The Prince of Persia franchise has lay dormant for years. When Ubisoft announced its return, fans rejoiced. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown features side-scrolling action as the player assumes the role of Sargon, an immortal warrior charged with the protection of Persia. The events for this new game occur on Mount Qaf, a place suffering from a curse that has turned everything hostile. The story revolves around Sargon trying to figure out the events that lead up to this curse and then trying to find a way to fix the damage caused.
The gameplay for Prince of Persia: The Last Crown revolves around the “Metroidvania” concept. This game features a big map to explore but will only unlock in small increments. Because of the nature of this game, Sargon will have to backtrack a lot to reach previously inaccessible areas once he learns the appropriate power or receives the correct item. This piece of information will be important to remember so that time isn't wasted trying to solve a puzzle that might be impossible to get through at first.
If, after a few attempts, Sargon can't meet the requirements for any given situation, players can make a note of that area and return later. Fortunately, Ubisoft's development team made it easy to do that. Bring up the world map and locate the correct icon. Then, add a marker to that location on the map so it can be easier to return there later. The developers have given gamers different markers to keep the different instances straight, such as a diamond for a treasure chest or a basic question mark for puzzles without an answer. As far as the world map itself, the player can unlock it by exploring every area and buying a map from Fariba, who seems to appear all over the place.
Fluid Combat and Upgrades
The combat in the game features fluid action and some great combos that can be strung together as new techniques get unlocked. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown features the typical melee combat that everyone knows from the franchise, but options also exist for ranged combat, as well as utilizing some magic.
Once enough Athra becomes available, Sargon can access “Athra Surges.” These players can discover these powerful attacks after completing certain objectives. A couple of examples include “Verethragna's Smite,” which allows Sargon to rush an enemy and break through defenses, or “Bahman's Breath,” which can create an explosion as well as a healing zone that can regenerate health. Amulets also factor into the equation with varying degrees of power.
Sargon can not equip everything at once, so the player must decide which trinkets will be best. Some of these can add to offensive prowess by adding an additional attack to a combo or increasing your maximum health. The right balance will ensure success. Sargon will also unlock time powers at different moments in the game. These new abilities will aid players in their journey, such as the ability to dash in mid-air or perform a double jump.
Much of players' success comes down to the gear and upgrades available after exploring every nook and cranny on Mount Qaf. Players can discover gear in chests and purchase it from different vendors. Some of these vendors can also upgrade existing gear, such as making Sargon's swords stronger or increasing the maximum number of arrows available.
While going through the game, gamers should keep an eye out for Soma Tree Petals as well. Once Sargon finds four Soma Tree Petals, his maximum health gets raised. It works similarly to finding four pieces of heart in The Legend of Zelda to add a new heart. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown also has different forms of currency. One vendor might take time crystals, the primary currency source in the game. Another might require Xerxes, an older, rarer form of currency.
Prince of Persia's Lore
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown has an interesting lore to it. Specific quest items will help along your adventure. Lore items also dot the landscape, such as letters from a bygone era or personal items from people in the past. The Quests menu has the information for those who want to revisit some of the story at any given point. The game provides information on both main quests as well as the side quests that Sargon still needs to complete.
Players can also look at completed quests by scrolling down the list using the left analog stick and looking at the different parts of the quest using the right analog stick. It can also bring up past conversations by looking at dialog history. When games allow the player to look back on story information, it can provide major help, especially for those returning after not playing it for a while.
Going through this adventure has been a lot of fun, and there isn't much to complain about. To reiterate, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown does belong to the “Metroidvania” genre. That means the game requires some significant backtracking. Gamers who find that tedious should avoid this game.
For those who do enjoy those games, though, The Lost Crown offers a fun adventure. The boss fights can be a tad difficult on the standard setting. The game's difficulty options can significantly mitigate this, though. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown has standard difficulty options, or players can create their personalized difficulty level. The player can control the damage an enemy can do to Sargon and decide how much health an enemy will have. The player can make it easy to parry successfully in battle or completely turn off the Athra depletion rate.
Accessibility Options Improve Experience
One of the best ideas the development team implemented revolves around the difficulty of platforming in the game. The team included a “platforming assist” option that might save the day for some players. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown can have some incredibly challenging platforming segments. When this option gets enabled, a portal will appear at the beginning of some of these challenges. When that happens, enter the portal, which transports the player to the end of that platforming section.
To be clear, this doesn't happen for every challenging section. Sometimes, Sargon needs to navigate a challenging environment with no shortcuts or help. When this shortcut does exist, though, it can save a lot of time and frustration. Sargon will respawn at the last save point if a player sees the “game over” screen. That could mean certain sections must be redone depending on how long it has been since the last save.
Please note that these shortcuts will always be completely optional. Players can enable this option in the settings and never use it in the game. Players should probably enable it, so the choice will always be available.
For those with experience with older Prince of Persia games, this adventure does a great job of capitalizing on that nostalgia. Some of the set pieces in the game bring up memories of the earlier entries in the series in a good way. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown does a great job bringing the series forward while keeping it rooted in the past.
Those who have enjoyed this franchise should try Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. For players who have yet to try this style of game, this Prince of Persia adventure would be a great first step into the genre and the franchise.
Rating: 9/10 Specs
Please Note: Ubisoft provided Wealth of Geeks with a code for Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown on the Xbox Series X for review purposes.