Jul 19, 2008

During Ubisoft’s press conference, developer Ben Mattis took the stage to demo the new Prince of Persia and narrate a play-through of one of the earlier levels of the game. I didn’t get to actually play, but watching him definitely gave me a feel for what the new Prince of Persia has to offer. The graphics, of course, are fantastic, and the new illustrative style gives Okami a run for its money when it comes to style.

Elika, the Prince’s cooperative companion, fills many roles throughout the game. When the developers first explained that she would follow the Prince without encumbering him I was reluctant to believe it, but watching the gameplay made me realize that she not only doesn’t hinder him, but actually helps. She serves as more of an extension of the Prince, teleporting in front of the him to throw him to a ledge, aiding him in combat, and even eliminating death from the game by bringing him back to the most recent safe platform.

The developers said that they didn’t believe that gamers needed the reassurance of a death screen to remind them that they fell off a cliff, and have instead decided to have Elika pull you to a safe platform if you fall. It isn’t really any different from reloading from a previous checkpoint, but it prevents the need to have the game reload all of the data after an obnoxious “YOU HAVE DIED” screen pops up.

Combat was featured in the video, which appears to be a combination of the previous game’s fighting and Assassin’s Creed’s combat. It is sort of strange to see the Assassin’s Creed engine taken to a supernatural and magical world, because the game definitely retains a little bit from its Mature-rated brother in crime. Early in the press conference Ben Mattis said that the early buzz for the game was that it was a game of the year contender and I laughed at that claim, at the end of the video I think that it isn’t as crazy as I originally thought.


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