The remake follows the same storyline as the original 2003 release, which was itself a retelling of the 1989 classic by developer and gaming star Jordan Mechner. As early as 1984, Mechner was recognized as the creator of one of the game’s first fighting games, Karateka, and was working on a follow-up title. He graduated from Yale University in 1985 and immediately began working on Prince of Persia. Mechner drew the revolutionary, detailed animations of the original 1989 publication by hand using rotoscope animation, a narrative technique developed in 191
The original game marks a milestone in platformer adventures and inspires Another World, Flashback, and other similar platformer adventures. The original “Tomb Raider” from 1996, one of the pioneers of 3D technology, was heavily inspired by Mechner’s work. And after the critical and commercial success of the “Sands of Time” trilogy, Ubisoft Montreal tried to develop the fight and parkour formula of the series into an open world formula. Through the team’s research, they became intrigued by the story of the assassins. The project eventually turned into a new intellectual property, Assassin’s Creed, a series that has since become the centerpiece of Ubisoft’s catalog.
It’s safe to say that playing wouldn’t be the same without Prince of Persia.
The battle of the game advanced the 3D genre and the action genre. This was one of the first major action titles to move away from the “aiming” mechanic of The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, allowing multiple enemy combat and freedom of movement in the arena. This design philosophy would eventually find its way into titles such as the Batman Arkham series.
There was also a fairytale charm and wit to the original “sands of time”. The linguist Yuri Lowenthal gave the voice of the nameless prince a whimsical touch in the original title, and he will repeat his role for the remake. The whole story was told like a fairy tale by the prince. This allowed the game to even frame death in such a way that the prince botched the narrative. This storytelling premise made for a comprehensive package along with the ability to rewind time.
Ubisoft did not mention whether Mechner was involved in this project. But Mechner has led the brand for the past 30 years. He even co-wrote the 2010 film with Jake Gyllenhaal, and recently published a book from the Journal that he kept on developing the original game in the 1980s.
In the meantime, Mechner, always the artist, has spent the past few years publishing sketches while living in France. The pandemic reality has found its way into his art.