Prince of Persia for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 is the first, all-new Prince of Persia title for "next-gen" consoles. Rather than continue the tale of the last trilogy, Ubisoft decided to create a new world with all new characters. Prince of Persia introduces new gameplay elements and a fresh graphical style to the series. Prince of Persia was released on December 2, 2008 in the US.
This game was created by Ubisoft Montreal, using the same core team that worked on Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. This game is not a continuation of the Sands of Time trilogy, but rather the start of a new trilogy with a new Prince and a new world. The game runs on a updated version of the Scimitar Engine created for Assassin's Creed, which allows the game to be non-linear, yet still allow the Prince to traverse the land with his usual acrobatic prowess.
The adventure begins with a new Prince of Persia, a wanderer, who is returning home from an adventure on a donkey named Farah with a king's treasure in gold, which he earned on his previous venture. Not yet the Prince to be, he desires nothing more then to spend his treasure on many luxuries, including women and liquor, and carpets very thick.
However quite suddenly, he is caught in a fierce sandstorm and is blown away. When the sandstorm subsides, he finds himself in a mythical garden of beauty, dominated at its center by a massive Tree of Life. The Prince and a girl, Elika, find each other, and, in the same predicament, decide to help each other. Together, they venture to the center of this grand oasis. When they arrive at the center, they witness the destruction of the tree, and the freedom of Ahriman, the ancient god of darkness. After being set free, Ahriman starts destroying the Tree of Light and the land is full with darkness and evil. The Prince, with the aid of Elika and her new found magic, take up arms against Ahriman's corruption, in an attempt to drive it back and cleanse the world with light once again.
With Elika's help the Prince travels to the four different locations: the Citadel, the City of Light, the Royal Palace, and the Vale to vanquish each of the four bosses. Once each boss is defeated the duo travel back to the temple to make sure Ahriman is sealed in the Tree of Light. When they get there they are confronted by Elika's father, the King, who attempts to stop them one last time. Upon defeat the King leaps into an abyss towards the Tree of Light. A second later Ahriman rises up in the form of a dragon monster and tries to kill the Prince and Elika. From the viewpoint of Ahriman you must travel around the room and heal the remaining areas surrounding the Tree. Once this is done Ahriman is captured back in the Tree, and Elika collapses. The Prince realizes that Elika has died, he understands now that Elika is giving bits of her life to heal all of the lands throughout the game. He now realizes that Elika's father only realized Ahriman so that Elika could live, it seems one cannot live without the other. The Prince lays her down outside the temple and travels back to the beginning of each area. In front of each of the four area's is a tree similar to the Tree of Light. The prince cuts down all four trees and travels back to the Tree of Light in the temple.
One final blow and he cuts down the tree of light that you worked so hard to restore throughout the game, releasing Ahriman back into the world as the King had previously done. The Prince carries the huge ball of light to where Elika is at the front of the temple and places it over her. Elika then comes back to life. The final scene shows the prince walking away from the temple with Elika in his arms, as Ahriman in his full demon form flies overhead and out of the scene, released into the world once more. The final trophy/achievement for the game is awarded at this point, it is titled "To Be Continued."
The Prince is able to traverse the land, with what has now become the standard arsenal of moves for him. He is able to wall-run, leap from wall to wall, swing on poles, and of course jump and hang from ledges.
New to this game however are the inclusion of the Prince's claws called the Gauntlet, which are a sort of glove he wears on his left hand which can smash into walls and save him from falling, though neither battle wounds nor falling end up in Prince's death due to help of his companion Elika, who will save him whenever he is in danger. By using the Gauntlet he is able to slide down walls and even block attacks. The game also features a healthy smattering of environmental puzzles which the Prince can solve with help from his new friend Elika who aids him on his adventure, both in combat and adventure.
Unlike other titles, the Prince will not collect new equipment to aid him in his journey. There is no special armor or gauntlet to collect in the game. The sword the Prince begins with is the one which he wields until the end, in an effort to make it a memorable weapon. Players will, however, gain new magical powers which Elika will use. Once the player has collected enough Light Seeds, they can be traded in at the temple for the player's ability of choice. These light seeds appear throughout every level once it has been cleansed, and many are challenging to obtain. The abilities which can be unlocked will allow the player to access new areas once inaccessible, as well as grab light seeds once unobtainable.
In the previous trilogy of games, the Prince utilized the Sands of Time in order to rewind time and fix any mistakes he had made. In this Prince of Persia, there are no Sands of Time, rather, Elika will help the Prince to jump higher and farther. Elika proves to be an excellent help throughout the game, and has been designed to help rather then hinder the Prince's success.
