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Prince of Persia
Pop2008cover.jpg
Prince of Persia box art
Developer(s) Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher(s) Ubisoft
Designer(s) Jean-Christophe Guyot
Composer(s) Inon Zur, Stuart Chatwood[1]
Series Prince of Persia
Engine Scimitar
Platform(s) PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
Release date(s) PS3, Xbox 360
NA December 2, 2008[2][3]
EU December 4, 2008[3]
UK December 5, 2008[3]

Microsoft Windows
NA December 9, 2008[4]
EU December 12, 2008[4]
Mac OS X
NA March 24, 2009[5]

Genre(s) Action-adventure, platform
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) ESRB: T
OFLC: PG
PEGI: 12+
Media Blu-ray disc, DVD-9, digital download[5]
System requirements
Input methods Gamepad, keyboard and mouse

Prince of Persia is an action-adventure and platforming video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It was released in December 2008 across different platforms, then later ported in March 2009 to Mac OS X via the Cider engine.

The game is set in ancient Persia, although the exact century is not revealed. In the game, the player assumes the role of the Prince, whose name is not revealed in the game. The Prince is accompanied by a woman named Elika, whom he met after a large sandstorm diverted him from his course and he ended up in a mysterious land. Players traverse many different environments using the Prince's acrobatic abilities to scale walls and even crawl on the ceilings. Throughout the journey, players combat various enemies as they attempt to cleanse the land of corruption. The game's storyline and setting borrow heavily from Zoroastrianism.[6]

Contents

Gameplay

Prince of Persia revolves around gameplay mechanics that producer Ben Mattes identifies as "pillars" of the Prince of Persia series; an acrobatic hero exploring a Persian environment with a balanced mixture of acrobatics, combat, and puzzle-solving.[7] The premise of Prince of Persia is that the player travels around the game world to heal specially designated spots of land. The game only features a single player mode. The player assumes the role of the Prince character, and is accompanied by the AI-controlled companion named Elika. The player can use the Prince character's acrobatic prowess, sword, and gauntlet, as well as magic from Elika to perform combat and acrobatic feats variously throughout the game.

Prince of Persia features open-world exploration that allows the player to travel to any spot in the game world at any given point, and allows the player to witness the plot in any way they want. Depending on how the player progresses, previously visited areas will become more challenging to traverse when the play re-visits them.[8] However, when the player heals a spot of land, it becomes void of traps. The traps are manifested in various forms of the antagonist Ahriman's Corruption; black-colored blobs that coat the land and swallow the player if touched.[8] The player can use acrobatics maneuvers to avoid these traps.

The player has many acrobatics maneuvers at their disposal. Acrobatics are also used in combat to vault over enemies, or hit them into the air. Sometimes when performing these acrobatics, the player is aided by Elika. There are magical plates that allow the player to perform even more complicated acrobatic feats via Elika. If the player fails to signal Elika's magic, they fall off of the plate, sometimes to their death.

The player can not conventionally "die" in Prince of Persia. Rather, when an enemy is about the strike the finishing blow, or The Prince presumably falls to his death, Elika saves him. There is not a limit on the number of times Elika can save a player.[9] Along with saving the player, Elika can perform many acrobatic feats or combat feats in tandem with the player. The downloadable content Epilogue added a new magic plate that allows Elika to recreate destroyed objects. A new combat maneuver for the player was also added.[10]

Plot synopsis

Setting

Prince of Persia takes place in an undefined ancient Persian city-state[11] based heavily around the religion of Zoroastrianism.[6] A thousand years before the events of the game take place, there was a struggle for power between the gods Ahriman and Ormazd. The outcome of the struggle was that Ormazd and his people, the Ahura, managed to imprison Ahriman and his minions, the Corrupted, in a tree. Ormazd then left the world, leaving the Ahura to make sure Ahriman remains secure. They are successful for a thousand years, at which point the Ahura started to believe that Ahriman and Ormazd were myths due to their inactivity, and most departed. Shortly before the events of the game, Ahriman is about to be freed again.[11]

Characters

Prince of Persia's protagonist is the Prince character, a nameless adventurer in search of fortune. The Prince is accompanied by an Ahura named Elika, whose race has forsaken the duty given to them by the god of light, Ormazd, and intend to set free the main antagonist, Ahriman.[12] Ahriman is the god of darkness who was imprisoned by Ormazd. He is intent on conquering the entire universe upon his liberation.[13] The Mourning King appears as an antagonist, intent on fulfilling his deal with Ahriman in return for the resurrection of his daughter, Elika. The Corrupted, four rulers Ahriman chose to aid him in conquering Ormazd, also appear as antagonists. They were imprisoned with him for a thousand years.

