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Next Prince of Persia Game Promises Fresh Start 140

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the reinvention-the-key-to-continued-success dept.
Next Gen recently had a chance to sit down with Ubisoft and discuss the next addition to the Prince of Persia franchise. The team is excited that this isn't just another tired rehash of the same characters and setting, however, promising a new prince and open world adventuring on top of the already rich world of the previous games. "'We had a whole story with the previous trilogy, and Prince of Persia is a general universe where several different stories can unfold,' [creative director Jean-Christophe] explains. 'We're starting afresh, in the same universe, and we wanted to bring something new while keeping what worked before. We introduce a new Prince, who won't start as a prince, more a drifter and adventurer, lost in the desert. He'll be confronted by a lot of fantasy settings, as opposed to Assassin's Creed, which was more realistic. Here he will come to a land and be engulfed in the conflict between two ancient gods, in this very specific region of Persia. It's based on an old Persian religion, Zoroastrianism, and the battle between light and darkness.'"
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Next Prince of Persia Game Promises Fresh Start

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  • prince megahit (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    i wonder how many people get the reference
    • by pablomme (1270790)
      Oh those times... [K]ill them all!
    • Re:prince megahit (Score:5, Informative)

      by sakdoctor (1087155) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:29PM (#23602481) Homepage
      For those of you who actually don't know, adding megahit when running the original game from the command line activated the cheats.

      This didn't work with the Amiga version which I played as a kid, plus there was this weird potion room that wasn't on the PC version.
      The game was rock hard without the cheats (or possibly bad skills), mostly because there was a tight time limit of 1 hour in which to beat the game.
      • From playing the PC version, I can tell you that there were two potion rooms. First there was the potion room for the copy protection, where it would ask for a specific section from the manual (which my dad had photocopied from the guy at his work that he got the game from), and then I also saw him get into the cheat room where you drink a potion for the level you want to go to.
      • by vga_init (589198)
        It's actually not that hard, although it probably seemed that way to us when we were kids.

        As an adult I went back and played the original; it's a very different experience. My child self never got past level 2.

        Even without knowledge of the rest of the game, I was able to play through at a normal pace in well under an hour. In reality the whole game reasonably takes 30-40 minutes.
        • by gaspyy (514539)
          This is very interesting. I played it when I was around 13 and I could get I think to level 4 and then at 15 and I could get to level 5 without cheating.

          I never tried to replay the game now; your point that the game doesn't seem that hard is intriguing; could we, as adults, have better spatial awareness and analysis? Or maybe since we played many other games since then, we got better?
  • by Kingrames (858416) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:08PM (#23602217)
    If you don't recognize the franchise, it is the franchise formerly known as *insert freakish hand symbol here*.
    • What the fuck, man? You can't just go around stacking as part of some fucking joke. Around here, that gets you killed. The Blues see you, they kill you cause they're rival. The Reds see you, they kill you for claiming. I see you stacking again, I kill you for being a punk-ass, shit-for-brains nerd who don't belong in this 'hood, who don't respect the law of the land, and who doesn't recognize good fucking advice when someone takes the time to explain it to his stupid self.
  • Make the Prince have an uncanny resemblance to Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. Guide him towards making a fresh start as threat levels world over drop to green!

    Cheers!
    • He'll have new spells!
      • Enrich Uranium
      • Smuggle Weapons
      • Develop Missiles
      • Defy Sanctions
      • Glow in the Dark
  • !rpg (Score:5, Informative)

    by snarfies (115214) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:12PM (#23602271) Homepage
    Whoever tagged this as "rpg" doesn't know what an "rpg" is.

    That said, an actual Prince of Persia CRPG might pique my interest. This 19th billion incarnation of the same thing does not.
    • by Cyberax (705495)
      Maybe they meant it to be 'rocket-propelled grenade'?
    • Re:!rpg (Score:4, Funny)

      by merreborn (853723) on Friday May 30, 2008 @03:25PM (#23603179) Journal
      Yeah, the "open world adventuring" bit makes it sound more like GTA: Persia than an RPG.

      Except without the city, hookers, guns, or cars.

      It'll fly right off the shelves, I'm sure.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mycroft822 (822167)
        They tried to pawn off Assassin's Creed as an "open world" game, which was complete BS. The open world was really just five ridiculously huge maps that they made you run across for every mission. They were all filled with the same repeated garbage, and all-in-all made for one of the most boring games I have ever played. It sounds like this is just going to be a clone of that. Not interested.

