Stephen Totilo of MTV Multiplayer has noticed some striking similarities between Ubisoft's new Prince of Persia title and Sony's PlayStation 2 classic Shadow of the Colossus. Is it homage, coincidence, or straight up aping?
Totilo does make several valid points in his discussion of the two games' similarities. Both do primarily feature climbing and jumping with brief moments of violence. Both do use a guiding light sort of technique to help the player navigate the vast game world. Both feature a central temple as a main base. Both explore themes of death and resurrection. And both games end with the realisation that you are the dream of a dying civilization's dream of your father.
Don't worry, I wouldn't spoil the games for you. That last one was me spoiling an entirely different game. The endings, however, do feature similar themes, which we won't go into for the sake of those who haven't played yet.
Stephen really doesn't leave room for the coincidence angle, which I think could still be valid. If not a coincidence, then more of a subconscious borrowing of ideas rather than a direct homage - the game developers would have mentioned something by now had they borrowed heavily from Colossus in order to honour it. In fact, Prince of Persia's producer Ben Mattes seems to think his team deserves accolades for their innovation - generally not the words of someone consciously borrowing from other games.
I'm perfectly willing to call the similarities happy little coincidences. I love both games, and quite honestly didn't even make the connection until Stephen pointed it out. When it comes right down to it, games borrow from other successful games all of the time - it's how we wound up with genres, after all. Until the Prince starts climbing up enormous walking stone creatures searching for their weak spots, I'm quite content to let things slide.
Is 'Prince of Persia' Ripping Off 'Shadow of the Colossus'? [MTV Multiplayer]