The Hunter is one of the Corrupted. He was a prince who enjoyed hunting, but soon became too good at hunting. Ahriman successfully made a deal with the Hunter that, in exchange for his soul, Ahriman would allow him to hunt a creature more satisfying than any he has hunted before.[14] Another of the Corrupted is the Alchemist. He was an Ahura scientist who felt he was close to achieving immortality when his health started to fail. The Alchemist asked Ormazd for a longer lifespan to complete his research, but when he was refused, Ahriman offered him immortality in exchange for his soul. The third Corrupted is called the Concubine. She was a woman skilled in politics who revered men of power. She was involved with a man, but was ultimately beaten by another woman, scarred and stripped of her beauty and influence. The Concubine then exchanged her soul for the power of illusion with Ahriman.[15] The final Corrupted is the Warrior. He was a king whose country was under siege. Struggling for peace, the king accepted power from Ahriman that allowed him to vanquish his enemies and secure peace for his people. When the war was over, however, the peace-loving citizens rejected the Warrior, who had turned in to a tool of war.[16]

Plot

Prince of Persia begins as the Prince character is traversing the desert during a sandstorm. The Prince runs into Elika, who is fleeing. He accompanies her to the tree that imprisons Ahriman and his minions. Elika attempts to secure Ahriman, but the Mourning King ultimately frees him. The Prince character and Elika then travel the land, healing special spots of Ormazd's power called fertile grounds, in order to stop Ahriman from harvesting the power. After the duo heals the land, they return to the tree. There Elika gives her life to seal Ahriman back into the tree. The Prince then destroys the tree, using its energy to resurrect Elika, which frees Ahriman in the process.

Development

Proof of conception for Prince of Persia was found in September 2006, when a file that was leaked to the internet was found to contain concept art for the game,[17] although Ubisoft didn't announce the game until May 2008. They stated that they expected to release the game towards the fourth quarter of 2008, and gave details about the plot and game play. In one such preview of the game, they revealed that the general staples of the game play remained intact, although altered drastically. These staples are platforming, combat, and puzzle-solving. It was also revealed that the game's combat would be one-on-one fights, similar to the original Prince of Persia trilogy, rather than fighting hordes of enemies at any time, as in the Sands of Time series. Producer Ben Mattes stated that the intent in changing the combat so drastically was to give players the impression that each enemy was a unique and dramatic experience in itself.[7] Prince of Persia utilizes a heavily-modified version of the Scimitar engine, which was also used in Assassin's Creed. Developers chose to use this engine because it would allow them to enhance the game by adding more expansive worlds, and less linearity.[7] In May 2008, Ubisoft released two official videos of a concept artist designing the Prince character and Elika.[18] One video shows the Prince character being drawn, while the other details Elika.[19] Yet another fast-forward concept art emerged in July 2008, this time depicting an antagonist: the Hunter.[20] Unlike previous Ubisoft games such as Assassin's Creed, the PC version of Prince of Persia contains no digital rights protection.[21]

Mattes said that when Ubisoft was initially developing the game, cooperative gameplay with an AI-controlled partner was the main idea they wanted to build on. Mattes explained, "We knew from day one basically [cooperative gameplay] was the hook that was going to replace Sands of Time...We didn't always know that it was going to be Elika from day one...We sort of explored the idea of maybe a child or father figure or brother, or something like that."[22] The idea to base the game around AI-controlled functions came from Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Mattes explained that the team felt the relationship between Farah and the Prince character worked well from a story-telling point-of-view in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, so they decided to expand on the concept.[22]

Downloadable content

Downloadable content for Prince of Persia, titled Epilogue, was confirmed by Ben Mattes in an interview with IGN. Mattes said that the new content would include new areas to explore, new enemies, new combat maneuvers, and a new power for Elika to use.[23] The content was planned for release on February 26, 2009 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles,[24] but was delayed one week until March 5, 2009.[25] Citing business reasons, Ubisoft is not releasing this Epilogue content for the game's PC version. [26]

