Without a doubt, single-player games with a compelling campaign are my absolute favorite and I have fond memories of being captivated by their stories and diving headfirst into these new worlds. But, as the saying goes, you never forget your first, and for me, that has to be the original Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
I could not put this game down the first time I played and it’s hard to forget that experience still to this day. The range of emotions I felt as the story unfolded and the sense of relief and satisfaction that came with beating the game was what drove me to play more and more games so that I could relive that moment all over again.
So, imagine my delight when I found out that the first game I ever got the chance to beat was getting its very own remake for the current generation of consoles? I mean, this is the game that started it all for me. The game that cemented my love for the single-player campaign. The game I should be excited about above everything else…right?
Then why am I suddenly worried about this remake and the impact it will have on the legacy of this iconic masterpiece? Why am I suddenly hesitant to see this project finally get its long-awaited release into the gaming world? Let’s take a look at all that and more as I talk about the Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Remake and why we should be worried.
PINCE OF PERSIA
First of all, let’s get one thing straight. The original Sands of Time was, and still is, an absolute classic that everyone should play at least once in their lives. Regardless of my own personal bias, it’s an objectively great experience when it comes to single-player adventure games.
The main selling point was the player’s unique ability to control time. Didn’t see that enemy’s attack coming at you? You can rewind that. Misjudged the timing on your jump as you were doing some platforming? You can rewind that. Did you die? Well…you can rewind that.
This put the game so far ahead of it’s…(ahem)…time. So much so that it would be years before any other games would do it bigger and better. Add that to the impressive narrative and the incredibly immersive soundtrack and you’ve got a recipe for a masterpiece like no other. I mean, it got two sequels after all.
There’s no shortage of fans that want to relive all the glory in a new and improved way so this title had to be handled with the utmost care in order to please this cult fan base and re-introduce this fantastic franchise to a new generation of gamers that never got the chance before. But, after wiping away the nostalgia goggles, I think we’ve got plenty of reason to be concerned.
It’s been less than a year since I last saw the original Sands of Time on screen, so I have a fresh memory of those visuals and when I watched the trailer for the first time it was easy to see that there was some improvement over the originals graphics. But, when I watched it a few more times, things started to change.
Once you start comparing it to any of the remakes that have come out to date, like the N-Sane Trilogy or even the Final Fantasy VII Remake, things immediately begin to fall apart. Those games raised the bar of what a remake should look like and to me, the Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Remake simply pales in comparison.
It looks more like a remaster than a remake if you ask me. Even though they insist that this game has been completely rebuilt from the ground up (and have the behind-the-scenes evidence to prove it), it looks like the same game with a fresh coat of paint that belongs on the 7th generation of consoles.
Remember, this is Ubisoft we’re talking about. The legendary makers of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. They’re no strangers to delivering quality games and it’s weird that such a beloved IP such as this wouldn’t get the polish it so rightfully deserves. Like honestly, why would anybody waste such a triumphant moment?
The prince’s long-awaited return needs to be spectacular. The idea of this classic tale being retold in a brand new and exciting way has got fans of the series aching for a return but they’re not ready to accept the game as it is and it seems as if Ubisoft might be listening closely to what gamers saying.
There’ll never be another opportunity to properly re-introduce the Prince and all his acrobatic, time-traveling abilities in a way that will solidify the place of the original game in history while also showing new players exactly why it is considered an absolute classic and why it will be around for many years to come.
Thankfully, as of writing this article, the game has been delayed by another two months, meaning that we’ll only be able to get our hands on it in March which is perfectly fine if you ask me. While it has not been stated outright, it’s safe to assume that this delay was to give them more time to address the concerns raised by fans.
Whether or not they accomplish this task remains to be seen but it gives me a reason to be a bit optimistic that this isn’t going to be the massive waste that it looked like it was going to be from the trailers. This franchise will only get one shot at surging back into the limelight and this might be that moment after all.
All that’s left now is to wait with overwhelming anticipation and hope that this classic story gets the re-telling that it deserves. It’s not just the fans that need this, the entire gaming community needs this game to be good since it will surely set the bar for future remakes that we see out of Ubisoft.
Have you seen the new trailer for the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time? What do you think of how the game looks so far? Let me know in the comments section below.