Last month, the third Prince of Persia game's existence was first revealed when Ubisoft unveiled its hefty game lineup for E3 2005. Today, though, the company unveiled the sequel in earnest. Though it still bears the working title of Prince of Persia 3, the game will be released later this year for the PC, GameCube, Xbox, and PlayStation 2. No mention was made of a Game Boy Advance version of the game, which had been part of the E3 announcement.
In addition to confirming Prince of Persia 3's platforms and release window, Ubisoft also dished out details aplenty about the game. First was a plot synopsis, which reads as follows:
"The Prince of Persia, a seasoned warrior, returns from the Island of Time to Babylon with his love, Kaileena. Instead of the peace that he longs for, he finds his homeland ravaged by war and the kingdom turned against him. The Prince is rapidly captured and Kaileena has no choice but to sacrifice herself and unleash the Sands of Time in order to save him. Now cast out on the streets and hunted as a fugitive, the Prince soon discovers that past battles have given rise to a deadly Dark Prince, whose spirit gradually possesses him."
Ubisoft also revealed plenty of information on the sequel's gameplay. Players will be able to "wield the powers and weapons of two master warriors with different combat styles, attitudes, and histories." Presumably this means the regular prince and the dark prince. Players will be able to take advantage of "an expanded free-form fighting system to destroy enemies in [their] own style." In addition to a revamped repertoire of Sands of Time powers, the game will feature a "brand-new stealth art" that will allow for "one-shot kills" much like those of another popular Ubisoft series, Splinter Cell.
Besides the release-date announcement, the highlight of the day's news was the release of the first screenshots from Prince of Persia 3 (pictured). The images show that the series will feature the same dark aesthetic as Prince of Persia: Warrior Within. The first shot shows the titular Iranian scion attacking a fearsome armored demon from behind, much like a medieval-fantasy version of Splinter Cell hero Sam Fisher. A subsequent shot shows him about to engage in a similar stealth kill, as does a later sequence of images. The final screenshot is a panorama of a picturesque Middle Eastern cityscape, replete with palm trees and minarets.
Today Ubisoft also launched a teaser Web site for Prince of Persia 3. The site's homepage features the Prince's face half in light and half in dark, further indicating the hero's newfound schizophrenia. The company also confirmed that the game would be "showcased" at its booth during E3 next month.