Prince of Persia contains light puzzle elements, with one or two puzzles in each of the game's zones. The puzzles involve lever pulling, whether to put walls in place, or open floodgates. The puzzles are meant to add variety to the game which is heavy on platforming.
Combat has also been changed, with a focus on one-on-two: the Prince and Elika versus an enemy. Elika is able to perform combos seamlessly with the Prince. The design philosophy driving the new combat system is to make each battle both more intense and cinematic. Fights are not as common as they were in the previous games, but aim to keep the player on the edge of their seat using intense, cinematic imagery.
The combat system assigns attacks to four main buttons. Elika, the Prince's sword, and the gauntlet are all assigned to their own button, as well as one button reserved for 'acrobatic' attacks. The player can initiate a combo with any of the four choices, then continue with another. Both timing and attack selection are key to creating larger combos. If the player hesitates, they miss the opportunity to attack. Visual cues in the on screen action will make the player aware of the attack they should next perform on some occasions, and any other attempts will end the combo. These are usually reserved for combo finishers, however, as the first few choices are generally up to the player.
The Prince can also block attacks and counter blows. Holding the block button will guard most attacks, but pressing it strategically will create an opportunity to counter. The player must beware, however, as enemies can also counter. The combat system also employs quick time events at various times throughout a battle. The player will need to repeatedly press buttons to push the enemy away or quickly press a prompted button to avoid a final blow. Throughout the game, the player will encounter a variety of enemies which require creative thinking to take down, such as The Warrior, who cannot be harmed by the sword, gauntlet, or magic.
Prince of Persia's development team began conception right as Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones was released, however, tangible proof of the game was found when, on September 21, 2006 a leaked concept art hit the net. Ubisoft remained silent and made no comment. On January 23, 2008 some more screen shots from the game were leaked onto the internet, while the game was in it's conception phase. Once again, Ubisoft did not comment.
In May 2008, Ubisoft finally released two videos of a concept artist designing the Prince and Elika confirming the existence of the game officially under the Prince of Persia title. One video shows a full-bodied new Prince being speed drawn using Photoshop. The other art drawing video detailed Elika and finally the third speed concept art emerged in July, 2008, this time depicting a prime enemy; The Hunter. Those videos may be seen here and here.
The Prince of Persia Epilogue content appeared the PS3 and Xbox 360 on February 26. It continues the story of the retail game, increases the difficulty, adds a new power for Elika and attack for the Prince, reveals a brand new location, and includes two unlockable skins that become available after completing the Epilogue.
Jamal Rguigui has said that the Ubisoft Montreal team decided to go on ahead full throttle with some cool ideas that the team had during and post-production and developed a unique DLC that would enhance the experience for Prince of Persia fans. It was not content that was cut, but was content that was further polished and elaborated on. He continued to say that they had a lot of ambitions for the DLC and that they were filtering all the feedback from the industry and the community of gamers. Players can expect to have a specific experience that will give them more content with superior difficulty and pace. This is one of the most ambitious DLC projects from Ubisoft, and it adds to the understanding of Prince of Persia's new world and characters.
Elika will be receiving a new power that is called Energize which is a travel based power that adds a timing challenge. This power allows Elika, for a short period of time, to materialize an area of the environment that was previously destroyed. Therefore, the Prince and Elika will be able to access areas previously impossible to reach without this power. There is also a new enemy in the form of the Shapeshifter which is an enemy that takes the form of two of Ahriman's most fearsome Lieutenants, the Warrior and the Hunter. Though their physical form is familiar to our heroes and the player, it will requires a particular strategy to defeat the Shapeshifter, rewarding the player that takes advantage of the new sprint feature exclusive to the Epilogue. As mentioned the content will also include a feature called sprint clashing. When the Prince and the enemy are at a distance, the player can mash the acrobatics button, which will allow the enemy and the Prince to sprint at each other and attack. The new area is called the Underground Palace and it is completely corrupted. Ubisoft has listened to the feedback and upped the pace of the game with more aggressive A.I and more complex traps. The content will also have new Trophies and Achievements.
It is not necessary to have finished the Prince of Persia game to play the DLC. This content is available both Xbox 360 and PS3 on March 5 for 800 MS points and $10 respectively.
Prince of Persia is divided into four different areas, each of which has its own visual style. Each zone is divided into six areas: one introductory area, four main Fertile Ground areas, and one final area behind a black gate.
To reach the final area, the player must first heal all fertile grounds in the zone. Players can progress through each area as they choose, but are limited to the power they posses. Initially, all introductory fertile grounds must be healed to progress. Once the player chooses a power, however, they can choose which power they want, and Elika will inform the player which areas are accessible with each power. Each power will open up four areas in two zones each. The Prince can freely travel between each level with no load times as each is connected.
