Prince of Persia - 360 - Preview 2
On the previous console generation, the Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia franchise was far and away one of the most critically and commercially successful trilogies around, rebooting the series started on PCs decades ago and introducing some revolutionary concepts that would be emulated many times over the years. Now, after a several year absence, Ubisoft is looking to bring the Prince back to consoles with the plainly named Prince of Persia.
The first game in the franchise to hit current-gen consoles, Prince of Persia doesn’t fit in with the prior trilogy, instead starting its own trilogy and introducing you to a new Prince and a new companion, Elika, on his journey. The game is not quite as revolutionary as The Sands of Time, but does add some great new features for fans of the series. GameZone was given some hands-on time at a recent press event held by Ubisoft, and the results will no doubt impress those looking to jump back in to Persia.
Combat in Prince of Persia is a lot more slowly paced than in the previous Sands of Time trilogy. In the build that we played, you’d only fight one enemy at a given time, but you’d have a variety of moves to pull out against them, including acrobatic attacks, gauntlet attacks, and special magic attacks that you can use in tandem with Elika. The look of the battles is very cinematic, and has a distinct God of War feel. The main boss battle that we were faced with was against the Warrior, a huge creature that couldn’t be harmed but only stopped briefly by knocking him off a ledge. We fought him several times, only by earning special abilities could we access the final battle against him.
We also got a look at the game’s open-world structure. While there were certain sections of the demo closed off to us, we still were able to take a look at how the environments would be laid out throughout the world. There is a temple that will work as your centralized hub for the game’s stages and will allow you access to each one. You’ll perform a lot of backtracking in order to move ahead as you’ll unlock the way to new areas by collecting light shards and using special abilities that can be purchased at the Temple.
One of the most intriguing elements in Prince of Persia is how the game deals with death, as in it doesn’t happen. Any time the Prince finds himself in a situation where he’s about to die, be it falling off of a cliff or about to get a killing blow from an enemy, Elika will intervene and save you and put you back in the action. While this still carries many of the same repercussions as dying in other games, namely restarting a certain section from the beginning or putting a boss character back up to full health, it still feels a lot more fluid and weeds out the unnecessary loading time frustration.
Graphically, Prince of Persia is a great looking game, featuring a unique look that looks more like an animated film than a video game. The game makes fantastic use of lighting effects and the character models look excellent and are very well animated.
Prince of Persia is shaping up to be an excellent new start for the franchise, with great new gameplay elements and some clever new additions to the formula. Look for it to launch December 2nd.