A remake of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is in development, Ubisoft announced today during the Ubisoft Forward presentation. The company’s “first full-scale remake” is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Epic Games Store, the Ubisoft Store on PC, and UPLAY+ on 21 January 2021.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake takes “a fresh approach to combat, puzzle solving and rewinding time”, with improvements to the game design, camera, and visuals. It will retell the same story as the 2003 original, about a young Prince who unwittingly unleashes a horde of sand monsters upon his kingdom and, with the help of Princess Farah and the Sands of Time, has to find a way to make things right. It also includes the original Prince of Persia from 1989 as an unlockable feature.
The game is being developed by Ubisoft Pune and Ubisoft Mumbai, two studios based in India. “For me it’s a big dream. It’s not a project; it’s a dream that is coming true,” said senior producer Annu Koul during the announcement. “We are in an Indian studio. It’s in Ubisoft Pune and Mumbai. We actually love to work on this game because we can show everyone what India is. It’s something which comes really from our hearts.”
(India wasn’t part of Persia in the 9th century, which is when Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is set, but India and Persia have a shared cultural history going back at least as far as the ancient Persian Empire.)
Yuri Lowenthal returns as the Prince, and somehow manages to sound exactly the same 17 years later. The trailer opens with that memorable opening line—”Most people think time is like a river that flows swift and sure in one direction”—and I would have thought it was lifted directly from the original game if the reveal didn’t show an older Lowenthal re-recording it, with motion capture to go with it. He’s joined by Supinder Wraich (Guidestones, The 99), who plays Farah.
“We heard the players’ desire to play Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time again, and we are very pleased to bring it as the first-ever remake from Ubisoft,” said game director Pierre-Sylvain Gires. “We respected the original design, we respected the storyline, we respected the characters. We just enhanced everything in the game, from camera to combat, as well as the visuals.”
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake is up for pre-order now for AUD $59.95 / NZD $69.95. Pre-ordering also gets you the “Back to the Origins” DLC, which includes the Prince’s original outfit and weapons and a classic filter to change the look and feel, “just like if players were playing the game back in time.”