Content of the article: "The troubled development of Prince of Persia 3 and other interesting details"
Very recently, the Prince of Persia VK community got to interview a few people who worked on Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, confirming some long-running rumours and theories about the game and a couple of interesting facts about POP 2008, Redemption and For Honor.
Here's a recap:
A prototype was done by Ubisoft Casablanca, before Montréal took the development in charge. Paris headquarters thought it was too dark and cruel. They were not happy with the initial concept and asked Montréal to do the development almost from scratch.
Part of the game was going to be set at night, but Ubisoft thought it was not suitable for a large audience (kids mostly).
The game was initially designed to be able to switch from the Prince to the Dark Prince (and vice versa) at any time in the game, but in mid production, they had to scrap it because of PS2's memory limitations.
The story was supposed to feel more dramatic: the Prince was a fugitive; he was hunted in the city and he wasn't just fighting with a sword to kill his enemies. There also was a cut part where the Prince gets captured and Kaileena died trying to save him. All of this was altered very early in production.
The doppelgänger stuff might have been something that the writer (Corey May) was thinking of doing as the first draft, but had that draft altered quite early in production after editorial feedback to make it more videogame-manageable. Corey May had probably written down a complicated sequel involving different ideas of what the Dark Prince might have been, but the executive side of the team reined the meandering story in so that an actual game could be produced.
Farah wasn't in the story. Adding her was a slightly later decision. Instead, another secondary character named Anahita was in the early drafts of the story, but was abandoned.
In the first script, the final fight against the Dark Prince had to take place in the real world, and not in a "mental" world. But because of the Dark Prince being a facet of the Prince, his dark side, a bit like Smeagol/Gollum, Norman Osborn's schizophrenia in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, Tyler Durden's character in Fight Club, etc, it seemed normal that this last fight is an "internal fight", therefore a fight in his mind so that he regains total control of his mind/will.
Prince of Persia 2008 was originally going to be twice, maybe three times more expansive, and the story was going to be quite different. Elika was originally the daughter of a blacksmith instead of a king, and would only be met about a third through the game. While the story took simpler shape fairly early, there were big chunks of the world that got cut fairly late in production.
A Prince of Persia 2008 sequel was planned, but got rebooted into POP: Redemption and then that got turned into Osiris. Redemption was meant to be its own thing, a reinvention of the series. The Prince and Farah both existed but they were different characters in a different universe.
For Honor’s game engine actually comes from POP’08. It was retooled significantly and was going to be used for a reinvented Prince of Persia sequel, but in the end was turned into something else entirely (something similar to Assassin’s Creed: Origins), and then turned into For Honor.
Links to the interviews:
- SIB Borderlands 3, The Witcher 3, Doom Eternal, or Fallen Order
- SIBThe Last of Us Part II if I enjoy story games.
- Bethesda’s development process. What is it?
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