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Prince of Persia Epilogue DLC

Interview: Ubisoft spills all on the core-focused PoP update

Everyone agreed that this generation's first Prince of Persia game was visually stunning, but opinions on its wider success were a little more divided.

Some felt the game was a bit repetitive, while others weren't blown away by its combat. Perhaps the criticism that stood out the most was the fact that it was too easy.

Having listened to the feedback, associate producer Jamal Rguigui explains to us how Ubisoft Montreal has addressed fans' concerns with the core game in the PS3 and 360 Prince of Persia DLC that launches on Thursday.

Ubisoft was unwilling to talk about pricing details at this point, or to elaborate on why the content isn't coming to PC.

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So the Epilogue DLC continues right from where the core game left off?

Jamal Rguigui: The story serves as an epilogue to the retail game. It starts just minutes after the end of PoP and has allowed us to add considerably to the character development of Elika and the Prince as well as to the back-story of our new universe.

What can you tell us about the size of the DLC, and about how much added play time it will offer?

Rguigui: As soon as we decided to do a DLC for PoP we immediately set to work making it significant - this is easily one of the most ambitious DLC projects Ubisoft has yet undertaken. Expect more than three hours of additional gameplay from start to end of the epilogue.

Prince of Persia was a gorgeous game. What's distinct about the new area, the Underground Palace, visually?

Rguigui: We've kept the illustrative art style and created a completely new region which is entirely corrupted. This new region takes place in huge rooms, inspired by the feeling of awe we felt when seeing the Mines of Moria in The Fellowship of the Ring. It creates a dark ambiance and claustrophobic feeling that we feel nicely contrasts the large, open, colourful world from the main game.

And how does the new region differ from the others, gameplay wise?

Rguigui: Given the Epilogue-style nature of the DLC, we have at our disposal all of the forms of Corruption to allow us to create some spectacular and more challenging sequences. Of course, having the production of an entire game under our belts, we've also learned some excellent tricks in terms of acrobatic sequences that feel great upon completion - the level design in the DLC is definitely some of our best.

In addition, the new power of Elika brings an additional timing challenge to the mix that helps us raise the challenge factor even further.

Some of the feedback we received from fans of PoP is that they wanted more puzzles - the DLC was an excellent opportunity for us to service this request.

We kept the philosophy of large 'set piece' puzzles that fill an entire room or area (and the rooms in the DLC are huge), but put additional focus on the need to use switches to modify and create pathways that your acrobatic abilities will then allow you to follow. There is one particular puzzle that I'm really looking forward to reading fan feedback on. It's a clever one.

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Can you tell us a little more about the Prince's and Elika's new abilities?

Rguigui: Elika's new power "Energise" facilitates acrobatics but is different in that it adds a timing challenge. This power allows Elika to "materialise" an area of the environment for a short period that was previously destroyed. This then allows the Prince and Elika to reach destinations that were previously unreachable, assuming they move quickly enough.

In order to push the intensity of combat and reward players who focus on offense, we added the "sprint" move to both the Prince and his foes. When at a distance from the enemy, the player can mash the Acrobatic button to sprint which leads to an opportunity for the player to stun his opponent and therefore take the offensive. I'm very proud of this feature as I feel it has the potential to really change the dynamics of combat.

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