        // I actually enjoyed the first PoP remake.
  • 'We're starting afresh, in the same universe, and we wanted to bring something new [...] based on [...] the battle between light and darkness.'

    Yawn.
    • Been there, done that. They should make another 2d one :P That'd kick the shit.
    • by Kijori (897770) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {ekaj.draw}> on Friday May 30, 2008 @03:55PM (#23603615)
      A fresh start to the franchise?

      So that would be the Fresh Prince of Persia, then?
      • by Jesus_666 (702802) on Friday May 30, 2008 @05:42PM (#23604911)
        Now this is the story all about how
        My life got flipped, turned upside down
        And I'd like to take a minute, just sit right thar
        I'll tell you how I became the prince of a land called Persia

        In west Philistia born and raised
        On the playground where I spent most of my days
        Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool
        And all throwin' some discus outside of the school
        When a couple of guys that were up to no good
        Started making trouble in my neighbourhood
        I got in one little fight and my mom cried war
        And said "You're moving with your auntie and uncle in Persia"

        I begged and pleaded with her the other day
        But she packed my suitcase and sent me on my way
        She gave me a kissin' and she gave me my ticket
        I put my saber on and said "I might as well kick it"

        First class, yo this is bad,
        Drinking red potions out of a champagne glass
        Is this what the people of Persia livin' like,
        Hmm this might be alright

        I whistled for a chariot and when it came near
        The license plate said fresh and it had dice in the mirror
        If anything I'd say that this chariot was rare
        But I thought "Now forget it, yo home to Persi-air"

        I pulled up to a palace 'bout seven or eight
        And I yelled to the cabby "Yo, home smell you later"
        Looked at my kingdom I was finally thar
        To sit on my throne as the prince of Persia
  • by shark72 (702619) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:17PM (#23602337)

    "It's based on an old Persian religion, Zoroastrianism, and the battle between light and darkness."

    Let's hope it leaves out the ritualistic testicle shaving referenced in Austin Powers.

    • by ODiV (51631)
      "It's based on an old Persian religion, Zoroastrianism, and the battle between light and darkness."

      Let's hope it leaves out the ritualistic testicle shaving referenced in Austin Powers.


      You're going to be disappointed when you find out what the "battle between light and darkness" really refers to.
  • by Danny Rathjens (8471) <slashdot2 AT rathjens DOT org> on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:21PM (#23602389)
    Religions only become mythology when their number of adherents drop to 0 and that is not the case with Zoroastrianism in Iran or Parsis (the ones that migrated to India (and again to America; I had a Parsi friend in Miami)), despite its ancient origins surprisingly. It doesn't seem like a very bright idea to use an existing religion - in the middle east no less - and fantasize a conflict with it and another religion.

    Or maybe that's the idea, stir up a slight bit of controversy to attract attention to their product. ;)
    • by Chris Burke (6130)
      It doesn't seem like a very bright idea to use an existing religion - in the middle east no less - and fantasize a conflict with it and another religion.

      Wait, you mean so there's no conflict between light and dark within the religion itself, so they're going to have to put it in conflict with a different religion?

      Lame! What is it, like Zen Buddhism or something?

      Cool religions have built in good/evil conflicts. Boring ones tell you that conflict and desire are the source of suffering and only by letting go
      • Actually, it does have good evil conflict.

          [slightly off-topic]

        It is also a rather stringent religion requiring that you marry within the community only, and converts from other religions are not exactly allowed (to the best of my knowledge). I only of about the parsi's cause they live here, I've never questioned them about their religion (who does that ?).

        They are older than the Zen form of Buddhism from what I remember.
      • by bsDaemon (87307)
        Zoroaster became Nietzche's Zarathustra, more or less.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192)
      Religions are always mythology, regardless of the number of followers.
    • I'm pretty sure the conflict is intended to be the same one the religion is based on, between order and chaos:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroastrianism#Basic_beliefs

      It still seems a bad idea to turn someone's religion into a video game, but I'm pretty sure that there aren't any other religions involved.
      • by kalirion (728907)
        It still seems a bad idea to turn someone's religion into a video game

        Yup, as we learned from such gems as Requiem: Avenging Angel, Messiah, and Left Behind.
      • by JoshJ (1009085)
        Religion's never been in video games before? Tell that to Final Fantasy Tactics: Let's Kill Jesus!
    • by ultranova (717540)

      Religions only become mythology when their number of adherents drop to 0 and that is not the case with Zoroastrianism in Iran or Parsis (the ones that migrated to India (and again to America; I had a Parsi friend in Miami)), despite its ancient origins surprisingly.

