The Prince of Persia series has seen a lot of changes since its initial debut in 1989. Ranging from art styles to gameplay to even the silver screen under the watchful eye of Jerry Bruckheimer. But none can match the Sands of Time franchise that Ubisoft and original Prince of Persia creator, Jordan Mechner, collaborated with (at least until the sequels) that to this day is well-beloved by gamers of all ages.
Well, it seems the Dagger of Time has been pressed and we’re zooming back to 2003 as Ubisoft has announced a remake of the game that started it all. Coming January 2021, the Prince and his love interest, Farah, are back. Facing down sand monsters and wicked viziers once again with all new style and finesse that only Ubisoft could pull off.
While the trailer from Ubisoft Forward doesn’t give a lot of details yet, there is still enough to get excited about. It appears the original story is completely intact. From the Prince’s infamous speech at the beginning and end of the series to iconic scenes such as the Prince’s fall from grace and his interactions with Farah and the Vizier. All in exquisite detail, though preorders apparently can get a more classic filter to make it similar to the Playstation 2 style.
Also from what’s shown, the original Prince’s voice is back. American actor and screenwriter, Yuri Lowenthal, has been the titular royal’s voice for almost every game. He’s back in the studio to give our beloved protagonist the wit and charm we’ve missed over the years.
Each character in the trailer delivers their lines with weight and charm, even when everything starts to seem bleak. The graphics also got a major upscale. The colors bounce off the screen, the lighting is sharper and even the sand monsters have a fresh coat of paint. They look less like a gray statue that has come to life and more like a unique blend of human and sand. Individual grains dripping off of them with every step or strike.
The engine used is Anvil, which was what Ubisoft used on Assassin’s Creed Origins. Though rest assured game director, Pierre-Sylvain Gires, has guaranteed everything has been built from the ground up.
I have high hopes with the combat. The battle mechanics along with the Dagger of Time’s ability to reverse, slow down or speed through time, are major staples of the franchise as a whole.
In the original Sands of Time, the fights were clunky. A common strategy I used in fights was to jump over enemies to knock them onto the ground faster so I could steal their sands. This was the only way you could permanently defeat enemies outside of special tricks you learned through arbitrary dagger leveling. And if you couldn’t jump over them, wall bounce into them instead.
The variety was very limited in what you could do for fights, especially when surrounded by seemingly invincible enemies. So when Warrior Within and Two Thrones expanded on the combat with different tricks, combos and sneak attacks, I enjoyed it a lot more. They even removed the mandatory need to steal sand to defeat foes. From what’s seen in the trailer, the Dagger’s powers are still super prevalent as well as the Prince’s acrobatic finesse like wall-running. So it will be interesting to see how the fights in this remake will play out.
As of this moment, a lot of information is scarce and the hype is high with this big revelation. How will this classic adventure play out? Will there be more remakes of the other games in the series on the horizon? How will the romance between the Prince and Farah play out?
Release Date Information
For now, keep your eyes peeled as Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake will hit online and physical stores on January 21st, 2021 for Playstation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X, UPlay, Uplay+, and Epic Games.
Pre-order now and get access to the “Back to the Origins” Set which includes the Original Prince skin, Original Weapons set and Classic Filter to experience the game like it once was on the Playstation 2.
I hope you have plenty of sand, because you may need it to reserve your own copy in due time…