If you played video games back in the 2000s, you probably remember Prince of Persia. This swashbuckling action-adventure series helped define the cinematic platforming genre with its time-bending adventures and acrobatic combat. But after hitting a high point with 2008’s Prince of Persia reboot, the franchise faded from the spotlight. While Ubisoft churned out Assassin’s Creed game after game, poor Prince sat gathering dust on the shelf.
Now, after over a decade, Prince of Persia is back with The Lost Crown. And rather than simply retread the same ground as Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft has wisely taken the series back to its 2D roots. Developed by the talented team at Ubisoft Montpellier, The Lost Crown reimagines the Prince of Persia formula as a gorgeous 2D metroidvania platformer.
Longtime fans can rest assured that The Lost Crown retains the series’ signature strengths. Slinking through ancient ruins, chaining together dazzling acrobatic combos, and unravelling environmental puzzles are all integral parts of the experience. But the shift to a nonlinear 2D world allows for tighter, more challenging platforming and combat. Exploration is also key, as you unlock new movement abilities that open up previously inaccessible areas packed with secrets.
The Lost Crown successfully brings Prince of Persia into the modern era not through nostalgia, but by evolving the gameplay into something fresh and exciting. This revitalising new direction brims with promise for passionate fans and newcomers alike. So parkour your way back into this classic franchise − adventure awaits!
Dance of Blades and Leaps of Faith
The moment you pick up The Lost Crown’s controller, Sargon springs to life with a fluidity worthy of the greatest parkour masters. Simply running through the ruined halls of Mount Qaf feels incredible thanks to the pixel-perfect precision of the controls. Yet traversing the treacherous terrain is just the start, as The Lost Crown delivers best-in-class combat and platforming to equal any Prince of Persia game before it.
Let’s kick things off by talking combat, the slicing silver centerpiece of The Lost Crown’s addictive gameplay loop. While the face buttons control Sargon’s basic attacks, the inputs for blocking, dodging, and special abilities create a deceptively deep pool of tactical options. Button mashing will only get you so far before The Lost Crown demands mastery of its systems, punishing sloppy play against higher level foes. But apply some strategy and Sargon becomes a whirling bladestorm, able to juggle hapless enemies for massive damage. Landing a perfectly timed parry stops time for a moment as the camera zooms in on Sargon’s lethal reprisal, a cinematic flourish that never gets old.
Yet the true test lies in The Lost Crown’s epic boss encounters. Going toe-to-toe with these brilliantly crafted titans pushes Sargon’s skills to the limit. Each boss fight comprises multiple phases, with new devastating attacks unlocked as you chip away at their health bars. But perseverance pays off as you gradually decode the visual tells preceding their deadliest blows. With precise timing, Sargon can parry these crushing techniques and literally turn the momentum in his favor for huge rewards. Triumphing over these David and Goliath-style matchups provides some of The Lost Crown’s most profound rushs of satisfaction.
While combat takes center stage, platforming plays an equally vital role. Effortlessly chaining Sargon’s expanding repertoire of movement abilities provides a different sort of skill-based zen. An air dash here, a vanish spell there – before long you’ll be transcending obstacles deemed impossible just hours before. Ubisoft Montpellier’s ingenious level designers gleefully rise to the challenge of creating environmental puzzles suited to test your newfound talents. Yet the platforming remains accessible thanks to friendly checkpoint placement and a clever instant-retry system for mistimed leaps. Streamlined mechanics ensure the focus stays on flowing fun rather than potential frustration.
Expanding your explorable territory also unlocks plenty of tantalizing optional challenges. Take on trials focusing purely on combat or platforming mastery for bonuses. Or discover bountiful lore entries fleshing out The Lost Crown’s mystical backstory. This engrosss exploratory loop will push completionist gamers to their limit in the best possible way.
Of course, some may argue The Lost Crown plays it safe – Metroidvania purists won’t find many mold-breaking ideas. But when the execution shines this brightly, evolution takes a backseat to sheer polish. Both genres represented here – action combat and non-linear platforming – achieve new peaks of responsiveness. Prince of Persia veterans will delight at Ubisoft Montpellier’s knack for honoring franchise pillars while bringing welcome refinement. Yet complete newcomers can equally plunge in hassle-free, with no barriers to intuitive fun.