      Religions never become mythology, because religion is a belief system while mythology is a set of associated myths - stories of past events which may or may not be true partially or completely. Religions typically have associated mythologies

  • by Sabz5150 (1230938) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:21PM (#23602391)
    Oh, you mean a Fresh Prince of Persia. Gotcha.
    • by veganboyjosh (896761) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:40PM (#23602629)
      In west Eslamebad, born and raised...
      • by TheSpoom (715771) *
        Well done, sir. Well done.
      • Now, this is a story all about how
        Time and space got flipped-turned upside down
        And I'd like to take a minute
        Just sit right there
        I'll tell you how I became the prince of a place called Pers-air

        In western Ecbatana born and raised
        In a dungeon was where I spent most of my days
        Jumping and running and climbing all cool
        And doing some fencing with my sharp tool
        When a couple of guys
        Workin' in Montreal
        Turned me all 3D, check that y'all
        I got the Sands of Time and the visier got scared
        He said 'I'll kick your ass all ro
    • by Trespass (225077) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:41PM (#23602643) Homepage
      Or 'The Artist Formally Known as Prince of Persia'.
    • by PachmanP (881352)

      Oh, you mean a Fresh Prince of Persia. Gotcha.

      Now, this is a story all about how
      My life got flipped-turned upside down
      And I liked to take a minute
      Just sit right there
      I'll tell you how I became the prince of a place called Persia

      In Western Arabia born and raised
      On a sand dune was where I spent most of my days
      Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool
      And all racin some camels outside of the school
      When a couple of Greeks
      Who were up to no good
      Startin making trouble in my neighborhood
      I got in one little fight and my mom got scared
      She said 'You'r

      • Akkad fits the rhyme better than Susa. Okay, so it wasn't the capital of the Persian Empire, but Cyrus controlled it.
  • by ndansmith (582590) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:22PM (#23602401)

    The team is excited that this isn't just another tired rehash of the same characters and setting . . .
    Ambassador of Argentina?
  • Is recycling the same title over and over again supposed to help our environment? Wouldn't it be nicer to start by using the same engine and begin with a new storyline and character creation? Is it THAT difficult to start a game concept? Here's a start.. 1 Man + 1 Sword + Conflict = (INSERT CATCHY TITLE HERE) Isn't the title used as a tool to intrigue audiences, not bore them to death? Someone hit me with a hammer...
    • In this case, the title is used to appeal to fans of previous games in the series regardless of any real connection between them. A lot of gamers would trust the Prince of Persia name rather than take a risk on an untested title - even if it were the same game.

      See also: Super Mario Bros. 2 vs. Doki Doki Panic.
  • Why Not a New One? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arccot (1115809) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:24PM (#23602423)
    The first of the series (SoT) was excellent and the time mechanic was almost revolutionary. Sure the sequels weren't outstanding, but they still were decent. I don't get the hating going on here, if they're doing something really different with this one.

    I was really impressed with the first, and I'd love to see what they can do if they start fresh again.
    • by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon@gamerslas ... .com minus berry> on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:36PM (#23602573) Homepage Journal
      the first of the series was "Prince of Persia" published in 1989 by Jordan Mechner.

      Sands of Time was a next generation title based on the original game.
      • The GP was referring to the first of the (now) latest series. I think the ellipsis he made is quite correct from a pragmatic point of view, since everytime I hear people talking about the very first PoP game, they refer to it as "the first PoP of the ooold series."
      • by Arccot (1115809)

        the first of the series was "Prince of Persia" published in 1989 by Jordan Mechner. Sands of Time was a next generation title based on the original game.
        I'd say inspired by the original PoP rather than a sequel to. I consider them two separate series, but you're right that some people are unaware of the excellence of the first game in the original series.

        For those who have never played the original Prince of Persia, it's a game so good it's still worth playing today.
    • I guess you never played the original DOS game? Actually, I'm not even sure if it was DOS since I was too young at the time to distinguish operating systems.
    • by ady1 (873490)
      I liked the second one, the warrior within, the best. Perhaps due to its darkish style or perhaps because of its twisting story. Sands of time was a great game too.
    • by Trojan35 (910785)
      What made the first so great was the voice acting and lighthearted humor. The darker tone of the 2nd and 3rd was not nearly as good. PoP SoT was easily one of the top 15 games I've ever played. The other two were boring, forgettable adventures.
      • by jez9999 (618189)
        Voice acting??? I think you may be remembering something else. The original Prince of Persia used Adlib or CMS, music only, no voice.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by xhrit (915936)
      The first prince of persia was excellent and totally revolutionary. I was really impressed with it, and I'd love to see what they can do if they don't stoop to ripping off other games and bring back Jordan Mechner, the person responsable for making the franchise great.

