Prince of Persia returning with The Sands of Time remake
The 2003 game is getting a remake from the ground up.
Prince of Persia — which, for many of us, was the first video game we played on a Macintosh computer in the '90s — lay dormant for a decade. But the IP is finally making a comeback.
As announced during Thursday's Ubisoft Forward presentation, 2003's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is getting a remake — which will also be Ubisoft's first full-fledged remake. It'll be released Jan. 21 on PC, Xbox, and PS4.
According to game director Pierre-sylvain Gires, The Sands of Time was "the perfect candidate to revive the brand" due to the game's advanced graphics, animation, exploration, and puzzle-solving elements for the time it was originally released.
The original game followed a prince whose father's army, influenced by a villainous vizier, sacks a Maharaja's city. The prince discovers a mystical dagger with the ability to manipulate time and is then tricked into releasing the Sands of Time from its hourglass. The sand transforms everyone in the city into monstrous creatures.
Ubisoft has been quietly working on the remake for the past two years, rebuilding the original game from the ground up through Anvil Engine. The developers also recorded new motion-capture and voice-over performances.
It's "not a remaster, not a reboot. We wanted to give players the opportunity to experience this game again or for the very first time, but with a modern twist," says senior producer Annu Koul. "We remain faithful to the original design. We've made gameplay adjustments, created new aesthetics. We basically had to entirely reimagine an old game to match contemporary audiences."
Prince of Persia has been on the collective mind of late. Back in May, footage from a canceled Prince of Persia: Redemption game resurfaced online. Animator Jonathan Cooper, who once worked out of Ubisoft Montreal, confirmed on Twitter that the footage featured work from animation director Khai Nguyen (For Honor). But he added that "Ubisoft are generally quicker to cancel Prince of Persia games than others IPs because [as far as I know] original creator Jordan Mechner still holds license rights so the profit margins are lower."
The Sands of Time remake will also allow players to unlock the original 1989 Prince of Persia game — the one we played on those Macintoshes.