It’s a new year, and with it come certain games I’ve been looking forward to since they were announced last year. One is Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, reimagining my old boyhood favorite. However, this time around, Ubisoft has reinvented the whole series by looking at things from a fresh perspective. Fortunately, it has become one of Ubisoft’s finest releases this fiscal year. Lost Crown adds a lot of new things to the game despite its little budget. Some things are a welcome addition to the Metroidvania genre. We’ve been playing Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, thanks to an early copy supplied by Ubisoft, and here are my comments on the game.
The Immortals Stand Together
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown occurs in the traditional Prince of Persia universe. However, rather than revisiting familiar characters, the game explores new ones this time. We play Sargon, an Immortal with mysterious powers. When the Persian Empire’s Prince, Ghassan, is abducted, Sargon and the Immortals must rescue him and return him home. This leads our protagonist and his companions across the mythical Mount Qaf, home of the time deity Simurgh. And, as you would anticipate, time flows differently than planned here. It’s a Prince of Persia game, after all. Sargon, trapped here while attempting to rescue the prince, decides to go on a journey across the mountain to comprehend what is going on.
Ubisoft put a lot of care and work into the story. It is true that, given its Metroidvania character, it may become an afterthought. However, systems are in place to guarantee that you may enjoy the game’s key rhythms without feeling lost. Lore items have been used to enhance the tale to develop the universe. These add to the exploring portion. However, there is no compelled inclusion. So, unless you’re hellbent on understanding the whole game’s background, you don’t need to look for them. Furthermore, in-game side tasks significantly contribute to the universe’s expansion. As a result, I suggest undertaking some investigation because it adds to the gameplay experience. I had a fantastic time with them, and I am certain you will also.
There has been a series of sincere efforts to create a unique story arc. I say this after around 18 hours in the game. And, although it lacks the full fire of the Sands of Time trilogy, it comes near. Sargon and his companions are engaging characters who bring the story to life. The bosses in the Prince of Persia reboot are a fun addition that provides difficulties while keeping things fresh.
But I have an issue. Sargon and the surrounding characters lack the radiating atmosphere of the Sands of Time trilogy. This applies to both the other characters and the enemies. As a result, if someone asked me to name a single opponent or character other than Sargon in a few years, I would have a difficult time. And that is where my main problem with Lost Crown starts and ends. Fortunately, the Prince of Persia doesn’t pretend to be that. It has diverse goals and motives but does what it sets out to do.
Venture The Metroidvania Mount Qaf
One of the first things I noticed when playing was the gameplay loop. The game is Metroidvania, and a good one at that. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown draws heavily on older games such as Blasphemous, Hollow Knight, and Castlevania to create its unique perspective on the series. And I’m happy to report that a good job has been done here. For starters, this must be the most accessible Metroidvania ever made. Ubisoft has also considered whether you want to play it traditionally or with some assistance. The game will provide you with a guided or old-school experience. This option was a game changer for me, totally altering how I enjoy my Metroidvanias when I want to relax. However, it does not stop there.
Throughout your journey, you will encounter puzzles and points to which you will eventually get access. Memories may also help you recall these locations. You have restricted access to them, and using them generates a screenshot of that specific location on the map. So, refer to your map later. I appreciate the trendsetting here since this system is unique to metroidvanias and may help other games. It feels ideal for a game like this; I can’t overstate it. This similar approach to accessibility also applies to difficulty, where total customization is possible. Everything is adjustable, including opponent damage and environmental damage. Of course, you have the traditional four difficulty levels, but custom difficulty has become one of my favorite features. I adjusted the difficulty such that the enemies were more forgiving, yet the environmental damage remained untouched.
But, other than these two features, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a typical Metroidvania. You receive various biomes, and how you explore them is up to you. Each level also has a variety of navigation puzzles, and most levels link to produce coherency. This makes exploring highly rewarding and satisfying. My first eight hours in the game were spent unraveling the map for future adventures, and the experience was satisfying. Later, you may fast-travel to each biome, making the journey more forgiving and saving time. And progressing through the story will get you access to the game’s fun section.
Bend Time To Your Will
Time plays a part in this game since it has the title Prince of Persia. You may thank Time Powers for that. These are unlocked by progressing through the main plot, enabling you to manipulate time and space to your advantage. One allows you to rush into the air, while another allows you to return to your previous location. Power helps you proceed through the story each time, and using it is a lot of fun. The game’s surroundings have been designed accordingly to fully complement the powers. This makes employing the powers while moving across the map much more satisfying.
Time powers can let you overcome environmental puzzles progressively. Puzzles that you wish you could solve may be found at points. Unfortunately, they will be well beyond your grasp. Fortunately, as you earn more of these time powers, it becomes simpler to solve the environmental puzzles. Air Dashing in this game has to be my favorite, even if other Time Powers are fun. The sensation of zipping over stages and puzzles while air-dashing is difficult to describe in words. It would be best if you were in-game to experience it.