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic Xbox 360: 81% (based on 70 reviews)[27]
PlayStation 3: 84% (based on 58 reviews)[28]
PC: 82% (based on 24 reviews)[29]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com Xbox 360: B+[30]
Edge 5/10[31]
Eurogamer 6/10[32]
Game Informer Xbox 360/PS3: 8.75/10
Game Revolution Xbox 360: B[33]
GameSpot Xbox 360/PS3/PC: 8.0/10[34]
IGN Xbox 360/PS3: 9.3/10[35]

The game was well received by most critics, scoring an 81%, 85%, and 82% on Metacritic for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, respectively.[27][28][29] IGN writer Hilary Goldstein praised the game for its simple but visually spectacular acrobatics and combat, but noted that one must "embrace the change [to the series]" in order to "fall in love [with it]."[35] Goldstein also praised Elika, the secondary character of the game, as a useful sidekick during gameplay and also as a likeable character.[35] The GameSpot reviewer shared a similar opinion and in addition praised its excellent artistic design.[34] However, many criticized the game for being too easy or "consumer-friendly," regarding the simple platforming and combat segments.[35][32][34] Eurogamer described it as a "poor game" with "excessive repetition" but nonetheless with "fantastic technology and interesting mechanics."[32] 1UP.com criticized the trial-and-error nature of the platforming gameplay.[30]

Many comparisons have been drawn to other video games in terms of artistic design and gameplay. Examples include Mirror's Edge[30] and Ubisoft's own Assassin's Creed with unique platforming and timing-based combat.[32][34] The vast open-world environment with intense boss fights have been compared to Ico and Shadow of the Colossus,[30] and the watercolor looks to Ōkami.[33]

Sales

Prince of Persia was the fourth best-selling game on the Playstation 3 in December 2008, but sold only 483,000 units on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 combined.[36] Ubisoft later released sales figures showing that Prince of Persia has sold over 2.2 million copies worldwide as of January 2009.[37]

Awards

On February 19, 2009 Prince of Persia was awarded the "Outstanding Achievement in Animation" at the twelfth Annual Interactive Achievement Awards.[38]

