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Gamer 2.0 E3 08 Preview: Prince of Persia

Jacob Stutsman reports:

''The developer walkthrough on offer at E3 gave a unique look at the new face of the Prince of Persia, but the resulting bounty was substantively different from past games in the series. Perhaps the most immediate change was the assistance of an in game partner. Computer controlled characters of games past have had sketchy beginnings. The classic thinking is that something artificially controlled can feebly substitute for another player.

But if Prince of Persia's AI assistant Elika is to succeed so resoundingly, it is because her role has been humbly conferred to the backup position. She asserts her will with precision when called upon. The beauty of this is that she has equal rights in the kind of complex animation usually reserved for the prince, making her appear just as lively as any player controlled character. In the game, she saves the prince when he's defeated and returns him to the last check point if he falls off a ledge.

In fact, there are no real game overs; Prince of Persia attempts to control pacing by ratifying reductive punishments for the less nimble players. Gamers may argue about the kind of balance issues that could be inherent in this setup, but even if the rod is spared, Prince of Persia makes the case that your failure is no less impactful.''

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