Combat Lets You Lock Horns With The Enemies In Style
Traversal isn’t the only place you can use your time powers. Enemies overrun Mount Qaf. Fortunately, our Sargon is a capable warrior. As we all requested, our hero is armed with two Twin-Swords and a bow. This game has no combination meter to worry about, yet it did not stop me from styling on my opponents. Throughout the game, you will encounter over sixty enemies to destroy. You’ll also have bosses to defeat at certain points. Combine your time powers and combat to get an advantage over your opponents.
As a fan of beat-em-up and fighting games, nothing makes me happier than when creators give you the option to battle in style. You can do ground combinations, ground-to-air combos, air combos, and a lot more. Furthermore, you can dodge practically every oncoming blow. Doing so is desirable since it fills your Athra gauge. Athra energy is used during Athra surges, which are exceptional assaults. You’ll receive many of them, and apart from a couple, most need you to explore. However, the most significant ones come from the main development and are useful during combat. You may even use two at a time.
If exploring wasn’t enough to make this game worthwhile, the combat backs up my contention that the Lost Crown is an excellent Metroidvania. It again demonstrates Ubisoft’s desire for this game to be an approachable entry point for those discovering the Metroidvania genre for the first time. For veterans, the essence is preserved via features they may opt out of.
Level Up Sargon To Even The Playing Field
Finally, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown introduces a manageable leveling system. At Haven, you’ll discover a few folks who can assist you level the playing field. You may upgrade your health potion, acquire medallions that provide Sargon passive abilities, and upgrade your weaponry. You may receive indications about how the story will develop if you’re ignorant enough. These things are made from time crystals that enemies drop. In a sense, this system is optional. You are never obligated to return to Haven to upgrade or buy. I’ve only been back here several times. However, it also guarantees that newbies to the genre are manageable.
You do not need to worry about leveling up or anything like that. If you wish to disregard this place, that is OK. However, after a few hours in the game, you’ll feel you’ve earned a significant advantage over your opponents. And Haven will live up to its name and become second nature. When all of these systems are combined into a single package, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a strong game that leaves few complaints. The gameplay is quick and full of style, allowing you to explore and enjoy.
Because Prince of Persia: Lost Crown has 2.5D gameplay, the makers naturally chose a stylized graphic style. As a result, the gameplay performance on PC is excellent. We tested the game on our review rig using the following components:
CPU – AMD Ryzen 5600, running at base clocks
GPU – NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 TI
RAM – 16GB DDR4, 3200 Mhz
SSD – 512GB WD SN570
Running at 1080p
The review copy has the 1.0 patch applied. This implies that our performance and gameplay will be comparable to the launch experience for everyone else. For performance, we used the maximum graphics settings accessible in-game. This game does not support custom graphics settings or any upscaling technique. It makes sense, given that this isn’t a visual masterpiece and the development team prefers this style.
Two anti-aliasing technologies are available, SMAA and FXAA, and the performance measure varies based on which one you choose. The surroundings and characters also have jagged edges. In terms of performance, the game operates smoothly and efficiently. We’ve reached 350+ FPS at various points in the game, which has been steady throughout. You have a frame limitation; however, the game worked well on our systems. Even CPU and GPU use remained under 40% at all times. Overall, the gameplay is tuned, and you will have no trouble enjoying it, even with a low-end NVIDIA or AMD card.
Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown – Worth Buying?
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is Ubisoft’s strong entry into the Metroidvania genre. When you play it, you’ll wonder why the studio never approved such titles before. After all, the firm has a history of producing quality 2.5D games like Child of Light and the Rayman series. As a result, having this title feels perfectly at home. Using Prince of Persia for this game feels out of place. However, I am certain they did it to explain their time powers. However, it is only my nostalgia moaning about the name since there is little else in this title to ponder. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, whether via its core story or easy gameplay, left me in amazement.
This is unquestionably one of the greatest games released by the studio in a long time. Sure, the characters may not have the same personality as their predecessors. However, it makes little difference when the gameplay is, for want of a better phrase, fun. I can’t recommend this title enough, and I hope it’s not the last time Ubisoft explores low-budget yet well-made games in many genres.
Pros & Cons
- It is a solid addition to the overall Prince of Persia universe.
- Accessible Metroidvania provides a challenge to veterans while welcoming newbies.
- Smooth and fun, combo and traversal.
- Custom difficulty enables you to adapt the experience to your preferences.
- Memory function is a groundbreaking development required in future megalvanias.
- The cast of characters barely retains the aura and memorability of their predecessors.