If you are at all interested in the new Prince of Persia, you really need to hit the jump immediately and watch Part 1 and Part 2 of the developer’s walkthrough that was shown off at yesterday’s Ubisoft press conference. I was completely blown away by what I saw.
In the level shown, the developer talked about wanting to show off three specific things: the acrobatics, the use of your partner Elika, and the fighting mechanic. The acrobatics are very similar to the old Sands of Time trilogy, but this time they look a lot tougher. Since the game is completely non-linear, finding ledges to grab onto and walls to run across is pretty tough. The fighting looked similar as well, but is deepened by some amazing combo moves that you and your partner can do. (In a cool statement, the developer mentioned he wanted every battle in the game to feel like a well-designed boss fight.) What left me impressed the most, though, was the creative uses of your partner, Elika.
In the game, the Prince cannot die. I know that sounds lame, but here me out for a second. Instead of dying, every time you fall of a ledge or miss a jump, Elika grabs your hand and pulls you into a ball of light, warping you back to the latest “checkpoint.” It is obviously only used as an aesthetic thing, but it feels smooth and is a nice replacement for the time mechanic from the older games in the series. In addition to saving you from death, Elika is a great partner in that she will always assist you throughout the game — be it with puzzles or fighting giant beasts. Even little touches like the way she grabs your hand and flings you in the air during a double jump make you feel like she is always there to help. As an added bonus, the developer mentioned Elika will never fall behind of get in the way. Sounds like the perfect partner in what really amounts to a glorified escort mission to me!
Prince of Persia is scheduled to be released this holiday season. Please click on the jump RIGHT NOW to view the lengthy gameplay demos. They are truly incredible and you won’t be disappointed.