NEWS - Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Prince of Persia Enemy MugShots

Perhaps it goes without saying that combat is a crucial ingredient (and a very enjoyable aspect) of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time - but there's plenty to say about how the demanding, fluid fighting system came to be. When creative director Patrice Desilets and his team set out to develop the fight system for the game, they were driven by one objective: it had to be spectacular. They drew inspiration from the original, classic Prince of Persia games, and strove to create a fight system that was completely new for modern gamers, but that included the level of quality and challenge that made the originals legendary. The addition of a third dimension, however, made things interesting - up, middle and down don't translate well from 2D. So Desilets decided to investigate a multi-enemy system that would work well in next-gen formats and maintain the challenging and tactical elements of the original games. As the Prince travels through the Palace in his quest to recapture the powerful Sands of Time, he will encounter small, concentrated groups of enemies, all hell bent on one thing: his destruction. Using his sword, dagger, and an array of sophisticated fighting moves, the Prince must vanquish each of them before continuing his journey - but there's a twist: unless he retrieves the Sands from the body of an enemy, that enemy will come back to life and continue the attack. To make sure things would stay interesting for the Prince even after (of if) players figure out the fighting mechanics, the team also worked to develop a health system that defined how the Prince could kill an enemy and recapture the Sands from the body - each enemy has a specific number of health points, and each strike from the Prince causes them to lose points. When, finally, they fall to the ground, the Prince can use his dagger - and his dagger only - to retrieve the Sands; this helped define a pattern of offense for him: attack, floor, retrieve. But as each enemy has a different threshold, and attack in random combinations, the Prince must stay on his toes at all times!


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