Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia franchise has always been pretty popular, but sadly, the series has had a very long hiatus. The last AAA video game based on the franchise came out in 2010 to coincide with Jake Gyllenhaal’s white-washed movie version of Prince of Persia.
While we are still waiting for Ubisoft to release a remake based on Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, the company has finally released a new game in the series in 2024. One of the best games you can play at the start of this year is Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown.
Instead of playing as the Prince character from the old games, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown lets players control a new character named Sargon. Sargon is one of many powerful warriors who are called The Immortals who are there to protect the royal family.
While The Immortals are there to protect the royal family, things don’t go smoothly at the start of the game. This is because someone who Sargon regards as a friend kidnaps poor Prince Ghassan and he has to go and retrieve him back. To make things even worse, another character in his close circle is also plotting to do something bad to the Prince because he wants the throne, too.
There are some twists and turns to the story, although I will not post any major spoilers in this review. I was surprised how interested I was in the game’s story considering I had never played any previous Prince of Persia video game before. If you are a newbie to the series like me, you will still understand the story in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown.
Unlike previous Prince of Persia games, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown isn’t a 3D-style action-adventure game. Instead, The Lost Crown is like the much older games in the series because it uses a 2.5D-style perspective. While the graphics are still in 3D, you are mostly walking from left to right or vice versa while you’re navigating the huge maze-like levels.
Due to the game’s 2.5D perspective, the combat in this game is simple to learn but very satisfying to master. Sargon’s main weapons are his dual swords, and these can do real damage to his enemies when you use his many combos. To use his swords, all you need to press is X (Xbox) or Square (PS) to do his combos. You can also press the left trigger to parry attacks that aren’t glowing red.
Swords are not the only thing that Sargon has in his arsenal. Other weapons in his repertoire include a trusty bow and arrow as well as something called a Chakram. The latter is a cool weapon because you can use it infinitely like a boomerang. The bow and arrow are useful, too, although you are only limited to 10 arrows at a time until you need to find some more.
The coolest thing about this game is the number of different abilities that Sargon can earn during his journey. While I won’t call Sargon a superhero-type character, he still does have some unique skills that make this game fun compared to just playing as a normal human being.
One of Sargon’s more useful techniques is his fast dash. Dashing is the best skill to use if you want to dodge enemy attacks. I actually used this skill a lot during boss battles because some bosses love to throw a ton of junk at you at all times!
Sargon also has some other skills that help him navigate through the jumping puzzles that are all throughout the levels in this game. One helpful skill is some sort of teleportation ability where he can bypass obstacles that might be standing in his way. He also has the ability where he can carry bombs to open doors that can be exploded.
Sargon can execute some special moves called Athra Abilities, too. These can either do powerful attacks against enemies and bosses or can even revive your health. You have to earn enough energy to do these moves, but they can be really helpful if you get stuck on a boss with high health.
Lastly, Sargon can also equip many amulets that also aid him during his journey to save the prince. Amulets may allow him to do more attack damage or even increase his health bar. The only downside to amulets is that you can only equip them when you reach a save point. You cannot change to a different amulet at any time, which is slightly annoying.
Speaking of being annoying, navigating through the levels in The Lost Crown can be frustrating sometimes, too. Since this is part of the ‘Metroidvania’ genre, you can expect to do a lot of backtracking and encountering locked doors and entrances. In order to progress, you will need to carefully use your map to find alternative routes to your next goal. There were many times I reached a dead end, which prompted me to find new routes to seek out.
Another flaw to this game is that The Lost Crown doesn’t have pretty-looking graphics for a title released in 2024. Even though I reviewed this game on an Xbox Series X, The Lost Crown had visuals that resembled something from older console generations. Gameplay is usually more important than graphics, but I was disappointed with how this game looked after playing many pretty games in 2023.
Aside from some very mediocre graphics and slightly annoying level design, the combat and puzzle-solving elements made me enjoy Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown quite a bit. The combat is satisfying, and the story is very interesting. You should give this game a try if you are into old-school 2.5D-style gameplay.