Prince of Persia Warrior Within
1) Why did you choose to enhance the fighting system in Prince of Persia Warrier Within?
Essentially we wanted the game to feel like a thriller, to generate a sense of fear and oppression. We made the Prince more powerful and we put him in a darker, mysterious and oppressive environment, with fiercer and frightening enemies ... He has to fight for his life and so has trained to become a master warrior.
As a master warrior the new Prince must be able to use new techniques, and we really think the new combat system we've designed will bring a new meaning to the action combat genre. Each fight will be unique and players will be able to defeat enemies in their own way...
Additionally, when making a video game you always try ways to provide the player with entertainment, strong emotions and rewards - when designing the game we all came up to the conclusion that allowing the player to use more diversified fighting techniques will bring him all these elements.
2) What have been your references to develop this fighting system? (martial arts, movies, games ...)
To design the new fighting system, we closely looked at swashbuckling and Hong Kong movies. In these genres, combats are visually impressive, diverse and intense. This is precisely what we wanted to provide the player: power and freedom.
3) I understand the Free-Form-Fighting system is a shortcut to talk about a lot of different innovative aspects that you developed in the game. Can you please detail?
As a master warrior the prince is able to perform a great variety of advanced and deadly fighting techniques. He is now able to fight taking advantages of the environments around him (ladder, pillars, walls, ropes...), grab enemies, take their weapon and throw it or use it as a secondary weapon. In fact there are dozens of possibilities.....
The Prince can use his superior agility to gain the upper hand on his enemies. For each action, a choice of several new actions is offered to the player so that he can create custom combo chains throughout the fight to defeat enemies fighting your own way.
Concretely, each time you press X, for a simple jump, you will have the opportunity to trigger an additional attack (sword attack, kick, rebound, weapon throwing), each time you press TRIANGLE, for a grab, you will be able to combine grab with 4 other different ones (Grab and throw, grab and slice enemy in 2, grab and rebound, grab and strangulate). This tree of choice will develop all along your combat.
This combat system allowed us to make a game that is at least as rich as the most famous 3D combat games... but we have a lot more to propose to players as POPWW is still an action/adventure game with just as good platforms and puzzles parts.
Eventually, each player will be able to define his own style - this might make the game tougher than Prince of Persia - The Sands of Time - The fighting sequence will be really unique but very exciting!
4) How many weapons will you find in the game ? How does each weapon affect your fighting style?
The Prince is now able to use a vast array of deadly weapons split into 4 main classes. Each class generates a different experience as they force the Prince to fight with a different strategy. Each weapon can sustain a certain number of hits before it break, has a specific rate of attack and deals different amount of damage. Additionally, each class has one specific 'special attack'. Finally the most talented players will be able to find fortune weapons .... but oups I wasn't supposed to told you that.
5) Tell us more about the enemies? What make them different from other games?
Actually, the design of enemies is part of the new combat system. To make combats deeper than in all other combat action games, we wanted to define a large variety of enemies with different skills and behaviors for each. Doing so, we actually force the player to develop a new strategy for each enemy. In fact we've designed the enemies to force the player to master the new fighting system.
Each enemy fights his own way taking advantages of his physical characteristics and using either short ranged or long-ranged attacks. Horde of creatures will join forces and use various strategies to run over the Prince and destroy him. In order to defeat these enemies the player has to exploit all the possibilities of the FFF system
6) Very concretely, how will you make sure that players can master such a variety of combos? Won't it provoke some kind of frustration?
Not at all, actually the new combat system will be very intuitive and easy to master. Moreover the very first levels are designed as tutorials to learn the players how to master all the moves and fighting techniques.