By valuing mechanical depth over needless complication, The Lost Crown strikes platforming gold. Prepare for long nights filled with high-flying combos and grappling hook-enabled escapades across Mount Qaf’s ruins. What awaits around the next corner? More responsive creature comforts for battle-hardened vets – or fresh challenges to enthrall a new generation of would-be Persian Princes.
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Spelunking Across the Sands of Time
Like any self-respecting Prince, Sargon deserves a suitably lavish kingdom to call his own. Lucky for us, The Lost Crown provides exactly that in the sprawling form of Mount Qaf. This vast Persian castle/desert/magical wonderland hybrid offers acres of possibility space for Sargon to ply his trade. A perfectly balanced Metroidvania map gives the game legs, continuously dangling reasons to search every nook and cranny.
From the central hub area, several branching paths tempt you with the unknown. What dangers lurk down in the creepy Crypt? Mightresting merchants await discovery in the Market District? My advice? Follow your instincts and let curiosity guide you. While critical path progression does exist, The Lost Crown allows wide latitude for you to consume Mount Qaf at your own pace. Maybe you’ll spend hours greedily hoovering up collectibles before proceeding. Perhaps locating epic gear drives you onward more than plot. Either playstyle fits smoothly thanks to the non-linear design.
In a particularly clever touch, Sargon can snap photos at inaccessible locations and puzzle roadblocks. His journal then automatically marks these spots on the map so you can return swiftly when suitably powered up. This ingenious system literally develops the seeds for future adventures while you play in the moment. It subtly teaches you to expect rewards for thorough exploration rather than punishing wasted time.
The variety and personality infused into each new zone provides further enticement to keep pushing onwards. My personal favorite remains The Tempest – an entire pirate battle frozen in time. Engaging switches allows you to selectively toggle the chaos on and off, playing with cause and effect. But almost every section contains similar standout ideas tailored to fit thematically. It’s a strong refutation of the “all 2D open worlds feel samey” argument thanks to intelligent design.
Some Metroidvanias severely limit required backtracking, but The Lost Crown leans gleefully into the mechanic as you circle back perpetually with new toys. Previous roadblocks transfigure into speed bumps once Sargon earns superhuman enhancements. Zipping through familiar terrain with fresh eyes recontextualizes zones you already conquered and creates wonderful flow. It also makes Mount Qaf feel like a coherent, integrated world rather than a raggedy patchwork of ideas.
Through smart interconnected looping and constant environmental rotation, The Lost Crown keeps repetition at bay. Fluid parkour abilities turn painstaking progress into effortless poetry. Each finely honed corner of Mount Qaf overflow bonecharming allure, ripe for investigatingby this charismatic Prince.
A Prince Finds His Destiny
Perhaps surprisingly for a combat-focused Metroidvania, The Lost Crown weaves an above average tale with some sincere emotional beats. Sargon’s quest to locate Prince Ghassan elicits exciting highs, genuine poignancy, and the occasional confusing digression.
After Ghassan goes missing, his protective detail “The Immortals” set out on a rescue mission. Hot-headed youngest member Sargon seizes this chance to prove his worth, plunging headfirst into supernatural danger. Through a mix of derring-do and divisible luck, he uncovers a time distortion curse plaguing Mount Qaf’s inhabitants that may connect to the Prince’s fate.
Sargon’s coming of age journey follows familiar Hollywood contours – cocksure rookie to hero legend in training. But through sharp writing and voice acting, his relationships with fellow Immortals, lovers, and rivals all carry weight. A wise mentor/headstrong student dynamic between Sargon and Sohrab forms the crux, as our hero struggles with living up to expectations. Their philosophical disagreements on balancing duty against empathy fuel some heated exchanges. Both want to save Ghassan, but cannot agree on “right” strategy, complicating rather than weakening their bond.
