Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown review - Sargon and the Immortals.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown review – a great series comeback

If the last game you’ve played was The Forgotten Sands and are you hoping for a comeback to the series, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a pleasant surprise. The game manages to maintain some of the fan-favorite elements of the series, such as great platforming mechanics, side-scrolling adventure gameplay, and tricky puzzles. It does fall short occasionally due to performance issues and some bugs, but other than that, The Lost Crown manages to deliver what fans are hoping for.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown review - Sargon at Queen Thomyris' throne room.

Starting with the story, you play as Sargon, one of the eight elite warriors called the Immortals. Your goal is to find and save the Prince on Queen Thomyris’ orders. Your main task is to visit Mount Qaf and its Ancient City, an area where time flows unnaturally. An example of this can be seen when an NPC that arrived only one day before you mentions that 30 years have passed since they arrived. Keep in mind that the Lost Crown is an original game and not a sequel or prequel to other Prince of Persia games.

The storyline itself is solid. It features a great setting overall, with multiple surprises to keep you engaged throughout your time with the game. It’s a story of trust and betrayal where things take some pretty unique twists that I did not expect. However, it’s not as long as I’d hoped. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown takes about 25 hours to beat if you focus on the main story, which isn’t short per se, but the game is so good I just wanted to keep playing.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown review - Sargon solving a puzzle in the swamp.

In terms of gameplay, the world is fairly big and full of distinct biomes. The enemies and bosses manage to stand out as they feature different move-sets and styles that fit the biome they’re in. While The Lost Crown maintains the side-scrolling gameplay of previous games, it enhances it by adding a Metroidvania element, which introduces a large world full of secrets, where new areas and rewards get unlocked as you gain new abilities. As a result, you’ll need to backtrack a lot after unlocking new skills.

Additionally, combat is also a great experience. Sargon has various attacks which can be enhanced further through amulets. Amulets are equipable items found around the map that offer passive bonuses once equipped, like increased damage, HP, and more attacks in your combos. So you’ll want to hunt them down.

Combat is mostly based on parrying. It can be hard to get the timing right, but practice makes perfect. Additionally, if you block certain yellow attacks from enemies, you’ll one-shot them (if they’re common enemies) or deal massive damage and leave them staggered (if they’re bosses). Overall, there’s a huge focus on parrying; you can’t progress without it. Parrying makes the combat feel more alive and reactive instead of just spamming auto-attacks, so it was a good choice by Ubisoft.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown review - Sargon exploring the Archives.

There’s enough gameplay progression overall, as you can upgrade weapons and amulets and find new items around the world. The game motivates you to explore every corner in search of more amulets and collectibles. Combined with the various side quests for extra rewards, there’s always something to do outside of the main story missions.

Overall, the amount of side content is decent. There’s not too much, but there’s enough to keep you occupied for a few extra hours. Specifically, there are nine side quests and a fairly big map with multiple collectibles in almost every corner of it. However, one small setback is that while the map is huge, there are very few fast-travel points. In most cases, you’ll need to run back and forth a lot. Additionally, if you die, the game teleports you to the last Wak-Wak tree you visited, which could be fairly far from where you died. Thus, there’s a lot of running around.

Also, there are various difficulty settings ranging from easy to impossible. On top of those, there’s a custom difficulty, which allows you to make the game as easy or as challenging as you want. Next, you can also choose between Guided and Exploration modes. The former lets you explore the world with hints on the main story and some puzzles. The latter disables all such hints and allows you to find everything on your own. I mostly played on Guided, which offered just enough hints to keep me going while also letting me figure out most stuff on my own.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown review - Sargon at a Wak-Wak tree.

Visually, the game looks beautiful as the biomes and enemies are distinct. New areas in the game are graphically engaging and keep the excitement flowing, while cutscenes are delivered with cinematic gorgeousness.

In terms of performance, the game has fairly low system requirements, so it runs well without any FPS drops. However, it had its fair share of crashes. After every 1-2 hours, our game crashed, and we had to restart from the last save point. Also, we often encountered an NPC dialogue bug where we would interact with that NPC and the dialogue wouldn’t start for about 10-15 seconds. During this time, our character was stuck trying to initiate the dialogue.

As for the audio, it’s a solid addition. The music fits the theme of exploration and combat without being something jaw-dropping. The most impressive feature is that Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown includes Farsi voice acting, which is the native language of Persia. Enabling that instead of the default English will significantly enhance your experience if you’re looking for immersion.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown review - Sargon performing a charged attack.

All in all, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a great comeback to the series. It maintains fan-favorite gameplay elements and story while adding the Metroidvania setting to significantly spice up map exploration. With an immersive storyline and a vast world full of puzzles and secrets, there’s a lot to do. The only minor setbacks are that you’ll need to travel back and forth a lot and deal with the occasional crashes during launch.

If you’re a fan of the series or are simply looking for a good side-scrolling Metroidvania game, I highly recommend giving Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised, even if it’s your first PoP game. Its story is distinct, and you don’t need to play the previous games to understand it.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is available on Uplay, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown: A great comeback to the Prince of Persia series with a unique story and an amazing world full of secrets and puzzles that are fun and exciting to explore. Harry Mourtzanakis

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Harry Mourtzanakis

Harry has been a gaming fan ever since the days of Gameboy Advance and over the past 20 years, the one thing that has remained stable is his love for anything video game-related. Nowadays, you'll see him enjoying almost any type of game including FPS, survival, RPG, farming sims, and soulslike titles. Sometimes it’s all about action and intense fights, and others it’s better to relax in a cozy farmhouse. Combined with his Master's in Philosophy, Harry is able to share his passion for gaming through guides, reviews, and more.