Prince of Persia Hands-on
- Posted November 17th, 2008 at 09:23 EDT by
- 14 Comments
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to take a trip out to San Francisco this past week to check out Ubisoft Montreal’s latest installment in the Prince of Persia franchise. Despite the popularity of the Sands of Time trilogy, a lot of gamers remained skeptical about the new direction Ben Mattes and the development team are taking with this next-gen iteration.
Throwing aside the combat mechanics of the past, introducing a new side-kick for The Prince and creating somewhat of an open world are just some of the changes gamers can expect to see from Prince of Persia. As the holiday season line-up slowly draws to a close, Prince of Persia signals the culmination of what has undoubtedly been the most impressive slew of software releases in gaming history.
The preview build on display started us off on a tutorial level. This particular area takes off just after The Prince has lost his trusty mule, fortune and way through the sandstorm-filled desert. Luckily, he happens upon a Princess being chased down by royal guards. This, of course, is Elika, whom as many of you already know serves as The Prince’s new sidekick and saviour. While she is a key component to the storyline, Elika serves as your guide, keeper and partner in order to successfully progress through the adventure ahead.
At first, I was very skeptical in regards to Elika and her role in the title. The obvious problem is the ability she has to prevent you from ever dying. Though this was one of my main concerns coming into the preview, I can say with confidence that Elika’s abilities are a fresh breath of air and still leave Prince of Persia a challenging experience. While she does have the talent to stop you from plummeting to your death, Elika works her magic in a way that feels more like a “quick-load checkpoint” than anything else. Of course, the best part about her is the fact she never gets in your way. She always seems to be there when you need her most, but never gives off the feeling as though she’s slowing you down. On top of this key component, Elika is also handy in combat and aids you in jumping greater distances. This is all done through a simplistic control scheme that gives the title a distinctly casual, user-friendly tone.
There are five key buttons that you utilize in order to progress quickly through the story. Square allows you to make swift, accurate sword attacks. Circle enables the usage of your gauntlet glove, thus giving you the added touch of tossing your foe high into the air. The X button, however, allows you to perform eye-popping, aerial assaults. Triangle is used to activate certain elements of play. These can range from special abilities to utilizing the cure wells to replenish Fertile Grounds. Finally, R2 is mainly utilized to block incoming attacks and aid in the opportunity to make a counter-attack against your enemy.
These five buttons are your path to becoming a capable fighter and explorer throughout the world of Prince of Persia. Casual gamers may not get the full experience out of the fighting mechanics, but hardcore players wanting to create massive combos that deliver “oohs and ahs” from onlookers should have no trouble getting to grips with the action. Of course, this is only made possible through the changes Ubisoft Montreal has made to the combat system in general.
Chances are if you’re a Prince of Persia fan, you’re used to holding off hordes of enemies at any given time. However, Producer Ben Mattes informed me that this wasn’t the direction in which the team wanted to take the franchise. While paying homage to God of War as the king of this combat style, Mattes described how the development team wanted to create their own unique combat system instead of going the same way as the aforementioned God of War, as well as Devil May Cry. The end result of this decision is a positive one to say the least. I had the chance to talk with Thomas Delbuguet (game designer) about this change and how it would alter the playing experiences for ... (continued on next page)
- 4:58am EST - November 17th, 2008
I really enjoyed the previous series and this is just different in a bad way :(
- 6:13am EST - November 17th, 2008
Reading this preview made me feel like we were back in the old days when previews were essentially just the PR statement regurgitated. I just got a weird vibe from it, like you guys were so excited to have been given access to the game that you wanted to write the most glowing preview ever.
Mind you, I'm still really excited for this game and I loved the Sands trilogy (Warrior sucked though) but seriously...
- 10:52am EST - November 17th, 2008
The game is really amazing so far im really looking forward to it
- 11:16am EST - November 17th, 2008
looking foward to it... a must buy.
- 11:21am EST - November 17th, 2008
It really is a must-buy title. Take it from the staff. It's our business to know. :)
- 11:34am EST - November 17th, 2008
this game looks beatiful and i've always had it on my list but there is simply too many titles to be able to get them all on launch day, and other titles were higher priority, i will pick this game up eventually
- 12:03pm EST - November 17th, 2008
graphics look really weird to me
primalbreath | jdawg222
- 12:57pm EST - November 17th, 2008
this game does look very good. but i agree with #7, too many games i getting 1st or playing now to get on launch, but i might pick it up later down the road
- 10:16am EST - November 18th, 2008
This is a must buy.. this game one looks amazing and two.. Has a new kind of battle system! i like it!
- 3:37am EST - November 19th, 2008
I neverd was a big fan of P.O.P. but this one looks good, i'll look in this 1
- 1:00pm EST - November 19th, 2008
i think this looks alright, curious to play just a bit
- 5:45pm EST - November 22nd, 2008
I'll be playing this game for the 360, it looks AWESOME.
- 5:15pm EST - March 1st, 2009
i like the previous one also and the fact that u cant die makes the game wayyyyyyyyyy to easy and one-one fights coming on other than that the game isnt bad but i wouldnt want2 beat it again
- 4:10am EDT - April 18th, 2009
gonna b good
This will permanently ban this user and delete all associated comments. This action is irreversible, are you SURE you want to do this?!