The areas are as follows:
The long abandoned guard post of the city, the Citadel is currently where The Hunter resides.
The City of Light
The City of Light was once a place of wonders, but once it came into The Warrior's hands, it is now a place of destruction. The city was once a place where travellers would come to trade, scholars would gather to learn, and filled with beauty and life.
The Royal Palace
In the Royal Palace, The Prince will encounter The Concubine. The Royal Palace contains a cavern, the Royal Gardens, the Royal Spire, the Spire of Dreams, the Coronation Chamber, and the Palace rooms. The Royal Palace is an area which holds many memories for Elika, and many important areas for the kingdom. The Royal Spire serves as the seat of power in the land, and was where Elika's father sat on his throne, and the hall of coronation, where the king receives his crown. The king and queen were wed in the Spire of Dreams, a place that was said to make one's dreams come true. Once upon a time, the Royal Palace was a place of wonder. Actors filled the cavern, and the lush gardens were truly a sight to behold. After Elika's mother died, the Royal Palace began to lose beauty. The gardens withered away along with the king's sanity, and the Royal Palace is now merely a fraction of its former glory.
The Alchemist claims the Vale as his home, dwelling within the Observatory, where he brings terror to The Vale. The Vale is characterized by many different, wondrous machines, which the Alchemist invented when Ahriman was free.
The Hunter was once a prince, who lived only for the hunt. He would travel lands, far and wide in an attempt to face off against the most exotic and powerful beasts. After a certain amount of time had passed, and a certain amount of animals had been slain, the Hunter felt that there was no longer any creature alive that would give him the thrill of the chase. This is when Ahriman's voice crept in and offered him a solution to his dilemma. The Hunter was to offer his soul to Ahriman, and in exchange would be allowed to hunt for all eternity, the one creature that could pose any sort of challenge: man.
The Concubine used to be a beautiful women, who had the ability to trick any man she wanted into doing whatever she desired. She used her beauty and gift and became political. One day however she fell in love with a handsome noble man, and they were to be married. However a jealous women, came and attacked her, disfiguring her, and her face. With no way to return to her former beauty, the Concubine fled, and sold her soul to Ahriman, and exchange, she would have the ability to control all men.
Once a King of a great nation, the Warrior was forced into becoming a corrupted being. His kingdom was facing great problems and were constantly at war, and so Ahriman came to the Warrior and offered him great power in exchange for his soul and servitude. To protect his people, the Warrior accepted, and he was suddenly transformed into a great and powerful being. However when his enemies were defeated his people were scared and shunned him, and he realized that he had become the very thing he had fought. Thus, to protect his people and fulfil his duty, he left and became a warrior at Ahriman's side.
The Alchemist was once, as his name implies, an alchemist. A doctor of sorts, that
attempted to create things using a mixture of science and magic. He would stay in his quarters for many hours pouring over books, and studying. Eventually he became fascinated by Ahriman's corruption and strived to study it, with hopes that he would eventually be able to control and manipulate it. He used the Ahura as slaves, and he built great machines that would allow him to hold vast amounts of corruption. As he became older, he started practising further dark arts in attempt to figure out how to live forever, so that he could continue his studies. At this point the Ahura imprisoned the Alchemist and he was to die. This is when Ahriman appeared to the Alchemist. In exchange for his soul, Ahriman would allow the Alchemist to have eternal life. The Alchemist accepted.
Appears in the Underground Palace in the Epilogue DLC. The Shapeshifter alternates from attacking like the Warrior to attacking like the Hunter.
The Mourning King
Elika's father, who cut down the Tree of Life, which imprisoned Ahriman. The Prince of Persia attempts to stop him, and battles ensue.
The evil god of darkness. He has a brother named Ormazd and these two Gods were meant to balance out the universe. Ahriman became greedy and attempted to take Ormazd's domain thus Ormazd sealed him away into the Tree of Life, and entrusted the Ahura to protect the tree.
The musical score for Prince of Persia was composed by two veteran video game composers, Inon Zur and Stuart Chatwood. Zur worked on previous Prince of Persia titles as well as the soundtrack for Fallout 3. Chatwood has composed music for seven other Prince of Persia titles. Stuart Chatwood comes from the Canadian rock band The Tea Party.
There is different music for each of the four lands that you visit throughout the game as well as new themes for each combat scenario you encounter. The music blends melodies with eastern European touches combined with guitars and cinematic overtones.
Music supervisor for Prince of Persia, Simon Landry, says this about the games score: “The musical challenge for the Prince of Persia soundtrack was to further push the interactivity, the diversity and the emotional complexity. The colossal achievement of Inon and Stuart’s work is to have composed such a powerful and impressive interactive musical odyssey. The complementary approach of these two skilled composers pushes musical boundaries and creates a fascinating and authentic world."
