Geek Preview: ‘Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown’ Keeps The Legacy Alive

When it was first revealed back in June, there were plenty of questions from longtime fans of the series about Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. The art style was divisive, to say the least, and going back to 2D from 3D was something that needed getting used to once again. But after spending about four hours with Sargon, we found ourselves being more optimistic than ever about the future of the franchise.

Just from the opening cutscenes, the stage is set for this Metroidvania adventure in ancient Persia to unfold with much at stake. Sargon, alongside the other six Immortals, rides to save the day in the war against Kushan, kickstarting a tutorial section that immediately shows off the game’s focus on platforming and the pleasant surprise that is its combat system.

Enemies hit hard in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, so there is an emphasis on strategic attacking coupled with dodging and parrying, paving the way for flashy Vengeful Counters that are fun to pull off and satisfying to watch. Time those parries wrong, and you’ll get punished heavily. It doesn’t take long for this mechanic to become integral to progression, especially up against more daunting foes, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Geek Preview Prince of Persia The Lost Crown

Simple ground combos soon develop into air juggles and slams, with various directional inputs allowing Sargon to unleash his ever-growing arsenal of moves and choice of weapons. It won’t be a surprise to see players diving deep into the combat and coming up with unstoppable strategies against the many different foes found on Mount Qaf and beyond, and we cannot wait to taste more.

As for the platforming, anyone who has played modern, challenging platformers like Ori or Hollow Knight will feel right at home in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, as the legacy of the past is brought to life quite well for this new entry. Sargon is agile and quick, able to sprint and leap with the best of them, but throw in moving platforms, dangerous traps, and more, and things get much more entertaining.

This also folds into the different puzzles and side quest content that are littered around in the game, having players explore all corners of the map and taking on combat and platforming sections that range from straightforward to downright dastardly. There are also light role-playing elements to note as well, with special equipment and unlockables there to make your life easier or harder, depending on your preference.

The story itself will also take some time to brew, especially as Sargon comes into contact with time powers and the like, unmasking the secrets behind the mysterious mountains as well as all the machinations that go on behind the scene. Needless to say, the aim is tell a gripping story, and for now, the ingredients are there for the taking.

Perhaps the only grip we have with Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is the map, which serves its purpose of displaying the progress of players throughout their time in Persia, but could do with more obvious indicators when it comes to quest locations and the like. It’s not that big of a deal, but if the Ubisoft team is looking for players to spend 20-25 hours exploring and enjoying themselves, a better map that continues to tease and tantalise will be the cherry on top.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is coming to PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC on 18 January 2024.