Aug 2, 2008

One of the best looking games I saw at E3 wasn't because of a photorealistic style, but rather what might be called the next evolution in cel shading. Ubisoft called it an "illustrative" style, and it was a distinguishing style for the newest Prince of Persia video game.

Ahriman has invaded the lands and his corruption is evident in the bubbling black ooze. The prince, who is still learning his way to be a prince, has teamed up with the beautiful Elika, a princess who has potent magical powers, potent enough to drive away the corruption and restore life to the lands. Thus, it's a new rejuvenation of the storied franchise.

The goal was to make sure that Elika is never a nuisance. She follows the player, helping him jump when he summons her with the press of a button, and if she's in the way when he jumps, she helps him land - or he moves her when she tries to come up. Even better, if the player gets in a situation where he would "die", Elika saves him. That means one of a couple of things.

If the prince is sucked up by the black ooze, she pulls him out. If he misses a jump, she grabs a hold of him and summons him to the last safe ground they were on - the last solid patch of ground they were on. If he would die in combat, she saves him at the last minute, resetting the fight.

That means that the player never dies and doesn't have to go all the way back to a "checkpoint". The game keeps playing and flowing, hopefully keeping the player from getting frustrated. As time goes on, the prince gets new powers that he buys by using the life seeds he gets from saving lands.

Combat has been revamped as well. Combat is all about the duel between the prince and his enemy. There's no health bar or anything like that - it's all very cinematic. In addition, the player can use the environment to help him against his foes, such as in the demo we saw where he managed to throw the hunter off a cliff.

I'm not a huge fan of platformers. This one might change my mind, however. The fact that Elika can give you a magical compass to show you where to go, the ability to slide down walls, or walk-run with the easier controls in order to make it more accessible to casual gamers as well as the hardcore gamers who were the ones that had the most success in keeping the game flowing in previous versions.


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jhon said...

Its really a wonderful post. Keep it up.

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