on Aug 1, 2013
For the record, the parts where I seem to be talking over myself are instances where Josh lagged out. If I lag out, my messages arrive broken up, late, and far apart. If Josh (as the person making the recording) lags, then the audio piles up on the server and when he recovers they all arrive at once. I’ve had instances where I lagged out in Vent and had half a minute of everyone else talking mashed into ten seconds.
What I was saying about Prince of Persia:
The Sands of Time sequels are pretty much a textbook case of why games shouldn’t get so dang hung up on continuity. The first game was a beautiful, simple, and self-contained tale. The second game took all the character development of the first game and threw it away. The third game had to re-write Fara. Over time, characters get less interesting because their arcs end and leave them with nowhere to go. The setting gets less interesting because all the really great secrets have already been revealed and we have more things to explain to the newcomers.
Retconning things and stapling new ideas onto an existing lore is often messy and ugly. Leaving every story open-ended for a sequel is unsatisfying, since the audience never gets the closure they’re looking for. (Sands of Time would have been hurt immensely if they had hacked in a “BUT IT’S NOT REALLY OVER!” moment at the end.)
In a Prince of Persia game we need three things:
- Climbing around Arabian-styled ruins.
- A time-rewind mechanic.
- Somebody in the story should probably be a prince.
It’s not like there’s a shortage of Arabian-themed stories and tropes to draw from. They should just let each game stand on its own. In one game you play as a prince. In another you play as a street rat who meets the prince. In another you’re a commoner who looks like the prince, etc.
Warrior Within would have been so much less offensive to me if this was a new prince with a new story. And besides…
Wait. What are we talking about again? Tomb Raider? Right. Anyway, I hope Tomb Raider won’t blunder into this same trap of plot convolution, character stagnation, and lore cruft. They left things open for a sequel, but they didn’t set up a sequel, if you can see the distinction. We don’t have a really strong, likable character to be Lara’s sidekick.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.