Next year’s Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands will return gamers to the universe of the beloved Sands of Time trilogy, filling in the gaps between the original game and Warrior Within.

At a recent Ubisoft press event, our colleagues at Joystiq spoke with Michael McIntyre, director of level design for the new Prince of Persia game, The Forgotten Sands, the debut trailer for which can be seen above.

Set in the years between the original Sands of Time and Warrior Within, Forgotten Sands will chronicle some of the events that led to the Prince’s fall from relatively carefree, wisecracking royal to the emo hardened warrior of the sequel. The Prince must harness the power of the Sand – not necessarily just the Sands of Time, either – in order to help defeat an army that is besieging the royal palace of Azad, the kingdom of the Prince’s brother.

While the game would be returning to the fan-favorite trilogy after the alternate universe introduced in 2008’s Prince of Persia, McIntyre cautioned that the game “isn’t the Sand of Time trilogy,” which meant that it wouldn’t be “entirely focused on time powers. We do have the rewind still, but we also have powers that are more focused on nature – controlling elements of nature.”

Given that the game is coming out in May – as is Jerry Bruckheimer’s movie adaptation starring Jake Galapagos – it’s likely that Ubisoft is intending to capitalize on any hype surrounding the film’s release, but there won’t be any direct connections between the two (other than the Prince’s new model looking suspiciously like leading man Jake Gillyweed’s interpretation of the character). However, he won’t be providing the voice: Veteran voice actor Yuri Lowenthal will be reprising his role as the Prince, having voiced him in Sands of Time and The Two Thrones.

It’s all sounding well and good, but here’s the problem I have with it: Since the game is taking place before Warrior Within, it almost has to end on an “everyone gets amnesia” note. The Prince obviously won’t have whatever nature-control powers he gained in this game, and Warrior Within makes no reference to any of the events here, anyway. In that regard, I imagine it’d feel kind of like Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories – what’s the point?

The point could just be “hey, it’s a fun game.” Which, judging by the past entries in the series, isn’t hard to imagine.

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