A few mystical supporting characters like the alluring pirate queen Shadee or a merchant with suspiciously reliable future sight help expand the tapestry. And the evolving societal conflict between the Keepers and the Viziers threads political intrigue throughout the questing. Less successful are side stories involving semi-invisible allies that never fully materialize – perhaps content cut for time.
Refreshingly, The Lost Crown avoids forcing Sargon to choose between heroism and personal glory. Protecting others and proving your self-worth need not contradict in this value system. As Sargon repeats at multiple key story junctions where taking “responsibility” risks losing what he came to find – “the only way out is through.” By leaning into adversity, he gains the wisdom to transcend childish stubbornness.
The Lost Crown possesses just enough big picture dots to connect without drowning players like the original Prince of Persia did 30 years ago. Sargon may start naive, but his journey weaves satisfying transformation packed with fist-pumping moments right up to the finale. While imperfect, the tale match’s our hero’s appeal.
A Feast for the Senses
Games live and die by more than pure mechanics. The sensory joy of interacting with lavishly crafted fantasy worlds keeps us escaping real world doldrums. By leveraging Ubisoft’s near limitless resources, The Lost Crown conjures Prince of Persia’s most stunningly beautiful adventure yet through visual splendor and punchy audio.
Sargon’s fluid gymnastics demand silky smooth response, and The Lost Crown’s engine delivers flawlessly. Whether flipping between platforms or zooming across battlefields, the pixel-perfect action maintains 60FPS perfection even on aging hardware. Ubisoft smartly chose a timeless 2D presentation realizing their ambitions was best served through manageable scope. It allowed the artists to crank the spectacle dial to 11 unencumbered.
And oh what artistry lies on display at every turn! Museums filled with architecture inspiring Bravo. Towering magical libraries with endless mysteries awaiting uncovering. Forests and cemeteries cloaked in mood drenching fog. Even “plain” catacombs fill space elegantly thanks to masterful lighting effects. Traditional Middle Eastern musical influences seep through the score, enriching the atmosphere further. Each painterly frame looks ripped straight from Arabian Nights fairytales, magically transporting gamers through vibrant color and soft palette choice.
Adding anime panache to the Prince of Persia formula proves an ingenious evolution. Familiar abilities like external wall running get expanded access through the 2D route, looking better than ever. When combat kicks into high gear, slashing weapons send enemies flying as emerald and violet streaks fill the background. There’s always dynamic momentum with Kill Bill lvl payoffs for executing complex attack chains. You’ll watch same spectacular Athra Limit Breaks for hours without diminishing returns because the graphic design sells each one like a Dragonball Z special move. Stuffing this much passionate visual creativity into a 2D package feels gloriously decadent.
The Lost Crown also delivers spectacular sound design, fearlessly embracing loudness when circumstance arise organically. Full orchestral bombast accompanies climactic encounters then seamlessly merges into ambient desert noise. Interacting with magical objects and artifacts carries suitable crackling weight and mysticism through dense foley work. Vocal performances brim with authentic commitment, fully realizing script ambitions. Every actor clearly relished capturing ancient Persian bravado, grounding characters in the realism necessary to sell the outlandish stakes.
Through bleeding edge animation, lavish vistas, and proudly overblown combat, The Lost Crown emerges Prince of Persia’s first true audio-visual blockbuster. Drink deep from the stellar craftsmanship across the full spectrum of sensory delights. A masterclass in merging artistic passion with CryEngine powered technology beckons – see it and believe.
What lies a prince without perilous battles to win his valor? Luckily, The Lost Crown conjures delightful foes for Sargon to test his mettle against. Ubisoft Montpellier cleverly trains you for eventual boss showdowns through regular enemy variations that teach fundamental combat dynamics. When squaring off with the main event baddies though, the difficulty curve takes a gleeful vertical spike.
Standard foes introduce basic attack/dodge principles while subtly conditioning your reflexes and situational awareness. Giant brutes with slow windup but devastating smash attacks check your patience and pattern recognition. Nimble assassins zip around the margins poking for counterattack chances, demanding deft ripostes. The menagerie covers all necessary skill sections for foiling with flair once inflated deadliness enemies emerge.
