Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Review

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown marks the return of the veteran action-adventure series, with the last mainline entry, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, releasing nearly 14 years ago.

The Forgotten Sands was (pardon the pun) very forgettable, in my opinion, but the Prince of Persia series has a special place in my heart as The Sands of Time and Warrior Within were some of my favourite early video game memories I played on the PC and the Game Boy Advance.

When The Lost Crown was announced, I was a little worried about how it would turn out, given Ubisoft’s patchy recent releases. However, after playing a sample level at EGX last year, I was filled with renewed optimism, and that optimism has turned into pure enjoyment this week while playing it on the PS5.

 

Story

Straight off the bat, the game opens with a superb opening level. While, yes, it does drip feed you info on how to play, it does allow you to just immediately get immersed in its world. In this title, you play as Sargon, a young member of this warrior group known as The Immortals.

In this opening level, the Persian Empire is on the brink of invasion by the Kushan Empire, and it is your and the rest of your team’s job to repel this invasion. You do repel this invasion, but it comes at a cost and a very early double-cross. During the victory celebrations, after Sargon defeats the opening boss of the game, his mentor, General Anahita, kidnaps Prince Ghassan, and it is then your duty to rescue him.

This means travelling to the cursed city of Mount Qaf, which is home to the Citadel. Not to spoil so much of the game, but let me say it is one hell of a ride, and there are more twists and turns than Lombard Street.

Overall, I found the story to be thrilling, and I did not expect it to be as intriguing as it was. As with any Prince of Persia game, the mystical powers you acquire on your journey and the way they are woven into the story are just superb.

Also, you will find the game to have a really satisfying ending, and it doesn’t leave on an obligatory sequel-bait cliffhanger.

 

Graphics and Gameplay

Now, while I have gushed about this game’s story and how unexpectedly good it is, the game’s true shining light are the graphics and gameplay.

As I said in the beginning, this game really gives off retro vibes, and the art style just oozes class. Simply put, this game is beautiful.

You can tell the developers did have a real love for the series, and the landscapes you see in the levels and their backgrounds are just a feast for the eyes, this is the level of detail and care that Ubisoft should put into titles across the board.

In terms of gameplay, the movement and traversal of the gorgeous world are so smooth, and the control scheme is so simple that anyone can pick up and play this game. The combat is also punchy and feels like you are actually swinging around real swords instead of sword-shaped balloons. The bow and arrow feels a bit more like a toy, but that is a minor gripe, if anything.

The speed of the combat makes it an overall joy to partake in. The game does have a decent level of difficulty in this department as even the most basic enemies can kill you if you’re not careful, and if you do feel that you’re getting through the game too easily, you can whack up the difficulty, or you can just amend individual elements of the difficulty, like enemy health/damage and the parry window.

There are some special attacks that Sargon can perform if you time that parry just right, which is very rewarding, I must say. There are also special abilities like creating a healing field, throwing several enemies in the air or firing a powerful arrow at enemies, which definitely adds icing to the awesome gameplay cake.

As with any Prince of Persia game, there are some time-bending powers, and here, you are able to leave a copy of yourself in one place to jump back to if a platforming sequence doesn’t go right, or if you are overwhelmed by enemies.

You can also take photos areas or locations you want to come back to once you unlock further powers and abilities, which is a nice touch for all you collectors out there.

The only negative I found with the gameplay was when I was trying to block, the window to actually do this is very small (even when adjusted), so in the beginning, when you’re getting used to the mechanic, you will take more hits than you would like. In the first boss battle, I thought I had hit the block button at the right time, but definitely died more in that battle than I would have liked.

The boss battles also make you use every single combat move you have learned, and they are real tests of your abilities, exactly how bosses should be.

 

Summary

Prince of Persia has been away for so long that some may have thought it was dead, but like all those years ago, the “Sands of Time” have brought the beloved series to life again.

From the levels to the combat, to the pretty decent story, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a true return to form for the series, and given that it is slightly cheaper than most new releases these days, I can’t recommend this game highly enough due to its more simplistic nature. Compared to other 10/10 games, it can’t quite reach those lofty heights, but it is so damn close.

Well, that is it from me; while writing this review, I have been getting withdrawal symptoms from playing this game, so if you’ll excuse me, I must get back to gaming.

Developer: Ubisoft

Publisher: Ubisoft

Platforms: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Nintendo Switch

Release Date: 18th January 2024

Related posts

Eight Video Games That Could Make Great Films

Kyle Moffat

Outcast: A New Beginning Review

Ryan Jones

Final Fantasy XIV: The Japanese Epic Unfolding in Eorzea

Guest Post

Who Should Hold Every WWE Championship After WrestleMania 40?

Kyle Moffat

Highwater Review

Kyle Moffat

Dead End City Review

Ryan Jones