Thresh's comments in BLACK
CalBear's comments in BLUE
It's called perspective
Prince of Persia 3D is a visually stunning, 3D accelerated game. Unfortunately for you software people out there, you must have a 3D card to play Prince of Persia 3D. The engine is hardware only, just like many of the hot new games coming out (Quake 3, Tribes 2, etc). Like Heretic II and Tomb Raider, you'll be playing the game in 3rd person - no first person perspective is given, and when you see the detailed animation and graphics for the prince, you're not going to want to play in first person anyway.
The visual detail of the prince was probably the first thing we noticed about the game. RedOrb takes the character animation to a new level in Prince of Persia 3D. If it was any better, you'd swear you were watching a video tape. Everything from the way the prince climbs up on to a rock, from the way he walks, turns, jumps, or swings from a bar is completely and utterly lifelike. At times I was quite astonished at the how natural looking the movement is; it's obvious that the animators spent a lot of time polishing up the subtle details of human movement.
Me Tarzan, You Jane
What's even more surprising is that the design team did not use motion capture or skeletal animation at all for their characters. Instead, they hired a gymnast to do all the athletic and acrobatic maneuvers of the prince. The animators studied the tape of the gymnast's moves from several angles and rendered all the motion on their own using "segmented models."
Andrew explained that motion capture doesn't work if you want your character to walk up slopes or do motion that's slightly "off" in certain situations. Modification to the animation is very difficult if you use motion capture, and walking up slopes will cause the character to float or slide, which ruins the overall effect of the animation. Whatever the reason, it appears that their choice to do the animation on their own without motion capture was the correct one. When movies of this game get released you'll be able to see the glory of what still shots cannot convey.