Prince Of Persia Winds Back The Clock To Mixed Reactions

In a reveal that surprised no-one due to the usual leak-fest that precedes any Ubisoft showcase, the publisher has officially shown off its remake of 2003’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, booked in to release in January 2021 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. In the trailer, we see the excellent platforming and time manipulation that made the original such a hit on the PlayStation 2, and spawned a beloved franchise. They even got Yuri Lowenthal back to voice the titular time-shifter. However, the game has already started receiving backlash for its underwhelming graphical style. It looks like time has not been kind to the Prince.

In an interview with The Mako Reactor, Pierre Sylvain-Gires, Game Director at Ubisoft India, defended the graphical quality, saying the unique visual style was a conscious decision from the team. “If you take the game that was made 17 years ago, there’s definitely room for improvement in terms of graphism, and we really wanted to give a unique look to the game because Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is actually is a fantasy story,” says Sylvain-Gires. “The narration, the 40 different levels you have to go through to finish the game are an immersion into the Thief of Baghdad and all these magical environments. So we decided to go for a unique visual treatment to make this game standout from other games. It’s not another Assassin’s Creed, it’s not like the same Prince of Persia from 2008. It has to be unique. This magic, this fantasy is shown through the saturation, through the light, so it also a challenge to redefine the visual identity of the game with this remake.”

When I first saw the trailer, I must say I was a bit disappointed in the style. I have fond memories of playing the game as a kid, and after Ubisoft lifted the bar with its graphical output with games such as Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, I expected more. I’m a stern believer that graphics alone do not make a game, but seeing the same character model used multiple times in the background of screenshots for a game releasing in 2021 does not fill me with confidence.

That being said, I am a sucker for the series and will be keeping a close eye on development. Here’s to hoping the game hits a nostalgic nerve with fans, not only so we may get a new Prince of Persia game in the future, but so that Ubisoft India thrives, bringing with it new stories from a country not typically known for game development. 

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