A VR Version of Prince of Persia is Here But Not in the Way You’d Expect
Despite rumours of a reboot circling the series for a while, it's back in the form of a themed VR-based escape room.
At first glance, Prince of Persia doesn’t seem like the most natural choice for an escape room. I can certainly see Valve’s Portal being a contender, but the Persian Prince? When you take a moment though, the titles’ time-bending approach to puzzles could certainly be adapted to a meaningful experience, especially when coupled with VR technologies; and that’s just what Ubisoft has decided to do!
Titled Prince of Persia: The Dagger of Time, the experience is opening this spring and will give up to four people the chance to work together to solve puzzles through a series of time-altering shenanigans. This project is the brainchild of Ubisoft Düsseldorf, the studio behind two similarly branded Assassin’s Creed VR escape rooms. The narrative revolves around players needing to escape from the Fortress of Time to prevent an army of Sand Monsters. That all sounds typical Prince of Persia then.
In a blog post on Ubisoft’s website, they interviewed Cyril Voiron, the Executive Producer for Ubisoft Escape Games. When asked why Prince of Persia was selected, he went on to say that, “we wanted to explore a different brand. Time control is the key element in our VR escape room, much like in the Prince of Persia games.”
Despite up to four players being able to enjoy the experience, only one Dagger of Time will be in play for each group. The designers have ensured that visual and audio cues warn the rest of the team that time is being manipulated. The game will also feature a quest giving NPC in the form of the Empress of Time, Kaileena. Players will get the chance to interact with her throughout the course of the experience as she provides narrative guidance. The vertical exploration and trap-filled environments that the franchise is known for have also worked their way into the VR escape room thanks to the “different towers of the Fortress of Time that you have to explore. As for the traps, you might want to watch your step!”
Prince of Persia was relaunched in 2008, however, that title was never followed up with a sequel and the series has lounged in stagnation ever since. Well; not quite ever since. We did get the forgettable Jake Gyllenhaal “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” film, alongside Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands back in 2010. The original creator of the series gave a more than hopeful reply to Chrissy Teigen, of all people, about a possible return for Prince of Persia. I’m not sure an escape room is what he meant.
Chrissy, I know a few other people who feel the same way. We’re doing our best to make it happen! https://t.co/guYWh1n0E8
— Jordan Mechner (@jmechner) January 10, 2018
In a positive and inclusive move, the Ubisoft Escape Games have also ensured that the game is accessible for people with varying levels of ability. “We have developed a one-button control system to make it easy for everyone. We always test our rooms with wheelchair users; this is a wheelchair-accessible experience.”
What other games would you like to see turned into a more physical experience? Will you be checking out the Prince of Persia VR escape room? Let us know in the comments.