The next game in the Prince of Persia franchise will bear no connection to the last three titles and will be nothing like Assassin's Creed, the developer said.
In an interview and preview with the French Joypad magazine, the game's creative director, Jean-Christophe Guyot, said the goal was to craft a "more poetic vision" than the preceding trilogy.
"The previous trilogy mixed the Arabian Nights in with historical Persia," he said. "We decided we'd prefer to return to the tales of the Thousand and One Nights for something more colourful."
He conceded that Ubisoft bosses were somewhat taken aback at the new direction - including the decision to use cel-shaded graphics - but said they never told him to change course.
"They were worried the Americans wouldn't like it. There were many discussions, but they never said no to us," he said.
Players will find the prince engaged in a Shadow of the Colossus kind of scenario, healing the land by battling bosses, with less numerous but more difficult enemies and an emphasis on sword duels.
The Sands of Time powers will be gone, but a mechanic that will replicate some of its functions will replace it.
The game is being developed by Ubisoft Montreal, which was behind Sands of Time, and will come out this year for the 360, PS3 and PC.