The guys over at IGN were lucky enough to get a little first glimpse into the newest addition to the Prince of Persia series and as we already knew, the game has taken an all new direction that isn’t reminiscent of the previous PoP titles at all. Ubisoft Montreal has created the new game using a tweaked version of the Assassin’s Creed engine, Anvil. By doing this, they were able to create an open-world environment for the new Prince to explore, which is also one of the biggest differences to notice when compared to the previous games in the series.
Even though the PoP games we may have played earlier had the nifty trick of manipulating time, the new game does nothing of the sort. The storyline about the sands of time and the original Prince are all gone. The new main character gives the impression of not being a Prince, but more of a wanderer seeking his next thrill. His story begins as he’s moving about the desert when a sandstorm erupts. When it subsides, he finds himself in a little place called the Garden of Eden.
Inside the garden is the Tree of Life that holds an evil god named Ahriman prisoner. Following an event that ultimately destroys the tree, the now-free Ahriman spreads a black oozy substance called Corruption throughout the land. Corruption takes on various forms to stop you from completing your quest — it creates enemies and traps throughout the game, and will take on unexpected changes in order to keep you on your toes.
As the Prince, the player must go from town to town freeing them of Corruption with the hopes of sending it back into the Garden of Eden. The garden is your home base so to speak where you choose what lands you want to save first. There are also vista points that allow you to look out over the land to see what areas are in the most dire need of being saved. If you choose to revisit an area, it will be unlike you remember. The idea here is to lessen the tedious nature of backtracking through familiar places.
The combat requires more skill from the new Prince. He’s just as acrobatic as the original Prince was, if not more so, and he has a new toy — a gauntlet on his left hand serves as both a weapon, and a tool for sliding down walls. Since you can’t reverse time if you mistime a jump, the gauntlet will be your saving grace. The Prince’s second weapon is a simple sword, and that’s pretty much all you’re going to get. The enemies you fight won’t come about in droves either. It’s always a one-on-one, Prince versus Corruption battle. The emphasis on intelligent combat stands out unlike any PoP title before. When the battle starts, all the attacks correspond with the controllers face buttons. Each enemy is to be taken very seriously. You must use your wit and acrobatics to string together combos, the payoff being a more cinematic look and feel to fighting each enemy.
With the massive changes this game has undergone, some people may get a little intimidated by the new approach. But, you have to give Ubisoft Montreal credit for taking the risk to bring the player more into the decision making process while in the game, as the previous titles were all horribly linear.
There’s no fixed release date yet, but chances are it’ll be released near the end of the year. When it does, it will land on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, and the DS will be receiving a complimentary version.
[See also: Prince of Persia gallery]