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Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake is releasing next year

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The news that leaked earlier today was true: A remake of 2003 classic Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time will release on PC on the Epic Games Store and Ubisoft Store early next year (as well as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One). The PlayStation 2-era game is being totally rebuilt in Assassin’s Creed’s Anvil game engine, which is a little ironic, given that Assassin’s Creed started as a prototype for a new Prince of Persia. 

“It’s the circle of life,” said senior producer Annu Koul in an interview with PC Gamer last week. Koul works at Ubisoft Mumbai, which is building The Sands of Time Remake in tandem with Ubisoft Pune, where game director Pierre-Sylvain Gires is based.

On top of a general graphical redo—although the remake still has a decidedly 2003 look to it—the character animations from the original Sands of Time have been reenacted with motion capture. “We decided to leverage motion capture, first of all, to enhance the cinematic parts with facial capture, to bring more emotion to them,” said Gires.

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Yuri Lowenthal is reprising his role as the Prince, while actress Supinder Wraich now plays Farah, replacing Joanna Wasick (who did not continue an acting professionally following the original game, as far as I can tell). In the original, the two leads never actually met in a recording booth, or met at all, said Gires. Having both Lownthall and Wraich acting together allowed the them to reenact the drama and comedy of the original with more emotion, he said—if it went as well as he seems to think it did, The Sands of Time Remake may become the preferred telling of the story.

I won’t spoil the story, and I can’t, because The Sands of Time released 17 years ago and I don’t remember what happened. I do remember enjoying it 17 years ago, though. (And if I saw the Jake Gyllenhaal movie of the same name in 2010, I don’t remember anything about that either, beyond the presence of an ostrich race.)

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Regarding how it plays, the important thing to know is that you can mess with time, which was the thing to do following The Matrix in 1999 and Max Payne in 2001. That means pausing and slowing time, as well as rewinding combat or platforming mistakes for a do-over, something that’s become a minor design cliche over the decade and a half that followed The Sands of Time. 

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