Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake Will Feature Redesigned Levels and Combat

However, the original also has "moments that need to be preserved visually and pacing-wise", the developers say.

Posted By | On 13th, Jun. 2024

prince of persia the sands of time remake

A couple of years after the announcement that the project had been handed over to Ubisoft Montreal, at Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time remake got a very brief update at the recent Ubisoft Forward showcase with a brief teaser trailer that revealed that the game will be releasing at some point in 2026.

And though no gameplay footage was shown in the teaser at all, an interview with the developers published later by Ubisoft has revealed some details on what we can expect from the long-in-development remake.

Talking about the development team’s approach to the project as a whole, creative director Bio Jade Adam Granger mentioned “sanctify, respect, modernize, and add” as the “four pillars” that are being used to “define everything in the game”. While some aspects of the experience are being brought over with minimal changes – like the wall-running mechanic – other aspects will see changes to varying degrees, like the level design, the scale of the world, and how the game approaches challenge.

“Remaking a classic is very daring and exciting to me,” Granger said. “What I wanted to bring is the idea of ‘sanctify, respect, modernize, and add.’ So those four pillars are what we use to define everything in the game. If we take an enemy, for example: Do we want to sanctify it, keep it as-is because it’s so iconic? Do we want to respect it, just fix it a little bit? Modernize it, which is a bit more change – or is it something completely new? Everything that was in the original goes through that lens, as well as some things that we want to improve – for example, accessibility options are something that we’re adding.

“We have things that are staying as-is, like the wall run, which is so iconic that we will try to match it as much as we can. The dagger as well. There are core elements of the original recipe that we respect and sanctify: time powers, the tone of the game, and the gravity-defying gameplay. But we modernize stuff like the level design, for example, and really enhance the scale of the world. We also vary challenge a bit more.”

Granger spoke further about how the remake is looking to enhance the original game’s world, saying that the team has “multiplied the scale and the wonder” of the Palace of Azad.

“I want people to be amazed! Wonder is super-important to me,” Granger said. “Because it’s a tale told by the Prince, and Azad is a fictitious place. We have multiplied the scale and the wonder of that place. It is larger than life, at the edge of fantasy; not fully fantasy, but enhanced rather than realistic.  We call it “the poetic odyssey.” Poetry is in the visuals and the tone, with the music and sound. If we can really make sure that people feel transported into that world, I think we’ve won.”

Game director Michael McIntyre chimed in as well, elaborating on how the larger scale of the palace will make for “increased sense of connectivity” within the structure, among other things.

“Due to technical limitations, the original game – though it did an amazing job of creating a sense of place and that sense of being in a storybook castle – was limited in terms of what you could see and how connected the spaces were,” he said. “As a good example, one of the things that players are experiencing now in our game is a sense of vertigo, because of the scope of the castle, because of how high the heights can seem. In the original game, it would have to be a very cloudy mist that sort of was the floor down below, and it hindered that dizzying sense of height – which we’re able to achieve now with modern engines and such. We’re embracing that augmented scale, that increased sense of connectivity of the castle, of feeling more oriented because you can see faraway landmarks.”

Elsewhere in the interview, McIntyre revealed that combat is another area where the remake is looking to modernize the experience is combat, even if some elements will remain largely similar to how they were executed in the original.

“I think combat is a good example,” he said. “The original combat, for a lot of players today, would feel quite dated. Combat in games like Prince of Persia has advanced a lot in the 21 years since that game, and certain recent games, like Dark Souls and God of War, have really elevated even more casual players’ competency in combat. It is an area where modernity really needed to be injected.

“But there are certain things that are iconic about the Prince of Persia fighting style, like the vault strike, where you vault over an enemy and hit them, or rolling onto the ground and stabbing a prone enemy in order to drain sand from them with the dagger. There are moments that need to be preserved visually and pacing-wise, and also just the feeling of combat as an acrobatic hero who is gracefully staying one step ahead of the horde that outnumbers him.”

Elsewhere in the interview, the developers also revealed that the remake will feature a larger and more involved role for Farah, with new story content related to the character being added in, much of which will be optional content. Read more on that through here.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is due out in 2026 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.


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