I remember seeing was the "Save Game" action wherein you see the challenges up ahead in the form of a small cut-scene; I was barely able to breathe again and he showed me the time-bending abilities. In a word, I was mesmerized. The game took the first major PC gaming franchise and created something so unique that you would need a few minutes to absorb its originality and splendid artwork. The game was a humongous hit -- both commercially and critically, spawning two more sequels and an upcoming movie. A new POP is on its way, and although the Prince has changed by leaps and bounds, it still retains a quality to make you take notice. Read on.

The New Look

The first thing you'll notice in the screenshots is the look of the game; it looks like a cell-shaded title but unlike a cell-shaded tile, this one has more depth and doesn't look like an extended Cartoon Network episode. The look compliments the artwork and truly makes the characters stand out. Also, I believe these subtle but sublime textures make the gameplay smoother.

Now, everybody loved Sands of Time, so it's not hard to imagine that people will start comparing the new POP with SOT. Ubisoft has retained some of the qualities from the previous POP games and added new elements to the new game, including a totally new storyline and a new AI partner -- so no Farah. The new AI partner called Elika will not only help you overcome obstacles but also lend a hand in combat.

She is like Alyx from Half Life 2 but hotter and more acrobatic. She can jump and reach high places like the Prince. I came across little bits and pieces of news from various forums and according to them the Prince isn't a Prince at all in the game. He is a lonely street dweller, who happens to come across some sort of magical being, and as fate would have it, is entrusted to save the world. The Prince has a totally new look and abilities. The dagger of time from the previous games will not be present in the game and a totally new artifact will accompany him. As you can see in the screenshots, he is wearing a gauntlet in his hand; this powerful artifact will assist him in combat and help me in his acrobatics as well. The main plot follows the escape of a powerful evil deity called Ahriman, who was imprisoned by his brother. Elika is a member of a former clan who were tasked with keeping him in prison, but they failed and she is the only remaining member of her clan. Although Arhiman hasn't escaped his prison completely, his evil is leaking out of the cracked prison and corrupting the land. The Prince is an adventurer and takes on the task of ridding the world of the evil that is flowing out of Ahriman's prison. The corruption that is engulfing the world will act as the challenge to the Prince. The game does not include any spikes or trap doors; instead, the corruption will take on various forms to challenge the Prince.

The new combat system is a very bold step. Unlike previous games, this time around, you don't fight 3-4 enemies; instead, you'll be fighting not more than one enemy at one time. The idea is to have one very strong and intelligent enemy. Elika will be by your side the entire time, and use magic at the right time to attack your enemy. You'll be able to control a few of her actions and command her to attack at specific times. Watch the video below; it's a CG trailer but will give you a clear idea about the game's combat, which cannot be described in words.

The game is set to release by the end of the year for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, making it accessible to a larger audience. There are many details still remaining and as the days pass by, I am sure Ubisoft will keep teasing us with bits of information. We'll cover more about the game very soon, until then keep watching this space.


posted by: Aloy   Jump to Message Thread on HM Google Group...