The new Prince of Persia has been in development for over two and a half years now. When development on the next game started, they decided to ditch everything from the previous games and go into a entirely new direction. Prince of Persia has always had this fantasy nature to it, so now they're fully embracing this. They're taking the environmental and level design to a very mythical level. Think "castle in the sky" type fantasy (not that there will actually be a castle in the sky ... well, maybe). The art style, which we've been given a little preview of already, is being called Illustrative art style, something that has never been done before.
The story takes place with you arriving to a Garden of Eden like place where an ancient evil God called Ahriman has just been freed. As soon as he breaks from his prison, his evil spreads across the lands turning everything in darkness. This evil corruption consumes everything taking away all life and light from the world. It's your task to go through the world, visit different regions and purify them from the corruption.
This is where another big change to the series is introduced. You have the choice at how you want to play the game. The world you'll be exploring was being compared to the United States. Say you're in "California" and you want to go to "New York". Half way to "New York" you decide you'd rather go to "Texas" instead. You have that freedom of choice to play the game like that. Depending on where you go and what region you save will affect how the story progresses. There will be a system in place, though, for gamers that just want to do what the game tells them to do and sets them on a straight path.
The fighting system is a lot like a boss fight now. Every enemy you encounter will be like a boss where they're just as strong, if not stronger, than you. The camera will shift into this movie like mode giving you very dramatic angels of the battle. You need to use your environment in a battle to try and get the upper hand. Force enemies toward a wall, toward a ledge or any other thing to try and turn the battle to your advantage. At the same time, the enemies will try and do the same thing to you. In fact, the enemy you're pushing towards a wall might be letting you do this on purpose. He might be tricking you into thinking you're about to have an advantage only for him to make his move at the last second and throw you up against the wall instead. The fighting system was heavily influenced by the Final Fantasy: Advent Children movie (The Tifa fight scene is so awesome) to give you a better idea of what they're shooting for.
Finally, the newest addition to the Prince of Persia series is a character named Elika. Elika is a support character and she will always be at your side to help you whenever you need it. The developers have made it so Elika will never get in the way of what you're doing. She'll always be in the right place at the right time to assist you with whatever you need. She can hold her own in a fight and she'll do some tag team moves with you to take on enemies. She has strong magical attacks so if a enemy puts up a shield around himself, Elika will jump in, shatter the shield and step off to the side ready to assist you if you call upon her again.
She'll be able to assist you with puzzles too. If a jump is to far, you two will do some sort of a super jump that will let you cross over to the other side. She can also give you her opinion on how to do a puzzle if you're getting stuck and she'll even start working on a puzzle on her own sometimes. Elika also has the power to show you where you should go next with her magical abilities should you get yourself lost.
After the fifteen-minute speech, we were shown a 45 second long CG teaser of some of what was said in action, which you can check out at above.
In theory, all this sounds great. Hopefully all this works out in the actual game. We'll just have to wait until E3 to find out how this turns out. How's it sounding to you? The new Prince of Persia should be hitting this holiday season for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
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