      Who incidently was quoted as saying ov the new games, "I'm not a fan of the artistic direction, or the violence that earned it an M rating. The story, character, dialog, voice acting, and visual style were not to my taste."
    • The first of the series (SoT)

      There were four versions which preceded the Sands of Time [wikipedia.org]. But maybe you meant in the current series? I've only played the first two, on my Color Classic Mac. I remember seeing the first 3D version... the graphics were quite painful compared to the smooth animation the the 2D versions. I think most video games jumped to 3D about 15 years before they should have.

    • by Khuffie (818093)
      I don't think the series needs a 'fresh start'. I still remember playing Sands of Time. It hasn't been that long ago since this current series was 'refreshed', so I don't really think it needs another one. I mean, this game could easily have been the same game as it is now but with a different name other than 'Prince of Persia'.
    • by ivan256 (17499)
      The way I read this was:

      "It was taking too long for us to evolve the game from a fantastic, fun, innovative environmental puzzle game to a boring, cookie cutter, simplistic 3D brawling game, so we're going to start from 'scratch' to make the transition all at once."
  • It makes business sense since they can slap their art on top of the same engine Assassin's Creed uses. Or may maybe, Grand Theft Camel?
  • "It's based on an old Persian religion, Zoroastrianism, and the battle between light and darkness."

    the battle between light and darkness IS an old persian religion, but zoroastrianism (another old persian religion) is not the religion in question. they mean manichaeism [wikipedia.org]

    the monotheistic religions hold that there is one dominant good power. the manichaeans meanwhile were dualists: they believed the forces of good and evil are evenly matched
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Zoroastrianism is quite dualistic (though, as I understand it, ultimately the good, uncreated God will win). It also predates Manichaeism by about a millennium.

      Zoroastrian [wikipedia.org]

      • Zoroastrianism (Score:4, Informative)

        by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Friday May 30, 2008 @04:08PM (#23603801) Journal
        I agree. I actually did some studying on Zoroastrianism many years ago. The basic duality is the conflict between good (Ahura Mazda) and evil (Angra Mainyu). It is the conflict between creation/destruction, order/chaos. Due to its antiquity and location (Persia) Zoroastrianism has influenced modern Judeo-Christian religions (duality of God/Satan, the halo, etc).
        • by chromatic (9471)

          Due to its antiquity and location (Persia) Zoroastrianism has influenced modern Judeo-Christian religions (duality of God/Satan, the halo, etc).

          Debatably, the influence goes the other way around: Hebrew theology influenced syncretic Persian theology.

  • I've played a lot of video games, but Prince of Persia is one series that just hasn't crossed my path yet. What are the most notable games in the series? Do the PoP games from the 80s and 90s stand up to the test of time? What's the best port for the original PoP?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by loafula (1080631)

      For classic PoP, I'd recommend Prince of Persia Classic on Xbox Live Arcade. It's an excellent port of the original, with a much more modern look. If you are more of a modern 3D gamer, try Sands of Time or The Two Thrones. You can pick up either for a last-gen system at a very reasonable price.

      • Yes yes what he said. Also, on the Gamecube version of the Sands of Time, when you beat it you automatically unlock the original PoP.
    • The best port of the original PoP that I've played is definitely the classic Mac version. And yes, it stands up to the test of time (or the sands of time?).
    • The PS2 version of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time contains the original game as an unlockable. You can probably find it pretty cheaply these days so if you want to catch up on both the old and new series this would probably be the best place to start.
    • by Stray7Xi (698337)
      Sands of Time was a revolutionary game. Play it.

      The two(?) sequels were continuations of the story that turned it in a darker direction. If you like sands of time, play them in order. The other two do add significant new features, but they don't have the charm of the first. Plus the stories wouldn't make any sense I'd imagine (they're based on cleaning up the consequences of the first game).
    • The original PoP is excellent, though if you get the hang of it quickly then you will - by necessity - finish it within an hour.

      Regarding the SoT trilogy, play them in order. They get worse as you go (which is a controversial opinion, but I thought the poor level design of Two Thrones was a greater offence than the gory emo setting of Warrior Within) and if you play them in any other order the plot won't make sense. They are all very good games though.

