Ubisoft has revealed that the new Prince of Persia game, The Forgotten Sands, fills in the gaps between the end of The Sands of Time and the Warrior Within.
Spanning seven years, the game has players returning to the Sands of Time universe, which was an area of the Prince’s time line that Michael McIntyre, the game’s level design director, said was interesting to the dev team.
“In this installment we are returning to the Sands of Time universe,” McIntyre told Kotaku. “We only know he went on other adventures [between the last two games] and it was always this pocket of time that was interesting to us.
“This game is very reminiscent of Sands of Time. We tried to evoke that look and feel. Obviously the prince changed a bit from naive to dark and pessimistic.”
In the game, the Prince is visiting his brother Malik’s city only to find it under attack by an ancient sand army he called upon to save his kingdom. Of course, you know what happens next – the Prince must save the city.
To help him with the liberation, the Prince already has the ability to rewind time and he is granted new powers as the game progresses. These powers are also tied to the elements, one of which is water.
What happens, is that the Prince solidifies the water by slowing it down to a point where it can be run up or or across. In one room, fountains are shooting water horizontally and vertically, and holding the trigger down turns them into columns that you can scale and swing from.
There are four main powers to earn, and as you unlock these powers the puzzles in the game will become more complex. For example, one room has the Prince changing the solidity of the water while going across columns so as to either walk over it or pass through it.
The game will also have smaller powers available, that can be purchased.
Combat has you fighting up to 50 enemies at once, with the main fighting mechanic being crowd control, as you won’t be able to block in this game, said McIntyre. Instead you will evade.
“The big mechanic here is to do your combos,” he said. “But the combos don’t drive you in a straight line. It kind of feels like Sands of Time combat, but cranked up to 11.”
McIntyre said that in the game, the Prince is meant to “look and handle a lot like” he did in the Sands of Time, and the game includes a balance between puzzles and combat.
“The balance is similar to Sands of Time,” he said referring to that game as a “high point” for the franchise. “We have exploration that includes trying to solve a room, then there is action, which includes combat and faster acrobatics. It ends up being about 50/50.”
Game’s out May 18 and 20 in the US and Europe, respectively, for PC, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360.
You can check out some screens for it here