PS3 News: Prince Of Persia An Artistic Success, But Not Everyone Notices - PS3 News

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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

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Comments (31 posts)

karneli lll
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 @ 11:10:33 PM
Reply

Unfortunately Ben i disagree,i think the game was a letdown. The repetition put me off big time,dont get me wrong,the story seemed ok but after an hour i was completely bored

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Aftab
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 5:40:38 AM

My impression was the same as yours until I played through the game. It takes more than an hour to get into it and discover it's brilliance.

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djjake
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 6:50:22 AM

i agree, same thing over and over

and the boss battles were annoying with the special attacks where you have to press buttons at the right time to stop and counter attack, yet it doesn't hurt them

and when they always turn to the state of only being able to use the hand thing yet when you do try to use it they counterattack :(

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Aftab
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 7:23:15 AM

Once I got the hang of it, the rhythm and timing, I found it very gratifying...even more enjoyable than the bossfights of DMC4 and NG2. It would've been nice if they did something to add to the enemy variety. That could've been worked in, perhaps with new powers for the prince himself, independent of Elika, adding in a "karma" mechanic, from which dual endings in the game could've been dependent on: A dark prince or a light one.

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MetalHead09
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 12:31:20 AM
Reply

ive never played any of the price of persia games because they never really caught my interest but this one has deffinately caught my attention.

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GoldenShadow
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 12:36:03 AM
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I am getting this game for christmas and I hope that I am happy with it. Thanks for the review, your positive review of the game made my decision to buy it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 1:06:31 AM
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"PSP" confused me, should be PoP.

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GoldenShadow
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 2:05:10 AM

Same here.

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StrategicGnomer
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 1:52:56 AM
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Uh, yea, I gotta disagree too. I've tried and so far, I CAN'T die. I deliberately tried to die, I can't. There's no challenge. Go ahead, try to die, jump off a cliff, let a boss have at you forever, hell, get into a big boss battle and just go have lunch, you'll still be around. I just can't take enjoyment out of something so EASY. I'm not saying it has to be a ridiculously hard game to please me but come on, CAN'T DIE?! Really? I mean, most games you just continue after dying from a close save point but this just takes out all pretense and didn't even bother to add a continue screen. I just can't even get over that. Once I realized it didn't get any harder, I got disinterested.

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Aftab
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 5:55:31 AM

"Death scenes" are just a game mechanic to offer you the choice to restart to the nearest game-save/respawn-site or to quit the game. The restart mechanic in POP is an evolution of this in the same way that refreshable damage mechanic (of games like Gears, COD4, Uncharted, R2, etc) is to the life-bar.

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FallenClyro
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 2:42:01 AM
Reply

I'm getting this for Christmas as well and I LOVE the art style gameplay. Will be playing this on my new 32" HD Samsung :D

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Aftab
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 5:48:03 AM

You're in for a treat :)

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karneli lll
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 4:27:32 AM
Reply

there's an article on N4G that shows some striking similarities between POP and Shadow of the Collosus. Was it inspiration? the full xeroxing? or both?

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Aftab
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 5:45:31 AM

There is no doubt. And it sought "inspiration" from a few other killer-apps, as well. But, it was no more of a xerox than Deadspace was to RE4.

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Aftab
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 5:58:31 AM

Moreover, the game lacks any of the furstration of SOC.

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Alienange
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 12:55:57 PM

Similarities to SotC? I've got to read that article. What are they talking about? If you've played this game for an hour then you know it's not SotC.

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Qubex
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 7:01:25 AM
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Whilst I commend what was achieved with the game... I don't care much for it at this stage... I am waiting anxiously for the heavy hitters now... like Killzone 2 and the rest of them... bring on 2009!

Q!

"i aM hOMe"

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whooka
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 7:49:33 AM
Reply

I'd argue critics did notice all the design risks taken in this game, they just didn't know how to process them since some of them (i.e. never actually 'dying')n were fairly radical so the recognition of these design elements manifested itself as either derision or delight for the reviewer. I don't recall ever seeing a game so split on reviews, people either love it or hate it and alot of the arguments in either direction are over some of these risks they took. As far people complaining about not dying, in respects to how the game plays out actually 'dying' would have no bearing on the game except make it more frustrating. The objective of this game is not 'don't die', arguably that's not the main objective in most. This game is all about how to get from point A to point B while traversing gorgeously well-designed environments. All being able to slip and die would do, which would most likely put one back at another point to try whatever, is make it frustrating. I bought this game and I love it, mainly because it's a mental/physical challenge of the acrobatics with little stress from repeatedly starting over a jump sequence from dying. Trust me, the way these massive areas are designed had players been able to slip and die then a load of reviews would have complained about the difficulty of the game, esp around the jumping and such.

