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Prince of Persia The Lost Crown Review: You're Not the Prince

Rahul Bhushan  |   Jan 11, 5:32 PM   |   6 min read

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  • Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a 2D action-platformer with a new protagonist.

  • The game will come out on January 18, 2024 on Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S.

  • Early access for the game will be open on January 15, 2024 for those who have pre-ordered the game.


Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is an anomaly in every way. For one, the game follows an altogether different protagonist who is not the titular Prince. The game is a Metroidvania 2D action platformer, a first for the franchise. This genre isn't exactly the go-to for major tentpole franchises like Prince of Persia, unless you're Nintendo. The game boasts a distinct art style and structure that sets it leagues apart from the franchise's past in a bold, new direction brimming with potential. 


Our new fresh-faced protagonist is Sargon, the youngest of the elite warrior group - Immortals, tasked with rescuing Prince Ghassan from Mount Qaf - a place ravaged by weird time powers. If that plotline seems vaguely familiar - it is because that is practically the premise for most of the Prince's previous adventures - Warrior Within, Forgotten Sands, and Prince of Persia 3D. Only this time, you play as not the Prince.  What the game lacks in originality concerning plot and storytelling - it more than makes up for it with its rewarding combat, traversal, and ingenious level design. 


The game takes very little time and gets you adjusted to the pace and complexity of combat - throwing a big boss fight your way only mere minutes in. The tools at your disposal are quite simple - a pair of trusty swords, a bow and arrow, and a projectile weapon used for puzzle-solving and combat. The combat, while easy to pick up, gets increasingly challenging facing up against stronger enemy types that rely on speed and range rather than brute force. 


Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is one of the best action platformers I have played this side of Metroid Prime and it is truly the comeback fans have been waiting on for the franchise. The game is genuinely challenging and constantly demands the player's mastery over its systems to get through each section. While the game was a thoroughly enjoyable ride from start to finish in its fast-paced 15-hour or so campaign, I couldn't help but wonder exactly why this needed to be a Prince of Persia title. While the game shares much of its DNA with the classic Prince of Persia brand, it could very well stand on its own two feet as a bold, new IP by Ubisoft, because for one, you don't even play as the Prince. On the flip side, because the game is a "Prince of Persia" spin-off, it will be positioned for more success than if it was a new IP. 


Prince of Persia The Lost Crown: Turning the Clock Back 




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If you've played a Prince of Persia title before, you know sort of what to expect going into The Lost Crown. Challenging platforming puzzles, time powers, and a Metroidvania structure. The game does not deviate from the tried-and-tested formula except in the most drastic way - by making the game a 2D platformer, much like the original Prince title from 1998. 


The most stunning quality about The Lost Crown is its unabashedly challenging combat that is showcased in the game's many fantastic boss fights. True to its apparent inspirations in Hollow Knight and Ori and the Blind Forest - the game consistently forces players to polish the seemingly simple combat mechanics. At several different points in the game, the game resembled the best bits of a soulslike game - using death as a mechanic for the player to improve with each attempt. In Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown's best moments, the boss fights to resemble its puzzles - demanding the player to learn attack patterns, time their dodges, move in for quick stuns, and parry attacks. 


Prince of Persia The Lost Crown


On Medium difficulty, the game feels sufficiently challenging, leaving enough room for players to experiment with their approach to combat and pull off flashier moves. On higher difficulties, there is little to no room for error as the game demands precision, speed, and a healthy dose of flair. It is recommended that players at least give the default Medium setting a go first to figure out exactly what kind of game they're looking to play. If it's a blisteringly punishing combat experience you're looking for, you might want to crank up the difficulty setting. If you're only looking to enjoy the platformer puzzle side of things, you will enjoy your time with the game even with the difficulty on lower presets. 


Speaking of difficulty, the game is gracious enough to allow players to tweak individual aspects such as parry timing, enemy damage count, and things of that sort. Combined with several accessibility options, including a portal to skip platforming sections entirely, the game is pretty inclusive for players across a wide spectrum. One of the game's most ingenious features comes in the way of a neat almost 'screenshot' feature, allowing Sargon to pin a certain section of the game world to the map screen - allowing players to remember exactly what puzzles will require a future power-up to solve. This essentially eliminates the backtracking hassle, which makes me wonder why other Metroidvania games haven't done it before.


The game's highlight comes in the form of its boss fights, as each one of them will demand the player to use a different kind of approach. While some bosses are lumbering giants that require patience to kill, others will fill the arena with tons of projectiles, asking you to perfect your timing for jumps and dodges. Its this variety, combined with the game's flair for presentation that makes each boss fight memorable, adding tons of replayability off of the boss fights alone. 


Prince of Persia The Lost Crown


The game's main story takes upwards of 12 hours to wrap up in its entirety but I would personally implore players to venture deep into the map, take a few detours here and there to stumble across secret bosses, puzzles, and characters as all of it is ultimately aids your character, allowing you to be stronger for the end-level boss. The game's puzzles made for some of my most frustrating moments in the game, almost in a good way. At several points during the game, I had to rage quit, hoping to come back to the same puzzle hours later with a fresh mind, and hopefully, with a new perspective. 9 times out of 10, that was usually exactly what I needed and I was able to figure out the solution with relative ease. What makes your brain tickle with some of these puzzles is that often what seems like the easiest way to do it is the correct one and you don't need to try and figure out cleverer ways to get the job done. 


