I loved the first Prince of Persia for its faint hearted nature and lack of blood. It felt like Aladdin for me minus the Robin Williams Genie appearances. I’d never played a game like it before and it was just very refreshing. The sequels? Not so much. I hear the gameplay improved, but the darker tone didn’t resonate well.The new Prince of Persia looks to be a complete reboot with new art style and new direction in game design altogether. I commend this step. Not many developers/publishers would put something out like this, but I’m so pleased to see it happening.
Here’s some cropped scans from the latest Joy-pad, a French magazine, courteousy of Pro-Gamers.fr:
As for details? Thanks to Ether_snake for posting this translated summary of the coverage:
- Prince feels Amano-inspired. Looks like a celluloid/animated character (a bit like SFIV). The style itself is still in progress.
- Corrupted world needs to be healed.
- Story is much more “1001 Nights”-like, more fantasy, less grounded in reality but instead more magical yet still credible, more poetic.
- Player must unleash light-wells to heal the corrupted world, which shoots light into the sky, reminiscent of SotC and Okami.
- The transformation of the world is in real-time, with plants growing back to life as the world heals back and as the player can still move, instead of a mere cutscene, sky changes back to its normal color, etc., to give a strong sense of control and success to the player.
- No more time rewind and such.
- They are no making a second Assassin’s Creed, they are making a new PoP.
- Art style was difficult pass through the management, but they never refused it, and eventually loved it.
- Story specifically: Orhmaz and Arhiman, twin gods, one good one evil, celestial battle, Orhmaz locks Arhiman away in a box which he hides into an faraway oasis deep within a desert. Centuries pass, and comes a troublesome thief (the prince) and Arhiman is freed somehow (not deep explanation given). Prince must undo his mistake.
- This is what they refer to as a more “1001 Nights” kind of story, like a fable.
- More open/organic environments. Has a Zelda-esque feel, old-school in themes.
- Bosses/player use backgrounds during fights (one shot shows an enemy pushing the prince against a wall as if trying to choke him, or another throwing him in the air).
- Game went through a few iterations; originally too open (felt big but not enough to do), at one point it was more like Assassin as far as open world (going where you want), but players would get lost and wander aimlessly and dynamism suffered as a result. Now instead it is more focussed with a clear road, but multiple paths can be taken (free to move from one map to another, back and forth, etc., more open than previous PoPs).
- The demo map shown to the journalist, old of a few months, has been scrapped design-wise because it was too Assassin-like, now it’s more fantasy design-wise.
- Game world is made of nodes connected by paths, and you can go from one node to another as you wish (this is what they mean by less open, but non-linear; you can see the paths, but you don’t have to going from A to B to C). The game adapts as a result (enemies from later visited locations might be more difficult, etc., for example zone A might be more difficult if you access it at the end, but if you accessed it at the beginning then it is easier, even bosses, depending on what order you fight them, adapt as such).
- Prince can slide along any walls using his glove. Game is as much vertical as horizontal.
- Prince has more possibilities of movement.
- Bosses inspired by MGS’ boss quality; they are fewer but they have a story, a reason to be, they leave more of an impression on the player. Some are former nobles, sometimes acting against their will.
- They wondered if they should make just more enemies and try to do a God of War game and try to beat it on its own ground, or go for something different. They went with fewer enemies instead and a new combat style. Combats are duels. You can see the expression on the faces of the characters/bosses. Movement/action in fights is more like Advent Children, more cinematic in presentation.
- 140 people working on it, more to come, people from many projects.
It’s currently slated for a holiday 2008 release.