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Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown isn't a reboot, say Ubisoft, but you could call it a Sands Of Time prequel

Mostly, it's a "whole new chapter"

Concept art of a warrior running across a battlefield with a large red sunset behind him in Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown
Image credit: Ubisoft

As you may have gathered from my big preview of Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown, I'm quite pumped for Ubisoft Montpellier's upcoming action platformer. But I was also keen to find out whether they considered this a reboot for the series, or whether it had any connection to the Sands Of Time trilogy, and game director Mounir Radi was happy to oblige. For him and his team, it's first and foremost "a whole new chapter" in the series, although you could call it a prequel, if you really wanted to. Whatever you do, though, don't call it a reboot. Oops.

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"It's not a reboot, it's a whole new chapter," he tells me. "We just hope that players, because we try to be humble with this, give us a chance to continue this. It's firstly a whole new chapter. It could be seen and perceived as a prequel, because we use some specific elements from the previous Prince Of Persia games, but really it's a whole new chapter."

It's Radi's hope that the team have "captured the iconic signatures of all the different games," he says, and that players will understand where and how they've chosen to modernise The Lost Crown so it can feel "both familiar and surprising" to returning fans of the series.

To illustrate what makes the game stand out compared to previous Prince Of Persia games, Radi went on to remind me that we won't be playing the Prince himself in The Lost Crown. Instead, you'll be stepping into the role of Sargon, one of the Prince's protectors. You'll also be playing as part of a group, the Immortals, rather than going it alone. And the time powers you know and love from the Sands Of Time trilogy won't be part your arsenal, but you will see them being used by the main antagonist.

Radi says these decisions were "a way for us to respect the [legacy], and make it clear that everything is there, but to still surprise our players."

For him, Prince Of Persia is "a super adventure in an uncharted world in a specific folklore," he says. "The first ones were super tied to the Islamic Golden Age in the ninth century, because [Prince Of Persia creator] Jordan Mechner had it in his mind to show people this facet of the One Thousand And One Nights tales.

"But for me, and also for the team, Persia is much more than this, and more than this part of history. When it comes to the [The Lost Crown's] grand pillars, you have acrobatic fights, you have the platforming, you have the puzzles, and the first thing that players talk about is the narrative. For me, Prince Of Persia is all of those pillars."

Elsewhere in our chat, I also got to speak to Radi about how the inspirations he took from Japanese anime for the game's visual style, and he also showed off a very cool feature in the game that will help to eliminate pointless backtracking.

I'm excited for it, and I hope you are too. Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown launches on January 18th 2024.

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