Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Review
Story And Setting
Visuals And Performance
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown has completely subverted my initial expectations, providing us with a great game to kickstart 2024 off.
- Thrilling Combat
- Engaging Exploration
- Impressive Level Design
- Charming NPCs
- Unappealing Storytelling
- Sargon Falls Short
- Simple Gameplay Elements
I look back on the Prince of Persia series as one of my favorite action platforming games. From playing Forgotten Sands on my PSP to being engrossed with Two Thrones on the PS2, the games were ridiculously engaging and fun.
- Editors Note: We were able to test the game on the PS5, with impressions on other platforms to follow soon.
And though the series has failed to maintain that spirit in the latter years, the latest entry in the series, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, has somewhat brought that charm back for both old and new players, and I aim to discuss how it does that in my review.
Story And Setting
Our story begins with an introduction to the main setting, Fars, the ancient soil of Persia, upon which only warcries can be heard. These warcries come from the raging armies of Kushan, led by their general Uvishka, who has come to take Persia by the throne.
And all seems lost until the Seven Immortals, the strongest warriors in all of the land, rush to the aid of the Persians in the nick of time. Here, we are introduced to the protagonist, Sargon, one of these seven warriors, as he and his crew overthrow the invading army, promptly defeating Uvishka.
And as much as I tried to click with Sargon’s backstory that slowly unravels throughout, it is arguably one of the weakest points of the narrative for me.
However, things suddenly take a turn for the worse as Prince Ghassan is kidnapped, and Sargon now has to embark on a quest to save the literal Prince of Persia.
While I’ll refrain from major spoilers, I found the main story fairly decent, mostly because the characters do a commendable job of keeping you engaged. Not to mention the overall lore surrounding the game, from collectibles to codex entries, etc, make the game’s world feel alive instead of just set dressing.
And as much as I tried to click with Sargon’s backstory that slowly unravels throughout, it is arguably one of the weakest points of the narrative for me. However, I’ll still give the game praise for making me feel attached to the characters in general, since the Immortals crew and their banter kept the narrative fresh for me.
In my opinion, the only saving grace is our protagonist’s interactions with NPCs and other Immortals, which are both rich in chemistry and keep you somewhat intrigued because of his shifting demeanor.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown’s gameplay offers a mix of hack-and-slash combat along with an intricate Metroidvania exploration that truly tests your attention to detail towards various sections of the map.
Furthermore, I felt that the combat was snappy, and right out of the gate the game strongly emphasizes that you play it strategically instead of randomly attacking and brute-forcing your way through it.
the combat was snappy, and right out of the gate the game strongly emphasizes that you play it strategically.
I found myself actively being overwhelmed by enemies, and despite learning their movesets and parry timing, there were still moments where they caught me off guard.
And to be quite honest with you, there are layers to the combat I didn’t know of, but if you manage to master this combat system fully, you can make short work of enemies, provided you aren’t fighting them on unfair terrain or enclosed spaces.
From launching enemies into the air and combo canceling, this game incentivizes maximum offense and defense if you want to complete the game without dying in under two to three hits.
To help us achieve this, the game has a unique combat mechanic called the Athra Surge. Sargon can channel this ancient energy to use it in combat to decimate his foes, but to do that, you need to land hits on enemies successfully or end up losing the gauge on failed defensive actions.
There are tons of crystal clusters and secret chests hidden throughout the levels and the game rewards you well for seeking them out,
What I like about this the most is how high-risk, high-reward it is to charge up the surge since parrying attacks seems the most efficient way to charge it up. As you slowly progress throughout each level, you can unlock new Arthra Surges, offering a plethora of options to get out of harm’s way.
Speaking of levels, let’s talk about them now. Being a fan of modern Metroidvania titles like Bloodstained and Hollow Knight, I was absolutely surprised by the care put into exploration here.
There are tons of crystal clusters and secret chests hidden throughout the levels and the game rewards you well for seeking them out, even if it requires you to complete a challenging platforming section or mini-boss. This wasn’t a huge annoyance to me since I’m already well-versed with fast-paced action games, but it could be for some.
And exploration is rewarding because the crystals you find can be spent to receive more amulets from the Magi Emporium or upgrade your other commodities.
However, there were times when I got lost so much that I ended up appreciating the Snapshot feature of the game, which allows you to capture an image of the area and pin it precisely on the map to remember later for backtracking or as a visual marker.
Overall, if you ask me, the game does a fairly great job at immersing you with the mechanics, but even more so, it doesn’t hold your hand whatsoever from the exploration to the way you fight against enemies in combat.
There isn’t anything memorable to make the gameplay innovative, but for what its worth, the developers have made the game a safe yet enjoyable experience for both new and old fans of Prince of Persia.
Visuals And Performance
Regarding the visuals of this game, while I’ve always been a fan of the grittier style of older Prince of Persia titles, The Lost Crown still impressed me quite a bit with its colorful visuals and animation.
The game looks and runs fluidly, considering it isn’t graphically demanding, so you should have no problem running it on even older GPUs, provided you meet its minimum requirements.
Its art style is also extremely eye-catching, almost giving me the impression that I was playing through a Dreamworks animated movie.
If you ask me, playing via the PS5 on my Monitor felt extremely smooth, as it supports an unlocked refresh rate, allowing you to fully capitalize on the fluidity factor I mentioned previously.
Its art style is also extremely eye-catching, almost giving me the impression that I was playing through a Dreamworks animated movie, albeit with the janky facial animations I experienced along the way.
From the malicious underbelly sewers of the Depths to the lush fields of Hyrcanian Forest, I think that the art team has done a marvelous job crafting an immersive atmosphere and backdrop to the game.
Given my lack of faith when I first launched this game to review it, I can’t understate the fact that with how much I played Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, it completely subverted my initial expectations, providing me with a great game to kickstart 2024 off.
While the story may be a hit-or-miss among many, it compensates for that with intuitive gameplay that feels so responsive and fluid that you may end up completing the game in 3 to 4 sessions. Though the game has a modernized look and feel, Ubisoft chose the safe route by making the game cater to both new and old fans.
With various types of accessibility options, difficulty modes, and a creative approach to exploration, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown has managed to revitalize the franchise once more, and I hope gets to maintain this same charm and just possibly if it aims for bigger accomplishments later down the line.
This has been our Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles.
- Sonic Dream Team
- God of War Ragnarok: Valhalla
- SteamWorld Build Review
- Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader Review
- Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora Review
- Naruto X Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections Review
Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡
How could we improve this post? Please Help us. ✍