Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time Remake

“No, No! That’s not how it happened”

There are games that come around every console generation that leave lasting marks. Games that by no fault of our own, we silently judge others by. Games that resonate within our hearts, that we cherish and carry with us through every console revision. The Playstation 2 had entirely too many of these gems, as it laid its claim as the best console of the early 00’s, opening the doors to multiple sequels and remakes, that still persist even to this day. It was definitely a simpler time for gaming back then and while not constituting the golden age for gaming, it truly was the dawn of modern gaming as we know it today. Ubisoft has often had its sights set on more exotic locations for their storytelling. Be it desert warfare in classics like Ghost Recon, or even John Clarke and his brave Rainbow Six team rescuing foreign diplomats, Ubisoft has consistently had its sights set abroad, providing us gamers with sights beyond the pedestrian locales that’d become commonplace for western storytelling. Although many will point to Assassin’s Creed as being to pinnacle of their eastern inspired creations, I often remind them that every vision truly begins somewhere….

Jordan Mechner
– Original Creator

Broderbund Ports is likely a company many have heard of, but it’s a company that began with a similar dream every gamer has had from time to time. Developing cool games that they’d like to play and could turn a profit on. Sound familiar? Of course it does! Unlike most of us, two brothers actually took a stab at following their dream and made it happen.

Broderbund Ports made some amazing classics, that some of you will remember. Ever play the Carmen Sandiego games back in school, or perhaps Lode runner at home? How many of you practiced your typing using Mavis Beacon? Well, thank these two. Remember Spelunker or Dragon Slayer for the NES? Another labor of love from the brothers. Wait, what does this have to do with Ubisoft or Prince of Persia again? I’m glad you asked!

So, they totally made Prince of Persia as well, while they were toiling away making other awesome games in the 80’s and early 90’s. Might have forgotten that in my list….

Jokes aside, Jordan Mechner created a somewhat revolutionary game, largely due to the utilization of rotoscoping technology to capture his brother doing acrobatic moves. Originally intended to be their take on Arabian Nights (we’ll get to the Aladdin comparison later). The game was a certified hit upon release, sparking numerous ports and countless clones with varying degrees of success. One of the best “clones” to release in the 90’s was released created by Broderbund itself. Myst released in 1993 to yet more critical acclaim for the company, spawning multiple ports as well across platform. Eventually like every company of that era, technology progressed and interests changed. Ubisoft ultimately consumed Broderbund Ports, leading to a long overdue sequel and our true focus of discussion.

Prince of Persia The Sands Of Time 2003

Coming at a time when the Playstation 2 couldn’t seem to fail, Prince of Persia was released to the world on October 24th 2003. Combining fantasy elements and storytelling not too dissimilar to a Disney film, Prince of Persia wasn’t a true sequel, but more of a re-imagining of the story, with built in room for subsequent sequels, providing the launch was a success… As we know now, the game was a HUGE success, going Gold not long after release, leading to two main entry sequels, ports, mobile games and eventually another ground up remake for the Playstation 3 (we don’t talk about Forgotten Sands…). It also paved the way for a full length feature film which…yeah, let’s not talk about that either… Prince of Persia was a game I conquered multiple times. A game that stood out from the crowd in the age of GTA clones and endless horror titles. As enthralled I was with the 2003 entry, my disappointment and bewilderment for the subsequent sequel sullied the waters. I walked away from the franchise jaded. A walk we’ve all taken countless times throughout our gaming lives. I almost passed on Assassin’s Creed originally, out of fear that it’d be more of the same homogenized garbage like Warrior Within became. I’m glad I was wrong. Although the soul and direction of that series seems to be slowly drifting away, I’ll always remember that time Ubisoft delivered me gold dust, in the guise of sand. Clearly they remember that perfect moment fondly too because coming January of 2021, that perfect moment will be returning again (hopefully).

Prince of Persia Sands of Time remake looks to be a ground up remake of the 2003 relaunch of the franchise. From the trailer it appears to retain the same soul and voice cast as the original, with some clear visual improvements on an already beautiful game. I suppose my only fear at this point would be the needless injection of any ancillary content, as the need to inflate this game really isn’t needed. If Ubisoft intends to weigh the success of this remake to determine the course of additional remakes, I’d save the resources of adding anything to Sands of Time and instead focus their attentions on removing GODSMACK and the other unnecessary changes they made to the direct sequel! With any luck that’ll create a world where Two Thrones shines brighter than it did upon its initial release. Hell, maybe even Forgotten Sands won’t feel like a shameless cash grab? I suppose we will have to wait for January to see for sure, but consider my interests piqued!

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