Ubisoft will officially unveil the next Prince of Persia game, which has yet to be subtitled, at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo between May 18th and 20th in Los Angeles. The game is due out on PS2, Xbox, GameCube and PC in the "second half of 2005". You can find some screenshots here.
According to the publisher, it's "blending the best features from the first two instalments". Although, judging by the press release, it's leaning slightly more towards the Manhunt in a Linkin' Park music video flavour of the derided but commercially viable Warrior Within than the transcendent Eastern lullaby that was The Sands of Time.
But, um, let's not be bitter. Sorry.
Prince of Persia 3 sees the Prince return home from the Island of Time to Babylon to be with his true love Kaileena, only to discover that Babylon is now ravaged by war and that he's rather unpopular. He soon discovers that his past battles have spawned a Dark Prince whose spirit gradually possesses him, but unfortunately he only has this little epiphany after he's been captured and Kaileena's sacrificed herself to break out the Sands of Time again and free him. Presumably they don't have bail bondsmen in Babylon then.
Interestingly, you get to play as both Light and Dark Princes with different combat styles and attitudes, prowling the rooftops, streets and underground passageways of Babylon. The Free Form Fighting system - one of the better things about the second game, even if it did overdo the evilness - returns, with a distance-strangling move called Daggertail, and Ubi says stealth will play a part this time with lots of grisly one-shot kills.
Naturally, the time manipulation stuff that made the first game so memorable and welcoming will also return. We'd also like to humbly suggest getting the original voice actor back, because he was great. Ditto script writers. Bitch.
On the whole then, we're now hoping for something that's half Mark of Kri and half Sands of Time. With a bit of KOTOR thrown in. You can expect to hear what we think of it as soon as E3 kicks off.