References

  1. ^ "Prince of Persia Soundtrack composed by Inon Zur and Stuart Chatwood". Music 4 Games.net. 2008-10-30. http://www.music4games.net/News_Display.aspx?id=1094. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  2. ^ Cecente, Brian (2008-09-18). "Ubisoft announces release date for Prince of Persia". Ubisoft. http://kotaku.com/5051794/prince-of-persia-hits-in-december. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  3. ^ a b c Sinclair, Brendan (September 18, 2008). "Prince of Persia gets coronation date". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/news/6197878.html?tag=latestheadlines;title;1. Retrieved 2008-09-19.  
  4. ^ a b "Ubisoft confirm release dates for Prince of Persia". Ubisoft. 2008-11-17. http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/861108132/m/5071031607. Retrieved 2008-12-02.  
  5. ^ a b "Ubisoft announces new Mac titles". TransGaming. 2009-02-19. http://transgaming.com/news/?id=114. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  6. ^ a b "Questions & Answers with Ben Mattes (Producer)". http://kotaku.com/5011425/prince-of-persia-ditches-roots-gets-a-final-fantasy-make+over.  
  7. ^ a b c "Ubidays 2008: Interview Part 1 HD". Gametrailers.com. 2008-05-29. http://www.gametrailers.com/player/34580.html. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  8. ^ a b Prince of Persia Heir Apparent. Game Informer. June 2008. pp. 58–63.  
  9. ^ "Prince of Persia E3 2008 Stage Show Demo". GameSpot UK. 2008-07-15. http://uk.gamespot.com/video/945943/6194170/videoplayerpop?rgroup=e32008_videos. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  10. ^ Burnes, Andrew (2009-01-29). "Prince of Persia Epilogue DLC screenshots". IGN. http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/news/44315/Prince-of-Persia-Epilogue-DLC-Screenshots. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  11. ^ a b Prince of Persia. Ubisoft Montreal. 2008. pp. 4.  
  12. ^ Browne, Catherine (2008). Prince of Persia: Prima Official Game Guide. Roseville, CA: Prima Games. pp. 4. ISBN 978-0-7615-6116-3.  
  13. ^ Prince of Persia. Ubisoft Montreal. 2008. pp. 7.  
  14. ^ Browne, Catherine (2008). Prince of Persia: Prima Official Game Guide. Roseville, CA: Prima Games. pp. 5. ISBN 978-0-7615-6116-3.  
  15. ^ Prince of Persia. Ubisoft Montreal. 2008. pp. 8.  
  16. ^ Browne, Catherine (2008). Prince of Persia: Prima Official Game Guide. Roseville, CA: Prima Games. pp. 7. ISBN 978-0-7615-6116-3.  
  17. ^ Wales, Matt (2006-09-21). "Ubi's Booby: New Games Leaked". IGN UK. http://uk.ps3.ign.com/articles/733/733959p1.html. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  18. ^ "First Look - Speed Art Trailer". Gametrailers.com. 2008-05-07. http://www.gametrailers.com/player/33651.html. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  19. ^ "Speed Art Trailer 2: Elika". Gametrailers.com. 2008-05-22. http://www.gametrailers.com/player/34326.html. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  20. ^ "Speed Art Trailer 3: The Hunter". Gametrailers.com. 2008-07-13. http://www.gametrailers.com/video/speed-art-prince-of/36138. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  21. ^ Kuchera, Ben (2008-12-12). "PC Prince of Persia contains no DRM. It's a trap!". ars technica.com. http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2008/12/pc-prince-of-persia-contains-no-drm-its-a-trap.ars. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  22. ^ a b Browne, Catherine (2008). Prince of Persia: Prima Official Game Guide. Roseville, CA: Prima Games. pp. 194–201. ISBN 978-0-7615-6116-3.  
  23. ^ Brudvig, Erik (2008-12-22). "IGN: Prince of Persia afterthoughts". IGN. http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/940/940408p3.html. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  24. ^ Goldstein, Hilary (2009-02-18). "Prince of Persia: Epilogue hands-on". IGN. http://xboxlive.ign.com/articles/954/954996p1.html. Retrieved 2009-02-22.  
  25. ^ Ubisoft (2008-02-25). "Twitter - Ubisoft: announces new release date ...". http://twitter.com/Ubisoft/status/1249266414. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  26. ^ Breckon, Nick (2009-02-02). "Prince of Persia DLC not coming to PC". Shacknews.com. http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/57048. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  27. ^ a b "Prince of Persia at Metacritic (Xbox 360)". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/xbox360/princeofpersia. Retrieved 2009-01-06.  
  28. ^ a b "Prince of Persia at Metacritic (Playstation 3)". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/ps3/princeofpersia. Retrieved 2009-01-06.  
  29. ^ a b "Prince of Persia at Metacritic (PC)". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/princeofpersia. Retrieved 2009-01-06.  
  30. ^ a b c d Varanini, Giancarlo (2008-12-02). "Prince of Persia review at 1UP". 1UP.com. http://www.1up.com/do/reviewPage?cId=3171581. Retrieved 2009-01-02.  
  31. ^ E197 p84-85
  32. ^ a b c d Tom Bramwell (2008-12-05). "Prince of Persia Review // Xbox 360 /// Eurogamer". Eurogamer. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/prince-of-persia-review?page=1. Retrieved 2009-01-02.  
  33. ^ a b Ferris, Duke (2008-12-03). ""Prince of Persia" review at GameRevolution". Game Revolution. http://www.gamerevolution.com/review/xbox360/prince_persia_ng. Retrieved 2009-01-02.  
  34. ^ a b c d VanOrd, Kevin (2008-12-02). "Prince of Persia (2008) for PC Review". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/princeofpersiaworkingtitle/review.html. Retrieved 2009-01-02.  
  35. ^ a b c d Goldstein, Hilary (2008-11-26). "Prince of Persia review at IGN". IGN. http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/934/934014p1.html. Retrieved 2009-01-02.  
  36. ^ Matthews, Matt (2009-01-21). "NPD Exclusive: U.S. Sales For LBP, MGS4, More Revealed". Gamasutra.com. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=21937. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  37. ^ "Ubisoft reports third quarter 2008-09 sales". http://www.ubisoftgroup.com/gallery_files/site/270/1042/1932.pdf. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  38. ^ "The 12th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards". Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. 2009. http://www.interactive.org/awards/annual_awards.asp?idAward=2009. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  

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