The Return of Prince of Persia

Twenty years after the game's exciting debut, Prince of Persia is back with a compelling visual style and a lady companion for the protagonist

The Prince is back and in this new rendition, art aficionados will be turned on by the game's "illustrative" visual style and, the Prince's attractive lady companion, Elika, who can hold her own and be used to reach higher, out of reach places as you fight smarter and faster enemies.

"Every fight in the game has a sense of urgency when [the enemy] has every ability that you do, and then some," says game producer Ben Mattes. As for Elika, "No player is every going to think, 'Oh, that dumb girl, I'd rather progress without her.'"

These are big promises for a game that, until now, no one's seen outside of a short trailer and some screenshots leaked on the Web. However, it's been nearly 20 years since the Prince first took video games by the storm and became one of the best-selling game series—save for a few hiccups—of all time. For the past few years, much of the Prince of Persia, aka PoP, crew took a break to focus on the game's spiritual successor, Assassin's Creed, which didn't impress critics as much as it did the mainstream gamer, selling several million worldwide.

Prince of Persia's time has come again. Mattes says that while Assassin's Creed focused on realism, the new PoP team decided to, "really embrace the fantasy nature that this game has."

That 'fantasy nature' translates into a series of concepts that will make the game stand out from the rest in the series. The game will have an "illustrative look and feel," says Mattes, "We want to create an artistic direction that is unique to Prince of Persia; we're not Okami, we're not Legend of Zelda [two other games known for their unique art style]."

The plot revolves around a tree of life that accidentally corrupts everything in the Prince's fictional world. It's not the most original sounding plot so far, but it's still enough to keep our interest piqued as we see the game a second time this week in Paris at Ubisoft HQ.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.