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  • Writer's pictureCourt Lalonde

The Epic Adventure of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown - A Review

Is Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown the best game Ubisoft has put out this year? The easy answer is yes because 2024 has been around for a few weeks, but it may be the best game Ubisoft has put out in the past couple of years. They have revitalized the franchise with this release. They took a franchise that hasn't seen a mainline release since the 2010s, The Forgotten Sands, and made it the must-play game of 2024. The Forgotten Sands felt like an Assassin's Creed clone and is sitting at a 74 on Metacritic. It wasn't a bad game, but it wasn't a great game.

I remember playing my first Prince of Persia game back in the early 90s on my IBM PC, and at the time, the graphics and gameplay blew everyone away.

Prince of Persia 1989
Prince of Persia 1989

It was the first game I remember that made me think about my next step in traversing it. You had to ensure the moves you were about to make wouldn't kill you. At the time, you could even hang off a ledge, a game changer in gaming. It was like nothing I had ever played. Prince of Persia is right up there with Ghost N' Goblins. It made me love playing video games, so when I first saw the trailer for Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, I was so excited.

From the trailer, I saw that they're returning to what I fell in love with when I first played Prince of Persia, which was the puzzles and traversal. Their art style shines when you play this side-scrolling Metroidvania game.

When you first start the game, you learn that the kingdom is cursed, and you must save the Prince who was taken to a forbidden land. You and the other Immortals are tasked with saving the Prince but beware of what you will find because everything isn't what it seems. I don't want to give away much more from the story as there are some pretty cool twists and turns you get taken on with it, and the team at Ubisoft did a great job telling it, so who am I to ruin it? I will say that the story is compelling and told very well, but be prepared to do some reading. The art style they use to tell the story besides the action is almost storybook in a way as you get face images popping up and the text beside it to move along conversations. It felt like very old-school storytelling from games in the SNES generation, and I was a big fan of it.

The difficulty settings in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown range are rookie, warrior, hero, immortal, and custom. The difficulty setting has everything to do with the combat, not the traversal. The traversal is hard, but I felt rewarded as I completed many complex moves to get from one area to another. I did die a lot, and I mean a lot. I usually avoid games with these difficulty spikes throughout a playthrough, but I enjoyed playing Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. Anytime I passed a section on the map that was giving me a lot of trouble, I felt like I did as a kid playing Mega Man or Metroid when I finally figured out how to traverse a particular section without dying. As in any Metroidvania game, you need to upgrade your character to reach an area on the map, and The Lost Crown is no different. When you beat bosses or finish certain missions, you will be rewarded with new skills that will help you in combat and traversal. If you do find the traversal too difficult, there are some accessibility settings you can use to make it easier or even skip them altogether. They don't offer a lot of accessibility settings, but there are some. The one I turned on was visible interactions, as it will show you where items are for collection, which will help you get all the trophies/achievements in the game. I'm unsure what the trophies/achievements are; they're all locked, and I can't see them. I haven't played a Ubisoft game that doesn't reward you for collecting everything, so I will go on a limb here and say there is a trophy/achievement for collecting all the collectables.

prince of persia

The combat was challenging, but I didn't find it too difficult. Once I learned the patterns of each boss, after a couple of tries, I had them beat. I played the game on warrior difficulty, which isn't forgiving at all, so I would hate to see what hero or immortal difficulty looks like. All enemies have their weak spots, and no enemy is the same. The smallest of enemies can pose a problem if you take them lightly, and mini-bosses can sometimes appear out of nowhere. I will have finished a challenging traversal section only to think I'm safe and be met with a mini-boss fight. There is a section where you can train and learn your moves and become more comfortable with the parrying. You can upgrade your weapons, but you will need to find shards that you can use to purchase upgrades in the game. They don't give these upgrades out easily; you can only upgrade your weapons slightly each time. You will be armed with your bow and your swords, but you do have powers and amulets you can use to help you in combat. As you gain more powers in the game, combat becomes easier, and you can easily eliminate enemies. I found sliding under them or jumping over enemies helps a lot earlier in the game, and I wouldn't get hit as much. When the enemy's strike turns red, you won't be able to parry them, so you must figure out how to avoid that attack. Boss battles are rewarding as you will be rewarded with powers and health, but they pose the most significant challenge besides some of the traversal in the game. The variety of bosses and attacks they had was refreshing, as I didn't find any boss to have the same attack patterns. As you progress, you will acquire Athra Surges that you can use in combat to defeat enemies, but you will need to fill up the bar in combat before they're available. Each surge has different power levels, and some are better than others. They're very helpful during mini-boss or boss battles as they take off more health from enemies than a normal attack does. Use your traversal and combat to chain together power combos to take out enemies, and you can learn some of those combos in the training area once found.

The save states are crucial to your survival in the game. If you don't save, you will be returned to your last save state, and all progress will be lost. The save states are in the form of trees that you will find in the game, which, when you save, will regenerate your health, health potions, and arrows and allow you to change your amulets for different advantages. The amulets are collected in the world either from completing a mission, purchased, or found in chests throughout the world. Each amulet has various powers that give you an advantage during your game, but some take up slots than others, and those slots are limited unless you upgrade them. Sometimes, there is a tree before a boss battle, so you can change your amulet so that your advantages are for combat only, which would help with the boss fight. Some of the amulets you collect are for helping you find hidden items in the world.

lost crown

The large map will uncover as you find areas and save states, but you can also purchase to reveal the maps at certain vendors. There are hidden areas all over the map, but there is an amulet that will help you find them called prosperity bird, an actual bird that will be by your side and chirp when you're near a secret or an item to pick up. You can add markers on the map to help you know areas you need to go back to and even use memory markers that will take a photo of that area so you can use it as a guide as to why you chose that area that needs to be returned to. Once you have the skill or power required in the area of the map, you can return and claim your chest or item you wanted to get after you can delete that memory and use it somewhere else on the map. You have 15 memory makers that can be used at one time. There is also a fast travel system you can use to go back to old areas of the map that are now unlocked for you after completing specific missions. When you're close to a fast travel area that isn't unlocked, your screen will change colour, letting you know it's nearby.

The graphics in the game are bright and colourful when they need to be and dark in other areas on the map. I played on a PS5 with 4K 120 fps, and it ran smoothly and looked terrific. The art design they chose for this game was perfect for it, as the show's main star was level design and traversal. The graphics won't blow you away, but you don't need to. It's the nicest-looking side-scrolling game I have played in a very long time. Finishing the game will take over 25 hours, but there is so much to do on the map and challenges that the game provides good value for your money.

The Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown was a highly anticipated game for me, and it didn't disappoint. It was a great way to start the year, and I would like to thank Ubisoft for providing a code for review. So much of the game is rewarding, and I wanted to return to when I wasn't playing it. I know I like a game when it can take me away from any other game I'm playing. I'm tempted to buy this game on my Nintendo Switch as I think it would be perfect for on-the-go gaming. I highly recommend any Metroidvania game fan to purchase this game, and even if you're not, it might surprise you, and you might like it. It has an old-school feel with modern graphics and design, which brought me back to my childhood during a time that made me fall in love with gaming. You'll sometimes get frustrated with some areas, but the reward you feel when you accomplish what you set out to do is rewarding. You can't go wrong picking up Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown; I bet you will like it. If this is the way 2024 is starting out, I can't wait to see what games we all get to play next.


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