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Aftab
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 8:27:12 AM

Well said.

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Aftab
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 8:37:01 AM
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It's kinda sad that certain genre's are dying off, especially my favorite ones. Talent shouldn't go unrewarded. But it's good to know that on the Sony platform, we still have the likes of Team ICO to look foward, too. And I, personally, am looking very much foward to the promised DLC of additional levels and story elements of POP.

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Aftab
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 8:42:12 AM
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Moreover, with the huge increase in development costs, devs are forced first to consider what sells. Because of this, a decline in artistic value is inevitable. So, it is nice to see critics encourage goodworks and to use their influence positively.

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Aftab
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 8:43:00 AM
Reply

Whoa! I commented way too much.

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QuasarSquirrel
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 8:59:26 AM
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I feel compelled to offer Mr. Mattes some cheese.

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popa
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 9:14:00 AM
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I think I'd have to agree with Dave Halverson, the editor-in-chief of Play magazine, who loved this game. This game broke the mold, not a guarantee of excellence, but certainly not a reason for not liking it. Playing Prince of Persia is sort of like dating a beautiful woman. You have to play on her own terms, but the view along the way makes it all worthwhile.

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Frenchy17
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 11:08:04 AM
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I have tried not to comment because the no dying argument literally drives me crazy! It does not matter if you die in any game these days, you either start from right where you left off, or have to go back to a checkpoint a ways and do stuff over again that you might not want to. If you want to play parts of a game over and over, then play the darn game again. Games are not like they were when I was growing up where you have lives and once you lose them that is it. Ghosts and Goblins made me break a few controllers! The way they used the mechanic in Prince of Persia was brilliant in my opinion since it kept the flow of the game going forward. It allowed you to take some leaps of faith in order to get some lightseeds and get to where you are going.

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superjew
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 12:38:10 PM
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It's the challenge that it sucks out of it, I played the game for a bit and it wasn't too difficult. But what I was more concerned about was the repetitiveness of it all. Didn't feel like there was much to it. I thought the fighting system was pretty neat, could use a bit more real time action but otherwise a good idea. The platforming, though, wasn't anything special. It was repetitive from what I did play. I'd have to play more but in the 3 or 4 areas that I went in there wasn't much different. I got the feeling I couldn't do it for 15 hours. The story didn't seem like anything special, and the dialog was lame.

It did make some major improvements in smoothness and it was much better camera wise. I still think the best PoP they ever did was Sands of Time. Great platforming, and that's what PoP is all about. Still the best PoP game was PoP 2, I loved that game when I was a kid.

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Alienange
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 1:08:27 PM
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This game is brilliant and gorgeous and I couldn't be happier that I picked it up. If I had to reload every time I fell off a cliff I'd have sent my controller through a wall by now. Not dying is the best mechanic ever! I of course am a huge fan of Assassin's Creed and there wasn't any dying in there either per say.

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Qubex
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 1:17:49 PM
Reply

PoP dis, PoP dat, PoP dis, PoP dat... PoP goes the world!

Q!

"i aM hOMe"

Last edited by Qubex on 12/24/2008 1:19:02 PM

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Scarecrow
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @ 3:31:55 PM
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Street Fighter IV was doing this kind of art before Prince of Persia!

Dammit!

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www
Thursday, December 25, 2008 @ 5:02:55 AM
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sites like Eurogamer won't notice the artistic style.

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Blaiyan
Saturday, December 27, 2008 @ 5:20:25 AM
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I don't care for the style. Looks cheap. The game can be fun the I don't like how you just stroll into another area without really realizing it. I have to say all the complaints i've read against it are valid but to be honest I am so glad to have at least one game where I can't die. Especially with a game like PoP where you can easily fail so many times that you'd hate the game. I'm just so tired of restarting levels. It's very frustrating. It's a nice break. If you think about it in terms of a movie story it's better. I mean would the hero of the movie really die 20 times? Plus I think it cuts out those reloading after dying times. It keeps you in the game and keeps stress down so all you have to worry about is having fun. Anyway The game is very repetitive though and enemy variety is very very small. Also if he's persian shouldn't he have an accent or something?

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