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Footage of a cancelled Prince of Persia reboot has been hiding on YouTube for years

(Image credit: Ubisoft)
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With the exception of a mobile game, the Prince of Persia series has been dormant since 2010's The Forgotten Sands (opens in new tab). Behind the scenes, though, Ubisoft has experimented with new games in the series. In 2012, a grainy off-screen screenshot (opens in new tab) emerged. Now, a YouTube video dating from the same year shows three minutes of footage from an aborted project called Prince of Persia: Redemption.

The footage, which you can watch below, seems pretty legit. Aside from how obviously professional (and how obviously 2012) it looks, the fact that Ubisoft Assistant Technical Director Marc-Andre Belleau weighs in in the comment section (opens in new tab) is pretty conclusive. "Where did you get that?!" he wrote two years ago.

Meanwhile, a thread on Resetera (opens in new tab) makes note of a LinkedIn profile (opens in new tab) belonging to Christophe Prelot, who worked as a 3D level artist on an untitled and cancelled Prince of Persia game between 2010 and 2011. That game was originally being developed for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. During 2010 and 2011 Ubisoft released the final two games in the Assassin's Creed Ezio trilogy: Brotherhood and Revelations.

As a result, the footage below shares a fair bit with Assassin's Creed, though it's possible the studio was aiming for a more streamlined cinematic experience (think Uncharted, maybe). As the nominal Prince parkours across rooftops and balconies, several giant explosions erupt in the distance. The Prince is able to wall run and warp, and can also recover from seemingly fatal encounters. Later, after slaying an ogre, the whole city starts to disintegrate thanks to some giant tentacled beast.  

This would have been very impressive had it been shown earlier in the decade, and to be honest, it still looks very cool. But it wasn't to be. The only recent evidence we have of Ubisoft's commitment to the series is a recent For Honor crossover event (opens in new tab).

Check out the footage below:

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.