Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Like precious drops of life-giving water in a barren, dust-strewn landscape, details on Ubisoft’s new Prince of Persia game – slated to launch across all major gaming consoles in just a matter of months – have been excruciatingly scarce. Even the teaser trailer below left fans choking in the desert sands, desperate for real information. After chatting with Director of Level Design Michael McIntyre at a recent Ubisoft press event, however, we’ve managed to scavenge a few draughts of early intel on the game to temporarily slake your thirst.

Forgotten Sands ties back into the Sands of Time trilogy and features the titular Prince from those games, rather than the rebooted Prince character from 2008’s Prince of Persia title. This new tale takes place during a gap between Sands of Time and Prince of Persia: Warrior Within. “[During that gap] there were all these adventures that the character went on that we never really talked about, so now we’re making a game based on one of those adventures,” McIntyre says. “It doesn’t have anything to do with the whole time story.”

Without going into a lot of specific detail, he outlined Forgotten Sands’ initial story premise for us. “Our prince character is going to visit his brother’s kingdom, and when he arrives he finds the kingdom is under attack. He’s essentially trying to help out this brother.” This better explains the action found in the trailer footage above, with scenes of a desert city under siege. Billowing clouds of smoke emanate from the battleground, while combatants are gutted by a surge of undead warriors. Amidst the chaos and crumbling buildings, the Prince nimbly darts his way through the wreckage and climbs to the top of a tall spire where he’s greeted by a massive, demonic-looking sand beast that towers over the ruined city. Yes, the “dark secret” the narrator professes to be hidden within the sand does not appear to be a friendly one.

As expected, Forgotten Sands won’t deviate from the action-oriented platforming gameplay the series is known for. The Prince’s acrobatic maneuvers, the puzzles and combat will all be very similar to Sands of Time. “We’re really trying to evoke the same spirit of that trilogy, so it’s all going to be very reminiscent of that,” says McIntyre. In the trilogy, the prince had a bevy of slick moves and magical, time-altering powers. McIntyre confirmed that the ability to rewind time to get out of sticky situations will return, but the remainder of the Prince’s powers this time around will focus on the elements of nature.

Though we weren’t fortunate enough to steal a glimpse of the game in action, the trailer shows the cel-shaded visual style from the recent Prince of Persia game has been ditched in favor of a look that better matches the Sands of Time series. It’s pretty slick, and we’re anxious to get our hands on some Princely action soon. Forgotten Sands is scheduled to launch in May 2010 for consoles and handheld gaming platforms alike. Keep your eyes peeled here for more details as they come out.

Jan 21, 2010