Limited Edition Offer
Ubisoft announced that people who pre-ordered Prince of Persia would get a free upgrade to a Limited Edition. The Limited Edition can only be gotten if you pre-ordered the game and it won't be sold alongside the regular edition. Those who register the game with the publisher at Ubisoft.com will be able to download 2 free playable models: Altair from Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed and the Prince from Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The PS3 version of the special features came packed with the game on a separate Blu-Ray disc. The limited edition cover shown came as a slip case with the games original artwork painted on the real packaging. The Limited Edition package will also include the following extras:
- An exclusive look at the making of Prince of Persia.
- A Prima digital mini-strategy guide filled with developer secrets.
- A digital art book chronicling the game’s journey.
- Original soundtrack scored by master composer Inon Zur and Stuart Chatwood.
- Collectible Limited Edition packaging.
Ubisoft has confirmed that there will be alternate skins for both the Prince and Elika available that can be used to play the entire adventure. Currently, Ubisoft has announced the Classic Prince costume and Altair costume ( Assassin's Creed) for the Prince. There will also be a Farah costume from the Sands of Time trilogy and a Jade costume ( Beyond Good and Evil) for Elika.
- The Altair skin can be obtained via linking your Xbox 360 Gamertag or your PSN ID to an account on Ubisoft.com, and can be unlocked in the PC version by placing in the code 13372805.
- Skin that can be unlocked by putting in the game code that was packaged along with the game.
- Skin for Elika designed to make her look like Jade from Ubisoft's game, Beyond Good and Evil. To unlock this skin you will need to complete the game once.
- Prototype skins for both Prince and Elika. While the skins can be unlocked by completing the PC version with 1001 lightseeds, console versions got the skins in the first DLC titled Prince of Persia: Epilogue.
Penny Arcade Story Book
The popular webcomic site Penny Arcade was commissioned to make an online story book for the Prince of Persia. The images are done in the style of the site's other cartoons with a more paint like and stylized approach. The book has 16 pages of artwork, each accompanied with a page of text. The story details one of the four bosses encountered in the game, The Hunter. The story tells how a Prince, having killed all worthy prey, becomes bored with the act of hunting. He sells his soul to Ahriman, the evil God in order to bring excitement to the hunt. Ahriman makes him a monster that is now being hunted by people, allowing him to hunt them back. Tycho, who writes posts and comics for PA, wrote the story. Gabe, Penny Arcade's illustrator, drew the story book's illustrations.
Gabe commented how he wanted to learn all new techniques for this story book to bring something original to the table. He found inspiration in his children's story books and picture books. Gabe had this to say about the process:
"For my part I wanted this story book to feel authentic. So I raided my son's book shelf and I also pulled out a box of baby stuff my Mom had given me. It had some awesome Little Golden Books that I had read as a kid. With all these great books around as inspiration I sat down to use Photoshop in a way that I never had before. I wanted to really "paint" with it and that meant learning all new techniques." The full story book can be found here
PC System Requirements
- Supported OS: Windows XP/Windows Vista
- Processor: Dual core processor 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium D or AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800 (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400 or better recommended)
- RAM: 1 GB Windows XP/2 GB Windows Vista
- Video Card: 256 MB DirectX 10.0-compliant video card or DirectX 9.0-compliant card with Shader Model 3.0 or higher (see supported list) *
- Sound Card: DirectX 9.0 or 10.0-compliant sound card (5.1 sound card recommended)
- DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0 or 10.0 libraries (included on disc)
- DVD-ROM: DVD-ROM dual-layer drive
- Hard Drive Space: 8 GB
- Peripherals Supported: Keyboard, mouse, optional controller (Xbox 360 Controller for Windows recommended)
* Supported PC Video Cards at Time of Release:
- ATI RADEON X1600*/1650*-1950/HD 2000/3000 series
- NVIDIA GeForce 6800*/7/8/9 series
Xbox 360 System Requirements
Prince of Persia requires 6.1GB of space to install on an Xbox 360 HDD.
The soundtrack was composed by Inon Zur and Stuart Chatwood, and was released on December 18, 2008 in Japan.
Prince of Persia - Original Soundtrack (Inon Zur, Stuart Chatwood)
|No.||Track Title||Length (18:05)|
|1.||A Fight of Light and Darkness||2:10|
|2.||Entering the Canyon||2:09|
|5.||The Temple of Life||0:42|
|6.||Down the Lava Rift||2:17|
|9.||Hope is Lost||0:55|