Through ingenious level design and gratifying systems married to intensely satisfying moment-to-moment gameplay, The Lost Crown reinvents Metroidvania conventions while carving out its own new legacy
Nearly 15 years after its last major installment, Prince of Persia has made a triumphant return with Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. Developed by Ubisoft Montpellier, The Lost Crown takes the series in a bold new direction as a sprawling Metroidvania gameplay-focused around platforming and combat. Despite swapping perspective and shaking up conventions, The Lost Crown has emerged as one of 2024's finest games and a revolutionary reinvention for the Prince of Persia franchise.
While its painterly art style lacks some flourish, striking backdrops and animations bring the world to life. Mount Qaf and its diverse biomes, from mystical forests to shipwrecks frozen in time, they all feel authentically crafted and realized in incredible clarity. Character animations during combat are heavily influenced by anime and the result is nothing short of spectacular.
You take control of Sargon, one of Persia's elite Immortals sent to rescue the kidnapped Prince Ghassan. Within Mount Qaf's sprawling labyrinth, Sargon handles with precise fluidity through a vast expandable moveset. From wall jumps and dashes to time manipulation abilities unlocked throughout, every new skill opens new paths and continually refreshes the loop. A "Memory Shard" photo mode equivalent captures obstacles as map markers, vastly improving already stellar exploration.
Between platforming gauntlets and thrilling enemy encounters, The Lost Crown provides constant life-or-death situations through devious level designs. Challenges encourage experimentation over linearity, sometimes unveiling shortcuts or power-ups that completely alter approaches. Despite palpable difficulty, deaths prove inconsequential through forgiving checkpoints. Failure often leads to hidden areas worth uncovering.
Combat engages from beginning to climactic end through memorable boss clashes and varied enemy mobs. Well-timed parries and strikes can end many fights cinematically similarly to quicktime events. Maintaining combos demands constant evasion, positioning and mastery of Sargon's expanding arsenal. Accessibility features like custom difficulty ensure newcomers and veterans face proper challenges at their discretion.
As for the narrative, I quite liked the story and the interaction between Sargon and the rest of the rest of the Immortals. While you can probalby see the twists from a mile away, how Ubisoft Montpellier delivers these moments is quite engaging especially as they are backed by really strong voice acting.
Through ingenious level design and gratifying systems married to intensely satisfying moment-to-moment gameplay, The Lost Crown reinvents Metroidvania conventions while carving out its own new legacy. For fans of Hollow Knight, Ori or Prince of Persia's classic days, The Lost Crown reignites a beloved franchise in a spectacular way. Ubisoft Montpellier's latest is nothing short of royal, has a ton of heart and I can't recommend it enough. Thanks for reading!