Prince Of Persia An Artistic Success, But Not Everyone Notices
Prince of Persia is one of the year's best, in our opinion, and thanks to an "Afterthoughts" IGN interview with series producer Ben Mattes, we learn a bit more about how the designers feel about the critical feedback.
Perhaps what's most interesting about the interview is the fact that Mattes believes not enough reviewers recognized the risks the team took when creating Prince of Persia. He hints at the possibility of the industry having "a stronger appetite for the familiar than it wants to admit" and also says:
"We set out to keep a few core fundamentals but to re-imagine everything else, discarding some very well entrenched ideas not only about the brand but also about videogames in general. What surprises me is how little these high level risks seem to be noticed and appreciated as attempts to shake up the industry and push things forward."
Even so, despite not getting quite the level of critical acclaim they wanted, Mattes appreciates the positive reviews that are far more prevalent than negative reviews. Mattes says he considers the game to be a "success" and he continues to "look back on the last three years very fondly." You can't satisfy everyone, so the aforementioned risks may go unnoticed and/or unheralded at times, but that doesn't stop this next-gen PSP from being a great accomplishment. For our part, we found the following comment to be the most intriguing:
"One of our ambitions from the first day with this game was to create the 'Art Game That Sells'. We knew we had in PoP some core game systems (acrobatics and combat) and a universe/theme that was strong enough to give us the luxury to take some risks and explore some unique ideas and themes. The theme of love and loss was one we wanted to explore, but in a unique way not just as a story but also through gameplay; a game where the penalty for failure is not artificially enforced by an arbitrary mechanic but rather self imposed by the player; a radical departure in the artistic direction with a much more 'storybook' feel. All of these, in my mind, were success stories for us and generally well appreciated."
We have to agree wholeheartedly that Ubisoft pulled off this "storybook" feel, and if you want to read the full interview, feel free; it's a good read. As far as the game, we certainly maintain it's one of 2008's gems.
Related Game(s): Prince of Persia
12/23/2008 Ben Dutka