In response to MTV Multiplayer's views on the subject, Prince of Persia producer Ben Mattes delivers his take on the striking similarities between his game and the PlayStation 2 classic Shadow of the Colossus.
Just before Christmas, Stephen Totilo of MTV Multiplayer ran an article pondering whether concepts and mechanics shared by Ubisoft's new Prince title and Sony's Shadow of the Colossus were homage or theft. PoP's Ben Mattes responded nearly immediately on his person blog, but by then we were all out caroling. His thoughts on the matter:
SoTC was a big inspiration for us, but mostly with the intention of making the boss battles epic and emotional - something they succeeded in masterfully and that we only touched the surface of (in terms of emotional connection on the part of the player). Many of the similarities you pointed out are coincidental, but I certainly don't mind the comparison. We've always been very open about the huge influences that Ico, SoTC and Okami had on us during our development.
So there you have it, folks. Purely coincidental. Of course no game producer in his right mind was going to come out and say yeah, we stole it, but we'll take Ben at his word. He seems like a nice enough bloke.
Ben also addresses Stephen's concerns about the game's ending in a nice, spoiler-free sort of way. For those of you that have finished the game already, Mattes said that the particular ending was forced on the player in order to maintain continuity between titles. He explains that players who chose one ending in The Warrior Within were disappointed when The Two Thrones came out, continuing the story from the other ending. This way everyone wins, even if we do feel as if we were pushed towards doing something we'd rather not have.
My suggestion to those disappointed by PoP's ending? Prince of Persia fan fiction. Oh yes, it's time. Make sure you use the term "Fertile Ground" in a highly suggestive fashion.
Stephen Totilo on POP ending [TooMuchImagination]