The upcoming Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake graphics controversy has generated enough discussion that development studio Ubisoft India has responded to questions about the game's aesthetic in an interview. Prince of Persia is a beloved adventure title from Ubisoft that started as far back as 1989 and has since spanned multiple decades as a staple IP for Ubisoft, though it has struggled in recent years and taken a noticeable backseat when compared to the publisher's other franchises.
Among the many Prince of Persia games that have released over the years, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time might be the most notable. The game launched in 2003 and immediately garnered critical attention for its time-rewind gameplay, which was extremely innovative at the time of its release and reignited a long love affair between modern gaming and time-altering mechanics. Since Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, however, the titular process of entropy hasn't been particularly kind to the series, culminating in forgettable titles and unsuccessful reboots. In fact, Assassin's Creed - now one of Ubisoft's most successful franchises ever - began as a Prince of Persia development project, which just about highlights how the years have gone since Sands of Time showed so much promise.
Still, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake seems well-suited to rekindling fan interest in the series - except that isn't what's been dominating discussion of the title. Instead, a Prince of Persia:The Sands of Time Remake graphics controversy has fans debating over how the game looks weird and out-dated, so much so that developer Ubisoft India recently commented on it during an interview with The Mako Reactor. In the interview, Ubisoft India Deputy Managing Director Syed Abbas stated that the game's visuals are deliberate: "it was not a problem of timeline or budget," says Abbas, indicating that the visuals are a stylistic choice.
According to Game Director Pierre Sylvain-Gires, the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake graphics are the way they are because "it has to be unique." According to him, it is a challenge the studio has taken on to "redefine the visual identity of the game with this remake." Ultimately, Ubisoft India is adamant that the visuals work with the direction the game has taken, and it won't be until players get to actually experience Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake, graphics and all, before they can decide if that's true.
That being said, however, it seems some of the fan complaints aren't that the graphics are outright weird, but rather that they're simply dated. To that end, it's possible Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake graphics are simply meant to invoke nostalgia rather than fully overhaul the game so much that it looks totally different. That approach may not be the most intuitive, but maybe it'll work for a series that has tried several iterations since Sands of Time and been unable to capture the same magic - perhaps the more things appear similar, the more likely they are to be a hit, too.