Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake was arguably the biggest announcement by Ubisoft during their recent showcase. Unfortunately, prior to the actual show, the game had already been leaked, stirring a number of reactions that didn’t go too well for the title, despite being a critically acclaimed classic.
Most of the feedback about the game was about the visuals, which was not quite up to par with expectations from a lot of people, looking a bit “dated” and not what was expected of a remake but more of a remaster.
In a interview with The Mako Reactor, Ubisoft India talked about some of the challenges of remaking the game as well as the visual direction of the game and why it looked the way it does.
Game Director Pierre Sylvain-Gires discussed that the game engine that they used, the Anvil engine, which is used for Assassin’s Creed games, isn’t really the best for this type of linear title. “The principle of the rewind is a headache technically. The Anvil engine was not made at all to do rewind, to do slow motion, to do all those time manipulation. The tech approach was a challenge.”
Sylvain-Gires goes on to say that “If you take the game that was made 17 years ago, there’s definitely room for improvement in terms of graphism and we really wanted to give a unique look to the game because Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is actually is a fantasy story – the narration, the 40 different levels you have to go through to finish the game are an immersion into the Thief of Baghdad and all these magical environments. So we decided to go for a unique visual treatment to make this game standout from other games. It’s not another Assassin’s Creed, it’s not like the same Prince of Persia from 2008. It has to be unique. This magic, this fantasy is shown through the saturation, through the light, so it also a challenge to redefine the visual identity of the game with this remake.”
It’s not quite the answer the fans are looking for, but it does give a bit of insight as to the challenges that they encountered.
With that said, Deputy Managing Director Syed Abbas reiterated that it was not a matter of timeline or budget problems, saying that “…quality is of the utmost importance and this is something that we have kept in mind from the start. The project has been in development for the last two and a half years. We have had at peak 170 members working on this project and not to mention other investments in infrastructure and set up to make a modern game. No there have not been any cutback in budget or timeline for the game.”
One note many may have missed is that the trailer that was shown is from an Alpha build of the game, meaning the final product should show major improvements by the time it is released next year. In fact, by the time Ubisoft is ready to show another update of the game, we can expect it to look like every inch of the remake we know they are capable of.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a remake of the original 2003 critically acclaimed classic and is scheduled to release on January 21 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC and will retail for $39.99 or around PHP2,000.