Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Review – Reviving a Classic
Ubisoft has started the year strongly with the release of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. This game might disappoint some dedicated fans of the well-loved Prince of Persia series. Unlike previous games, it uses a different art style and moves away from the 3D action and platforming. Despite this, it has become one of this year’s unexpected hits.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a Metroidvania-style game with a strong foundation in gameplay. Its unique, cell-shaded art focuses more on functionality than aesthetics, allowing for smooth movement and action-packed side-scrolling combat. The game’s story might not be its strongest point, but this doesn’t overshadow the high-quality gameplay.
Many players were first introduced to the series with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time on the PS2. This game was groundbreaking for its time, introducing a time rewind feature and combining excellent platforming with hack-and-slash elements. Its story was easy to follow and featured memorable performances. However, true fans of Prince of Persia remember that the series began as a challenging 2D side-scrolling platformer.
In Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, the game returns to the series’ origins, introducing a fresh identity and new characters. Like earlier games, it focuses on precise platforming and defeating enemies. Deeply rooted in Persian mythology, the game’s narrative focuses on seven warriors, including the main character, Sargon. It starts with a short introduction to the basics and quickly moves to a kidnapping event. This event triggers the quest to rescue the Prince of Persia, Ghassan.
The game was developed mainly by Ubisoft Montpellier, known for their work on the Rayman series, including the acclaimed Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends. These titles are recognized for their excellent platforming sections, which are challenging yet accessible for casual gamers. I had no doubts about the platforming in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, but I was curious about how the action-based combat would fit into this side-scrolling game.
The combat gameplay is quite impressive. Sargon gradually unlocks special abilities and has defensive skills useful in combat. These include a dodge and a parry move that counters enemies’ telegraphed attacks. These moves are used occasionally throughout the game, but they become crucial during boss fights. Successfully parrying special attacks in these fights can trigger unique animations.
While the action gameplay in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is enjoyable, its platforming stands out as one of the best in the Metroidvania genre. Sargon can jump off walls and use his abilities to access new areas. The animations are well done, and the controls feel responsive and quick. The level design is also impressive. In typical Metroidvania style, you can revisit completed areas to discover new elements.
The game has a substantial size and maintains a good pace. It takes over 20 hours to finish, which is longer than many Metroidvania games that can be completed in about 10 hours. Ubisoft has invested time to ensure there’s plenty of content. The map variety is notable, featuring interesting themes like abandoned ruins. While the map is large enough, backtracking can be a bit tedious, but the game addresses this with a fast-travel feature to specific map areas.
One aspect of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown that I found less appealing is its art style. It appears somewhat outdated, particularly during cutscenes. Although the side-scrolling sections are mostly fine, the game gives the impression it was designed with handheld devices in mind. However, it has a higher budget and more polish than typical handheld games. The game’s price might seem high, especially compared to similar indie Metroidvania games like Hollow Knight. But in my opinion, the rich content, overall presentation, and engaging gameplay make it worth the cost.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown performs exceptionally well on the PS5, with support for up to 120 FPS. This higher frame rate significantly enhances controller responsiveness, which is crucial for navigating the game’s more challenging platforming sections. While I can’t comment on its performance on other platforms, the PS5 version has been flawless in my experience.
The game extends beyond a single-player, linear storyline. It offers an array of side missions and optional content, adding depth and variety to the overall experience. Some of the most enjoyable moments in both combat and platforming are found within these optional parts of the game. Therefore, there’s a strong incentive to thoroughly explore the map in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, uncovering its hidden gems and challenges.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Game Information
- Price: $49.99
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier
- Platform: PS5 (Reviewed)
- Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher