The upcoming release of the Prince of Persia Sands of Time film reminded me of my favorite game of 2008. But the ’08 version of Prince of Persia seems to have become a little stranded since its release however.
Time will tell whether it will be permanently overshadowed by Sands of Time, or whether it has a next chapter of it’s own. But currently it is looking like a bit of a temporary diversion.
Back in 08 though, this was Ubisoft’s grand reboot of the Prince of Persia series – much like the recent Star Trek – the game had a new fresh feel along with novel play dynamics. And like Star Trek, Prince of Persia lacked a subtitle.
The 2008 Prince of Persia takes a middle road with the characterization of this new Prince. He’s not as well-spoken or well-presented as the Sands of Time’s prince, having implicitly lost his kingdom and been left wandering (he’s never referred to as a prince in-game). However, neither is he a moody ’emo Prince’, quick to violence and short on dialogue.
Instead, this Prince is an old Hollywood character of a different stripe: a rogue, worldly and rough around the edges, but also charming and even-tempered. It’s a clever compromise between those who want their heroes suave, and those who want them swarthy.
He, like me, is drawn to Prince of Persia because of the sense of escape it offers:
One of the main appeals of fantasy fiction is to visit another, impossible place, and in this respect this version of Prince of Persia is a great success, allowing the player great freedom to explore a vividly constructed fantasy world. It ends with a flight, a continued threat, and the promise that battle will be rejoined in a new part of this fantastical, imaginary Persia.
I’m looking forward to revisiting the more classically envisioned Persia in the new film and game this year, and becoming reacquainted with the Sands of Time universe. But I do hope that at some point this other, more fantasy oriented version gets a continuation. It would be a shame to never get a continuation of this charming, imaginative take on the property.
Although the 2008 game is a little overlooked right now, it still served to get my hopes up for the upcoming film. Could this be the first video game to movie done right?