  • ...a game about me.

    Regards
    ZarathustraDK
  • Since ubisoft owns the assassin's creed franchise, I'd love to see the new Prince of Persia games use that engine, world, and dynamic.

    AC is a seriously revolutionary game. It's the first of its kind to use the mechanics of those platform type games in a 3d setting so fluidly that it feels extremely natural.

    Now that I think of it, it's what POP really always should have been. So, I hope they take the franchise there.

    AC is definitely in my top 5 favorite games of all time. POP, while a lot of fun, should a
    • I hope you're kidding. AC revolutionary? I absolutely hated the climbing system because there was no guarantee that you won't bounce off a wall. The controls were cumbersome and the story progression was annoying. Repeat the same three tasks to gain information so you can 'assassinate' your target. Assassins don't normally fight off 15 armed guards and publicly whack their targets. Combine Thief with PoP and you'll have a far superior game.
  • This is lame. They're just putting a plot under an 80s' jumping game.

    They should have done one where you're a Saudi prince. You can just play around as a playboy, drive fast cars, and go to the camel races. Maybe buy your own little island off Dubai. Or you can try to work your way up politically. Run a ministry, make alliances with the other princes, try to keep the mullahs happy, the oil flowing, the reformers and the religious extremists under control. Work your way up and try to become King. Maybe

  • Am I the only one bothered by the phrase "the next addition?"

    I mean, they're aren't even homophones for heaven's sake!
    • In fairness, lax-i and schwa are extremely close, and in some dialects of American English they are probably identical.
  • "Here he will come to a land and be engulfed in the conflict between two ancient gods ... and the battle between light and darkness."

    Oh dear. If ever there was a formula for an incomprehensible plot, this is it. You see, when a writer can put himself in the role of a god, it gives him free reign to make things happen for no rational reason, without any cause-and-effect, and without any character development or background.

    The result is usually a random meandering with no tangible purpose.
  • I'm just now getting around to playing the trilogy from last gen. I finished Sands of Time last week, and have been working through Warrior Within. Sands of Time was very enjoyable, Warrior Within feels like more of the same while fixing some problems with SoT (like the fixed camera going un-fixed when you move about).

    However, while I don't consider them bad, both games seem "almost great". You may think it's the same thing as "good", but I view it in a different light-- Ubisoft had something wonderful going, but eventually decided that release dates were more important than polish.

    In SoT, the camera would move about on its own disjointly, the controls moving with it, so you'd often turn yourself around in battle. Fixed cameras were far too distant to be of much help, though they gave you a nice view of the area. The camera would also change to be "dramatic", but more often would change so that you were now pointing the stick in the wrong direction and you die. Each "epic fight" concluded with an annoying "put away the swords" flash, and the forced visions at save points pretty much held your hand the entire game.

    So far, in Warrior Within, they've fixed the fixed-camera problem as well as removing the "put away swords" sequence. Instead, they introduced a rather unintuitive combo sequence, where actions take a bit to carry out but your successive button sequences are still counted, making it hard to control the Prince if you decide to change what you're doing mid-fight. A problem that SoT had but is worse in WW is button mapping- buttons tend to be context sensitive (do you have your weapons out? Are you against a wall?) and when you press a button to zag you might zig instead. Furthermore, because it's so GRIMDARK, it's hard to spot any visual cues (where available) to time jumps and other actions. And lip-syncing+voice placement is just horrible.

    I've not played Two Thrones yet, but I hear good things, so hopefully that removes some of these problems.

    I make note of these things because they aren't just about the PoP series-- Ubisoft, in general, seems to be a company that's "almost great". I've played many of their games, such as XIII, Red Steel, and Farcry. Each of these games are fun (well, once you get over the aggravation of Red Steel's controls), but every game feels as if it could have been great. None of them have "polish", which keeps them at a B (or C+) grade instead of an A grade.

    The only Ubisoft game I've played that seemed to have a hefty amount of polish was Rayman Raving Rabbids. Very fun, and I plan to get the sequels, but that's just one great of many sorta-good. If Ubisoft put the same amount of QA and polish into games that Valve seems to do (seriously, if you haven't played their games with commentary on, you're missing a lot of interesting information), they could have games I would call exceptional. Instead, they have the "good enough" mentality and boot it out the door for some extra cash.

    This is why I don't have big aspirations for these new PoP games. Will they be good? Probably. Will they be great? Not unless Ubisoft has made great strides recently.

When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder. -- James H. Boren

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