NEWS - Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Live Details Announced For POP:WW

As gamers may remember, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time had Xbox Live support. It just happened to be in the form of Live Aware. That minor feature allowed Ubisoft to put a "Live Enabled" tag on the box. For Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, Ubisoft Montreal is once again supporting Xbox Live -- only this time it's for real. While you won't directly compete with others over Xbox Live, two Xbox-exclusive modes offer online leaderboards and downloadable content. Once again, it's good to own an Xbox. Time Attack and Arena Combat are not new concepts to gaming, but they fit very well into the world of POP. After all, Warrior Within is half combat, half platforming. These two modes offer the best of both worlds and just a little extra incentive to keep playing. Expect one level for each mode at launch, with at least one more level downloadable for each. Even if you don't have Xbox Live, you can still access both games and play them, you just can't post your scores (or download the new content, obviously). Both modes are tucked away in the Xbox Live Menu along with the ability to access your Friends List while playing POP: WW. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Time Attack -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Time Attack places you in a relatively short level and your goal is to get to the end before time runs out. Three checkpoints are spread throughout the level earning bonus time when passed through. The initial Time Attack level, The Boat Cemetery, is a slightly altered level from the main game and features a number of difficult jumps and wall runs. There are also a few enemies to battle as well and you'll want to take them on to fill your sand meter. Without sand you can't slow or rewind time, which means you'll have to be perfect with every jump -- not an easy thing to manage. The Boat Cemetery is not for beginners. This is a tough level that kicks off with a slide down a banner with a leap to an unstable parallel bar to three consecutive pole jumps across the crumbling mast of a half-sunken ship. It gets tougher from there. The level itself passes quickly. If you can beat it (and it may take a few tries), it will take roughly three minutes. Of course, the idea is to try repeatedly to better your score. This isn't just about learning the map, you also have a few critical decisions throughout the run that can affect your time. For instance, do you battle all of the enemies or try and run past them for a faster time? Killing enemies earns extra sand, which can lead to bonus points. But is it worth the time off the clock? Do you stop and pick up a second weapon that you can launch at the Silhouette waiting near the exit for a quick one-shot kill? Should you complete the level, your score is uploaded online for international rankings. You can also check out your ranking against everyone on your Friends List for extra bragging rights. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Arena Combat -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If leaping across platforms isn't your thing, you can always check out the non-stop combat of the Arena mode. Taking place in the Prison Complex, gamers must face down three waves of enemies, defeating them all before time runs out. Each wave is successively tougher, but even the first wave is tough as it features a Spike Beast (think feral exploding porcupine dog). The second wave spotlights invisible Raiders with the last wave highlighted by a pair of Silhouettes. Weapon racks line the wall, offering a nice selection of secondary swords and axes. Four pillars mark the main combat area and will be your best friend, as you'll want to swing on these often for exceptional violence. This is the perfect room to fight as it's confined, but suited to the Prince's style of swordplay. Scoring takes into account time left after each wave, unused collected sands, and health remaining at the end of the fracas.


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