E3 2008: Prince of Persia Updated Impressions

Ubisoft shows us exactly why two heads are better than one in this latest demo of the game.

Considering that people are already drooling over the graphics, Ubisoft may well succeed in rejuvenating the series with its upcoming Prince of Persia, but the important question is how does it play? We met up with Ubisoft during E3 to take a closer look at the gameplay, even though we had to keep our greedy little hands off. However, we did get a closer look at the role Elika plays, as well as the new fight system.

Elika, a guardian of the land, teams up with a drifter who is not yet a prince to fight against the same enemy. Ahriman, the god of evil, has broken free from the Tree of Life and is spreading his corruption throughout the land. The lovely Elika works to restore the land to its luscious state, whereas the prince is just along for the ride; his interests are limited to wine, women, and carpets. Thankfully, this new support character does not get in the way, you won't have to wait for her, and she won't get stuck. She comes in handy if you miss a jump, and you can use her for some elaborate moves and combos. As we watched the prince jump from one side of a cliff to another, Elika helped him boost over large chasms, and her usefulness doesn't end there. There are magic plates that she can activate that will propel them both over long distances.

Given that the game is open-ended, if you happen to get lost, Elika has a compass that she can use to set your objective, so you always have an idea of where you need to head. The areas are massive, and there are always multiple ways of getting to your destination. In the level that we had a chance to look at, we were chasing down a hunter, who had left behind tremors that act as obstacles to block your path. They seem relatively easy to avoid with some careful maneuvering. Each area was referred to as a bubble and you can play in any order that you wish. The game will increase in difficulty as you progress further, given that corruption will spread throughout the land.

Fights are now one-on-one with well-choreographed sequences to make the experience a cinematic one rather than button-mashing your way through cannon fodder. Enemies will change their state, and if they're in an aggressive state, the prince will have a better chance at dealing with the situation. Once they switch to a corrupted state, only Elika can do damage. It's a collaborative fight, and enemies will adapt to your moves, which means that you'll have to change up the combos to be more effective. During the fight, certain animations will indicate what you need to do to counter the attack. It's like a minigame, but we didn't go through the tutorial level, so we weren't sure what buttons correspond to particular actions, and it changes each time. In the demo that we saw, after beating the hunter, Elika brought life back to the barren wasteland almost instantly.

Like previous Prince of Persia games, there will be puzzle elements involved with obstacles, and traps to get around. We saw the prince do a grip fall with his glove, in which he slides down the side of a wall at a controlled speed. Every movement that he and Elika makes is fluid and graceful, and with the impressive art direction that this game has taken, it is truly a wonderful visual experience.

Prince of Persia is set to hit stores this holiday season on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Check back soon for more coverage.

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Discussion

100 comments
tu2pac
tu2pac

Sounds like this is going to be great ... can't wait. P.S. - Read my blog :-)

Smoolander
Smoolander

This game has quite a lot to live up to if it is to match the Sands of Time

hotbodyboy_2006
hotbodyboy_2006

GREATEST Franchise on the Action adventure!! I have high hopes from this one!!

Gamezster
Gamezster

This is not Prince of Persia 4! It is prince of Persia 1 again! Prince of Persia 1, Prince of Persia 2, Prince of Persia three Then you start over again. Prince of Persia 1. One on one fighting mixes up the combat lots, and I like it. Every enemy is a Shahdee from Warrior Within again. And you do die for all gameplay purposes. But instead of seeing the Prince die, you will actually be saved by Elika and you'll be plopped down at the last checkpoint. I liked that trick. It's why I liked the Sands of Time. He didn't really die, you know, because he messed up while telling the story.

Ralph_999
Ralph_999

What's with the one-on-one fighting!! :S...I really hope it lives up to our expectations.

sunny_saad
sunny_saad

I think.."The prince can never die"...is a little too much. And only one on one battles....aint good...i hope it meets all our expectations.

Jackyll87
Jackyll87

Definitely like what i am hearing about this game. The new grip feature is a very welcome break. Falling and dying in WW became so frustrating, especially if i didnt have any sands to rewind.

patcoolchenko
patcoolchenko

I loved the other Prince of Persia games, but am not sure about the new art direction or the not being able to die part. I'll just have to wait and see.