All put together, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown might just be the most fun I've had playing a Prince of Persia game since The Two Thrones back in 2005. While Prince of Persia (2008) was impressive with its art style and ambitious design, it just couldn't bring everything together as The Lost Crown could. The result is a game that draws from the series' past to deliver an experience that feels familiar yet fresh.




Prince of Persia The Lost Crown


While I couldn't get enough of The Lost Crown's boss fights and deceptively clever puzzles, I cannot say the story was a positive motivating factor. The game starts relatively well with a fast-paced intro that introduces the game's primary characters and our protagonist, Sargon. But save for a cutscene here and there, not much is revealed about Sargon, or how he came to earn his reputation as the "Rathabar". All I can safely say about our protagonist is that he's good with swords, is entirely too trusting, can rock a sash like nobody's business, and is entirely unimpressed by the fact that he can now manipulate and bend time to his will.


The 12-hour campaign follows a rather cookie-cutter storyline that fails to deliver any meaningful surprises or twists. Each "plot twist" is telegraphed to death and the story simply brushes over what could have been potentially interesting beats. As Sargon, you ride to Mount Qaf with your "Immortal" buddies to save Prince Ghassan (yes, the Prince has a name in this game) from forces looking to do timey-wimey god stuff.  Spliced between the routine "go to this place to unlock this door" quest are interesting dialogues that hint at a much larger scheme, none of which really pay off by the end of the story.


The game's narrative and world-building also have a somewhat jarring quality to them as nobody really seems to take note of the fact that the "Immortals" aren't exactly very human. For one, one of them can shoot arrows like a World War II-era machine gun while one literally conjures storms like he was Thor's second cousin. These feats are regarded as somewhat 'par for the course', which okay, seems like it could have used some more explanation.


In the end, the story is serviceable but nothing to write home about. If it weren't for the exceedingly well put-together presentation and art-style, the game could have really soured on me this story was supposed to be the highlight. 



Graphics, Presentation, and Art Style


Prince of Persia The Lost Crown


The star of the show alongside the gameplay, The Lost Crown's art style and pompous flair have a ton to do with why I came away with a generally positive opinion of the game. The game's stylized action and presentation over photorealism is not only an inspired choice, but the correct one. In my opinion, while I personally loved Prince of Persia: The Warrior Within and The Two Thrones, both those games lacked the charm that Sands of Time and the 2008 soft reboot had in spades. The sort of fable-like quality of Prince of Persia supports the ethos of the world more than the gritty, photorealism approach that the aforementioned games had.


Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown retains some of the "Arabian Nights"-like quality of The Sands of Time and mixes it with anime-like character title screens, presentation, and flair. The result is a wholly unique creative voice that helps the game stand apart in a big way. I thoroughly enjoyed the Dragon Ball Z-like character face-offs, power-ups, and introduction title cards that the game likes to show off every now and then. It is a real let-down that it couldn't be paired with an equally compelling story and characters. 


The Lost Crown has one of my favourite level designs in any action platformer - a raging sea frozen in time replete with ravaged ships, rogue waves, and thunder strikes. The impeccable design, paired with a masterful score by Gareth Coker (of Ori and the Blind Forest fame) and Mentrix makes for a solid visual and audio package that elevates each section of the game. 



Prince of Persia The Lost Crown: Final Word


Prince of Persia The Lost Crown


Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a deceptively complex game that makes you rack your brain - whether it be boss fights or its several platforming puzzles. The game's masterful score and beautiful presentation elevate it from the routine major IP spin-off it could have turned out to be. While the game lacks severely in the story department, it manages to rise above and present a game worthy of the Prince of Persia brand as perhaps the best game in the series since the original Sands of Time trilogy from the early 2000s. 


In all my time with the game, I did not encounter any major bugs, performance issues or other such impedances on my PS5 - making it one of the more polished titles I've played in 2024. Although the game is solid in every way, it is going to be a tough sell for the average AAA gamer at the $60/Rs 4,999 price tag. While I would heartily recommend the game to those who frequently enjoy playing action-platformers, it is not going to be everyone's cup of tea. For those who reserve this kind of price tag for the average tentpole PlayStation Studios release, I would say wait for a sale as the game is incredibly polished and packed with solid content. 



Review copy provided by Ubisoft and reviewed on a PS5.


Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown



Release date : 2024-01-18

Market Status : UPCOMING

Studio : Ubisoft Montpellier

Brand : Ubisoft

  • Solid combat and platforming 
  • Challenging puzzles and boss fights
  • Fluid controls
  • Fantastic art style and score 
  • Solid Performance
  • Lacklustre story
  • Uninteresting protagonist 
  • Gameplay


  • Performance


  • Story


  • Graphics and Sound


  • Value for Money


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Rahul Bhushan

Sr Editor at Gossip.GG


Rahul is a massive RPG fan that cannot seem to hold his own against any enemy larger than 10 feet. An experienced writer in the field of Gaming, Rahul talks about everything from giant AAAs to the lat...




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