File this one under ‘speculation’ at this point, but it seems that an image connected to Ubisoft, and Prince of Persia in particular has arrived online to once again fuel speculation over the Prince’s return. It’s impossible to confirm that the screenshot is, in fact, showing off the studio’s current state of development on a new Prince of Persia game, but the evidence is certainly stacking up.
The first question sure to be asked: why a shot of a Middle-Eastern marketplace, and a musclebound brawler would lead anyone to believe it has anything to do with the acrobatically-inclined Prince. The screenshot comes courtesy of the official Prince of Persia forums, where it was posted with little explanation as to how it was acquired, or what it actually depicts.
Most of the compelling evidence comes from the code at the bottom of the image, naming the asset as related to ‘POP_ZERO_2′ and apparently running with DirectX 11. Those facts undeniably point to Prince of Persia, but at this point there are far more questions than possible answers.
First off, the hero character looks as dissimilar to the Prince’s standard design as can be imagined, and the image itself is pulled from a Bink video, showing off character models that are far from polished. If the DirectX 11 tag is a hint that the game is being developed for the next generation of consoles, it’s nowhere near as promising as what we’ve seen from Watch Dogs.
(Click to enlarge)
The most compelling feature of the screenshot is the fact that the character perfectly matches the shadowy figure seen in the previously leaked trailer images. Those images appeared back before E3 2012, prompting PoP fans to expect some type of announcement at the convention. that obviously didn’t happen, but that doesn’t mean an announcement won’t be coming soon, perhaps at Gamescom later this month.
Before any fans get ahead of themselves, the screenshot should also show just how far away any potential game actually is at this point. Assassin’s Creed 3 may be pushing the envelope with its brand new AnvilNext engine, but the graphics and modelling seen in the above image aren’t going to be blowing expectations out of the water just yet.
All speculation and optimism aside, it’s entirely possible that the screenshot is related to yet another Assassin’s Creed spin-off. Then again, the ‘Judgment’ promised in the leaked trailer images could imply that the player will now be tasked with bringing punishment to the former series protagonist. That could prove an interesting twist, along with any decision to explore the shared origins of the Assassin’s Creed and Prince of Persia franchises.
Hopefully Ubisoft will be encouraged to make some sort of announcement soon and let the fans down easy, or allow them to get excited for a confirmed reboot without fear of disappointment.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.