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Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Review


OUR RATING: 9/10


When Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown was announced at Summer Game Fest last year, I was initially a bit skeptical about the game. The big question in my mind - can this 2D Metroidvania keep you entertained for its entire duration?


The answer to that question is simple. Yes, yes it can. The 2D style works effortlessly here and the way the gameplay is presented is top notch. This is a fluid, fast-paced, exciting adventure that will keep you on your toes from minute one until the credits roll, with its tricky platforming and challenging enemies. In this way it is Prince of Persia through and through. You'll hit walls and be unable to progress or explore further without the right skill or tool, and this is about as familiar as any Metroidvania has been over the years. The new screenshot mechanism that lets you take a photo of a place you've visited to remind you why you should/must return there obviously helps with progress.



If you didn't know, The Lost Crown isn't actually about the Prince of Persia. Instead, you take control of a warrior known as Sargon, as he is tasked with rescuing the young Prince from his captors. Shortly afterwards you discover a plot that turns Sargon's beliefs and understanding of the world upside down, and this leads the hero on a journey through time to discover the motive behind the true antagonist as well as how to defeat them. The story takes Sargon all over the location of Mount Qaf, a legendary place where time no longer works in a linear sense, and this is where the Metroidvania elements creep back in, as you have to visit unique biomes, complete tasks, interact with characters talk, acquire new skills and equipment, all on the way to a destructive final battle. But even when this game lacks in a narrative sense, it excels in many other areas.



The performance is more than impeccable. The Lost Crown runs at a consistent 4K 120 FPS on the PS5 at all times. There are sections of varying difficulty, but each part of the game allows you to show off your understanding of the mechanics as you see fit, and this is fantastic because so many of the skills do slightly different things and allow Sargon to overcome challenges to overcome those before him in a multitude of ways. Between using time reversal systems to teleportation, to air sprinting and double jumping, wall climbing and jumping, plus grabs, slides and more, there are a whole host of movement techniques that apply to most places near Mount Qaf. They're also very useful when it comes to combat, meaning the core hack n' slashing systems have been enhanced with a creative pack of skills and weapons that make Sargon a versatile and exciting character to control.



The combat has a lot of depth, which is a necessary system due to the speed and ferocity with which the regular enemies and, more importantly, the boss level enemies attack. As you'd expect for a Metroidvania, The Lost Crown isn't always an easy game to conquer, and you'll need to practice and perfect your ability to parry and dodge, as well as learn the attack patterns of enemies to overcome them. For bosses, this usually also means figuring out how to avoid devastating cinematic attacks or abilities that take up the entire battlefield if you plan to remain standing by the time their meaty health bars are reduced.



Speaking of exploration, Mount Qaf is designed in such a way that there are tons of challenges and additional side content to explore and find, but this isn't a huge and overwhelming world either. It's manageable to explore, and similarly, the secrets are mostly presented in a way that doesn't leave you banging your head against the wall looking for answers. Ubisoft has struck a nice balance between challenge and ease of access in the sense of exploration.



For a multitude of reasons, this game is an absolute blast. I've had a ton of fun exploring the world and taking on all kinds of dangerous beasts and creatures from myth and legend, so much so that I can see myself starting a new save file and taking on the challenge on a harder difficulty. Now that this game is in the books, Ubisoft has a brilliant platform to build on for the future and I for one can't wait to see what direction they take with the Prince of Persia franchise.

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