K1ng5tud
K1ng5tud

Loved the previous Prince Of Persia games I hope this lives up to 'em.

punksta99
punksta99

I like how companies are making their games (ie POP and Fable) more dramatic in combat. I'll always love cannon fodder games, but it's nice to have a little variety.

funnysplay
funnysplay

I like the idea of varity in combat. Where as the same old moves wont work every time. You got to change it up. This is were most hack n' slash games get repettive over time. Deffidently looking into this one.

leofiregod
leofiregod

i'll play it but don't know if i'll buy it

bruceman1
bruceman1

The game looks really cool, i'm just worried about the not ever dying aspect of it

Shishio817
Shishio817

Loving the art direction..it's like a painting. Looks really cool. I'll definitely keep my eye on this.

TehFuneral
TehFuneral

Prolly giving it a rent, maybe ill buy it later.

prinzofpersia
prinzofpersia

this game WILL ROCK!!!!! I'll surely get it on my 360...

gashoe13
gashoe13

BOO-YAH! I am so gonna get this game.

killakin
killakin

I'll admit. I was worried about the "not quite cell shading" art direction, but all my worries have been squelched. This game will RULE!

Macgyver40
Macgyver40

This is one game that is going to kick butt

AquariuS1989
AquariuS1989

Damn! I though PoP4 gonna be a sequel to previous game,but it has a completely new story with new characters... :( oh well anyways this game is going to be awesome :)

Illusionist_84
Illusionist_84

YESSSS !!!! this game looks so awesome the graphics ... well i wasn't sure when i saw it but it's a nice change and i'm glad there doing a fresh start instead of it being a sequel this will be an absolute must buy game on my list

vortex_gw
vortex_gw

Elika is my favourite female character now ^_^

grambyte
grambyte

Really liked what I've seen this far.

brain20035
brain20035

certainly looking forward to getting it

blueblur87
blueblur87

this reminds me of wind waker's cell shading. Interesting, maybe they did it to reduce dev costs? I dont care though because the game is looking really fun. I hope they properly test this one for bugs, because the last POP i played, I somehow did the clock towers and gardens in the wrong order and It was impossible to progress in the game!

pcgamer522
pcgamer522

At first, I was skeptical about the graphical design of the game, it seemed inappropriate for a game like this. But after seeing some gameplay, I take that back. The feel of the game fits, it's a bit realistic, a bit cartoonish, but it all feels mystical, like an ancient fable. It looks like a great game, glad they are keeping the rhythm-based action of Assassin's Creed, button mashing, hammering the A button until you blister, requires little skill in my opinion. '08 is a great year for gaming- so many great games, not enough time (or cash).

mr_so_evil
mr_so_evil

Hopefully it will be what Assassins Creed wasn't.

rezarahnama
rezarahnama

The new graphic design looks realy good.I wish other developers used something different in their games, you know.A change would be nice...

TXMostWanted
TXMostWanted

Sorry, Lara & Drake...the Prince is supreme! Can't wait for the game

Hungry_bunny
Hungry_bunny

My favorite Ubisoft game that's in development.

chechak7
chechak7

Elika i like the witch ....woooh i like witches..... FANTASTIC!!!!!! idea to be help by a beautifully witches i feel this game like cartoon or flash i prefer to be more real world 3d but after all i like Prince of Persia series

davidoka
davidoka

OMG i cant wait, ive played all PoP dont have a PS3 yet, getting 1 in 1 week for bday, then 1 month later my fav game arrives :)

irmc
irmc

I cant wait for walk on the walls !!!!!!!!!!!

marcusnjunk
marcusnjunk

of course the pc version is gonna be the best one!!!!

chechak7
chechak7

Elika i like the witch ....woooh i like witches..... FANTASTIC!!!!!! idea to be help by a beautifully witches

bannermanner
bannermanner

It would be nice if this had two-player co-op, but I doubt that'll happen.

markimsoad
markimsoad

FANTASTIC!!!!!! FANTASTIC!!!!!! FANTASTIC!!!!!!

Salt_The_Fries
Salt_The_Fries

I still remember playing the first one when it came out...I'm looking forward to this. I have a hunch that this graphic design will recapture Arabian feeling more than anything before combined.