Prince of Persia's Ben Mattes talks 'no-death' mechanic
- Posted March 25th, 2009 at 08:18 EDT by Mike Harradence
- 25 Comments
Speaking at the Game Developers Conference this week, Prince of Persia producer Ben Mattes has described the ‘no-death’ gameplay mechanic in last year’s outing as a “mistake of projecting my own attitudes” on the project.
Speaking to MTV’s Multiplayer Blog in defence of the controversial mechanic, Mattes commented, “I guess I made the mistake of projecting my own attitudes… I believed that, as a consumer base, the gaming industry had evolved to the point where they were punishing themselves for their failures… “
“The idea with the Elika mechanic was [that] if you were a really good player, a single fall — when she had to pull you up — would be devastating thing because it ruined your perfect run.”
In light of numerous complaints, however, Matte added: “We can’t continue to punish players for not being super leet haxxors but we have to do enough of that so that the guys on NeoGAF [hardcore message board gamers] won’t sell the game back.”
Prince of Persia is sort of like marmite – you either love it, or hate it. We loved it, as you can see from our review here.
- 4:26am EDT - March 25th, 2009
I thought it was good, it let my little cousin play it without feeling like he was rubbish, deffinately a game for the more casual gamer though, I got bored of it after an hour or two.
- 4:27am EDT - March 25th, 2009
I don't think its a mistake. Your just gonna reload if you did die anyway, so wot difference does it make? this cuts out the loading time.
- 4:28am EDT - March 25th, 2009
Bring back the magic that we saw in Sands of Time and I will give you 60 dollars...
- 4:29am EDT - March 25th, 2009
I think the problem with this game was not the Elika mechanic (though she could fix my car any time) but the lack of mystery in the game. You know exactly what was going to happen as soon as you reached the temple. There were very few puzzles and the adversaries were just annoying. PoP has always been a bit of a hack 'n' slash with great platforming however the combat relegated to a few staged moments and highly repetitive, fighting the same bosses time and again.
The real shame was that Ubisoft didn't realise that the very transparent and repetitive formula that made Assassin's Creed so dull was exactly the same thing that killed this game.
The old PoP's were linear but they were suprising and could be played time and again. Somehow this latest effort was simply a finish to say I've finished it. I was left underwhelmed and unchallenged.
Hopefully Ubisoft will figure out that the old storytelling method was better than the finish segments of a map regimen before they ruin AC2 in the same way.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want to play a varied game and I don't want to see how it was designed within the first 30 mins
- 4:40am EDT - March 25th, 2009
I think it was a HUGE mistake to keep you from dying. I play for a CHALLENGE and there is no challenge or incentive when you cant die. It teaches children wrongly to boot. If you can still "beat" something without having to actually try you didnt improve yourself any and you didnt win. The trend as of late in making all games accesible to casual gamers is pathetic. Im even getting tired of regenerating health.
- 6:03am EDT - March 25th, 2009
Sands of Time...continue with that...
- 6:20am EDT - March 25th, 2009
Basically if you break that statment down enough and rebuild it he's saying that you can't die in PoP to stop players from being emo because they cannot beat a game? I mean seriously how often do you actually see a "game over" screen anymore?
- 6:38am EDT - March 25th, 2009
im one of those that hate this game, they tried to copy the shadow of the colossus feel but failed madly and the no death thing its not the worst part, is the "prince"'s stupid personality, a dante wanabe.
- 6:48am EDT - March 25th, 2009
I don't understand why people hated that about this game. I thought it was pure genius. Who wants to stare at a loading screen? I have other things to do in my day than just look at loading screens, I appreciate them putting this feature in the game. There were parts of the game that were pretty frustrating, and if I had to wait for loading and start at the beginning again I would have just turned the game off. I'm glad they are making games geared towards people who don't have all day but would like to see the end of the story they paid for. In my opinion all games should have the OPTION to turn a feature like this on and off, so everyone gets their money's worth.
- 7:09am EDT - March 25th, 2009
I dont have the game but I dont understand why anyone would hate a "no death" feature. Why would I want to die and possibly face a loading screen if I can be saved at the last second? The first PoP on PS2 just rewound time, this is technically the same thing without a limt to how much you can do it.
I say he made a good choice, stick to your guns.
- 7:39am EDT - March 25th, 2009
ok here is the issue. If when you are saved from death do all your enemies and bosses regenerate thier health to the begining of the fight? If not then it is absurdly ignorant to have this no death trash. If your worried about having to fight the same boss again after a load screen or go back through a level because you died before you completed it YOU ARE NOT A GAMER. Your a casual hobbyist and should just go play a Wii. You are the cause of games getting easier and shorter for much more money. You are destroying gaming. Games should offer you a challenge as well as a story not just a story. THATS WHY THEY ARE GAMES AND NOT CGI MOVIES. If you dont die and you dont have to start over from the begining on a boss you lose to you dont have a challenge you have a computer aided walkthrough.
You whiney spoiled little young snots make me sick. Constantly complaining about wanting what other consoles have. Constantly wanting companies to take all of yoru money from you for them to do nothing. Ceaselessly griping about challenges and praising thier removal from gaming. Go back and play some REAL games like Contra, Master Blaster, Wolfenstien 3D, etc.. and learn what REAL gaming is. If you dont like it then stop playing games all together and just invest in a good home system to watch movies on and stick to that.
lordAlucard | sympozium_666
- 7:49am EDT - March 25th, 2009
Its an change from the annoying game over & continue screens well done Mattes
- 8:10am EDT - March 25th, 2009
i personally loved it. I get so sick of waiting through a load time when you die in other games, or starting further back.
it also made the game accessible for my wife. She loved it
- 8:44am EDT - March 25th, 2009
I agree with Mattes. I considered being rescued by Elika a "death". Any time she had to save me I was disapointed the same way I am in other games where I actually "die". Not needing to replay the same events just to get back to where I was, was nice and kept the game moving.
- 8:46am EDT - March 25th, 2009
yeah, I don't think that was a mistake; I mean, it's basically a check-point but made a little more interesting. Besides, who doesn't hate having to restart a level just because you pressed jump by mistake... or because he jumped in the wrong direction, I think this worked perfectly.
If anything was lacking was the difficutly department... I mean, if you didn't know which way to go or what to do all you had to do was look at the wall for claw markings; the puzzles weren't challenging enough and the enemies were pretty easy too.
- 9:33am EDT - March 25th, 2009
Whats the point in having hard enemies if you can't die. And Contra was a badass game, I wish they could remake those games, but they'd probably just screw them up like usual.
- 11:07am EDT - March 25th, 2009
well if the game is good whats the problem with havin to load. anyway. if i get frustrated i just stop playin and continue with the same lvl some other time
- 11:28am EDT - March 25th, 2009
I loved the game, I just got too many games going. >_<
- 11:38am EDT - March 25th, 2009
i didnt like this game at the start, but it grew on me, halve way thu i started to love it, give it a good try
- 1:12pm EDT - March 25th, 2009
Game is good but other games have more to offer to keep your interest longer - that's all. Don't think it had anything to do with the death mechanic.
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