Ubisoft have just announced that their Montreal studio is working on a new Prince of Persia game. Very little more is known at this point, other than someone at Ubi was on a dare to see how many times he/she could write “Prince of Persia” in the press release. A sample paragraph:
“Developed by Ubisoft’s award-winning Montreal studio and the same all-star team that created the previously acclaimed Prince of Persia® Sands of Time trilogy, Prince of Persia is opening a new chapter in the Prince of Persia universe, featuring a new breed of gameplay.”
What this new breed is to be remains a mystery. We’re also told that it will feature “brand-new illustrative art style.”
It’s tempting to be cynical when a franchise is entering its eleventh incarnation, and even moreso when its recent trilogy dipped in quality after a stunning opening. However, I tell you this anecdote:
I went on a preview trip for PoP: Sands of Time in 2003. Nothing was known about the game, and the trip was intended to let people play it for the first time. It’d been two years since Max Payne, and everyone was getting pretty sick of “bullet time” in their third-person action games, so cynicism was present. And then they let us play it. The first time I hit the ‘rewind’ button my jaw dropped, and I realised: this is what all platform/action games will do from now on.
Of course I realised wrong, and peculiarly no one’s managed to better Sands of Time at athletic freedom since, and, um, fewer than no people have mimicked the rewind that makes such perfect sense. We love running and jumping in games. We don’t love falling to our deaths and reloading to a previous check-point. Letting us rewind solves this. WHY HASN’T ANYONE ELSE COPIED IT?
Anyway, point being, when this bunch say they have “a new breed of gameplay”, they’ve the proof that we should be interested. Focus on the Ubisoft Montreal, rather than the Ubisoft Clancy Oh Please Have A New Idea.