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Prince of Persia The Lost Crown review – Long live the Prince

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Prince Of Persia The Lost Crown Review Featured Image
Screenshot: Ubisoft

Growing up, I was never able to play the more mature games for obvious reasons. However, in 2004, Prince of Persia: The Warrior Within snuck past my parents and resulted in changing my whole view of gaming.

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Fast-forward two decades later, and it seems the Prince is less angry now. With Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown on the horizon, check out this review to see if it lives up to its namesake.

The Sands of Time feel different

The Lost Crown does a good job of preserving what made the Sands of Time trilogy compelling. It has all those mechanics that can make you manipulate time, which can be used with combat and platforming. This Prince of Persia isn’t exactly a return to form with how games in the ’90s were, but it still manages to get close.

Prince and friends

The Prince — or Sargon — is far different than the other versions of him. While still the young Prince, he seems to be more reserved. This is night and day from the rage-filled Prince in the Sands of Time trilogy. His demeanor does make sense; Sargon isn’t in charge, he’s part of a crew of warriors to protect Persia called the Immortals. He’s a part of a team, but of course, he becomes the leader as the game progresses. The characters and world are interesting because a lot of it is pulled from Persian mythology. For example, you’ll spend the entirety of the game in Mount Qaf, which, in Persian myth, is the home to a massive bird-like God called Simurgh.

Prince Of Persia In A Temple
Screenshot: PC Invasion

In the game, Ubisoft still stays true to the mythology as Simurgh has a presence in The Lost Crown. Even Sargon himself is a part of Persian history as he was an Akkadian king. By the developers doing their homework and understanding the culture, the world in The Lost Crown feels immersive. You may learn a thing or two about Persian culture as well.

As for Sargon’s supporting members, they each complement his innocence and drive. His allies are steadfast in defending him, and his enemies’ motivations are justified. When you mix this all, everything has weight and gives the story high stakes with repercussions you can feel as a player.

A tale as old as time

Speaking of stories, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown follows the same beats as other Ubisoft games. At the start and throughout most of the game, the narrative is tangible and interesting. Regardless of the story of betrayal that has been done before, the setup feels like it should have a good payoff. Most of that is true — however, in typical Ubisoft nature, the pace does pick up in the latter half of the game. I did notice that when things began to speed up, the story would gloss over important moments that I would have invested more time into. It’s also strange because The Lost Crown has the energy and length of a AAA game but treats itself as a smaller title.

I thought that certain plot points would be explained in full later on, and they were, but quicker than I would’ve liked. This is a pet peeve of mine for Ubisoft games. Once a plotline has resolved, the story carries on without any lingering consequences.

Prince of Persia ran so Assassin’s Creed could walk

We’re talking about the platforming element, of course. A lot of Creed’s movements have been heavily influenced by the Prince’s platforming. This is rather evident in The Lost Crown. Now, I would put combat and platforming into one section, but bear with me — there’s a reason I’m separating the two. The platforming is something I will remember for a long time. I didn’t hate it, but boy, did it make me angry more than half the time.

Prince Of Persia In A Laybrinth
Screenshot: PC Invasion

When doing the puzzles and creating the mechanics for platforming, Ubisoft must have said, “How can we punish our players?” All the puzzles with platforming are some of the hardest trials I’ve ever had to do in gaming. Because it’s all about timing, so when you mess up — you mess up. I did think the platforming may have been bugged as I was playing and writing this review of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown before the day one patch. However, I think I’m just a bad gamer overall.

There is a rhythm to the platforming. Once you get it, things do get a lot easier. With that being said, losing the rhythm is a lot easier than getting it. If you misstep or don’t jump on time, you can lose everything. The platforming is addicting; it did make me come back after spending hours on one section after not getting anywhere. On the other hand, once you complete the puzzles via platforming, it does feel rewarding. That kept me in the game.

New Prince, new moves

The combat, like the platforming, needs its own section because it’s just as grueling. Sargon has many tools at his disposal to defend himself. He has two swords named Qays and Layla (which are taken from Persian and Arabic history). Sargon also has ranged abilities with his bow. Additionally, to add more spice to combat, you get certain powers for both types of weapons. When everything is in tandem and you’re using everything at your disposal, combat looks and feels amazing. However, like the platforming, it’s all about the timing. If you misstep or parry at the wrong time, it can go against you fast. There were times I couldn’t beat certain bosses because I didn’t dodge or parry on time, and the game punished me for that.

As you progress through Mount Qaf, things can get hard in an instant. Luckily, you can upgrade your weapons and gear as you progress. However, that is never enough. To get good at combat and platforming, you need to be patient. Since everything is all about timing, I did realize if you wait and just keep yourself composed, you can overcome anything.

Prince Of Persia In The Depths

Disney’s Prince of Persia

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown’s look is one of my favorite things about the game. The 2.5D platformer is vibrant, and each location you go to has its characteristics. When I learned the majority of the game would be spent on Mount Qaf, that worried me a little. I can safely tell you I was dead wrong. Each part of Mount Qaf feels like a world of its own. For example, The Depths stand out because of its bleakness and darkness. Then you have Hyrcanian Forest, which is the polar opposite in that it is lush and filled with greenery and life. So, while the game has one setting, the locations within the setting are distinct enough that everything feels like they stand on their own.

There are tons of places to explore, but for this review of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, the locations I mentioned above do justice to my point.

Back to the roots… kinda?

On the surface, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown looks very much like the older games. But as you go deeper and deeper, the game does have a different vibe to it. For one, it’s a semi-open world. You can go back to areas you’ve once been to with new powers, not unlike Zelda. Plus, there are memories you can capture that can be stored on the map, which allows you to find treasures with new abilities. You have the freedom to explore areas in a non-linear manner, provided you have the power to do so. When you tie the combat, exploration, and platforming into one package, there’s something to engage with.

Prince Of Perisa Map
Screenshot: PC Invasion

With Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown coming out on most devices, find out if you can buy it on Steam.


Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is available now for pre-order via Ubisoft Connect, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, and PS5.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

8

While Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown's story doesn't match the immersion of the gameplay, it does its best to hold everything together during its second half. However, with solid but challenging combat and platforming, it seems like the Prince is using his strengths to deliver what may be the franchise's most compelling adventure yet. It's not perfect, but it's far from subpar.

Raza Malik
About The Author
Raza is a Contributing Writer who's been at PC Invasion since March 2023. After he earned his Media Arts degree at Niagara College, he went on to grow his portfolio by working at such publications as GameRant. While he plays a wide array of different types of games, Raza enjoys discussing open-world games, shooters, and live service games. Some of his favorite series include Assassin's Creed, God of War, and the Diablo series. On the side, he enjoys editing videos, and creating content for his side project Marching Into Madness.