And oh boy, do The Lost Crown’s ridiculous bosses exemplify “inflated deadliness”! From a rival prince wielding similar powers to Sargon to mythical figures like the giant Kolowal, each chapter challenge feels daunting yet conquerable. Multi-health bar longevity means fathoming their complete movesets takes time and discipline. Eventually patterns emerge from the chaos through stalwart observation. Precisely dodging and parrying opens small windows for Sargon to inflict damage safely, incrementally winning wars of attrition. With exquisite telegraphing, veterans can plausibly no hit run these dances of death after enough practice.
Some of my favorite touches are bosses lifting actual combos, launchers, or unblockable grabs straight from Sargon’s toolkit. It’s one thing to watch Aggro Worm burrow underground Overwatch Wrecking Ball style – quite another when he starts juggling you between piledrivers like the mirror match from hell! The line between demanding difficulty and seeming unfairness stays toe-d across even most heart pounding battles. And when you finally triumph by the skin of your teeth, few games match that adrenaline flood. The Lost Crown earns its heroic moniker through tests of uncompromising skill strengthened by possibility.
With enemy roster depth supporting broad strategic expression and bespoke boss design forcing your UTDA game to soaring heights, The Lost Crown rivals the best combat this genre offers. Come for the riveting platforming and sumptuous sights, stay for white knuckled brawls with the Middle East’s most menacing mythical titans!
Welcome All Challenger Princes
Veteran warriors thirst for legendary trials of skill stand as The Lost Crown’s core audience. Yet wise designers at Ubisoft Montpellier ensured their modern Prince’s adventure remains open to fledgling royals too through accessibility options. Customizable difficulty tweaks let players tailor the experience to their tastes without compromise. And additional mechanical assists smooth the introductory hours for anyone struggling with the fluid platforming or demanding combat.
Before starting your quest, toggle between four baseline difficulty modes spanning total breeze to masochistic nightmare. Feeling overpowered even on the easiest setting? Ratchet up enemy damage and lower your health at granular percentages until finding an ideal balance of risk vs reward. Alternatively, expand the parry windows to make timing more forgiving if blistering reaction tests prove prohibitive. Those desiring pure exploration over gritty battle can activate handy invincibility cheats.
Similar tweaks apply for platforming too if monitoring jump distance or climb timing feels too finicky. The Lost Crown provides multiple built-in paths around such potentially frustrating skill checks. Completionists can still shoot for 100% at their leisure through manual saves without blocking progress.
By encouraging players to calibrate finer challenge/fun ratios, The Lost Crown opens its treasure trove of delights for all. Prince of Persia veterans have a cutting-edge gauntlet ready for conquering. Yet total newcomers equally can access the magic via multiple on-ramps.
The Once and Future Prince
Like any legend, periodic rebirth proves necessary to keep matters fresh while respecting fundamental spirit. Through The Lost Crown’s exquisitely tuned metroidvania framework, Prince of Persia reclaims past 3D entry glories then handily surpasses their peaks. Ubisoft Montpellier modernizes franchise pillars for contemporary palettes without sacrificing an ounce of challenge or versatility. Whether your past with the series dates back decades or represents a wholly novel experience, The Lost Crown delivers an accessible epic ready to captivate a new generation.
By embracing flawless 2D design, Sargon’s 14 hour quest mingles white knuckle encounters with entrancing exploration joyously. The brilliant balance between combat, platforming, and puzzle solving creates mesmerizing flow for veterans yet remains inviting to newcomers thanks to difficulty options. Rock solid mechanics and captivating style consolidate The Lost Crown into Prince of Persia’s new gold standard everyone can rally behind.
Could nitpickers dig up isolated shortcomings likeSimplify certain lore dumps or recontextualizing old dynamics? Sure – no entertainment escapism proves 100% flawless in every area. But focusing excessively on minor blemishes obscures the broader achievement. Through passion and imagination, Ubisoft resurrects Prince of Persia from neglect back to beloved greatness. That alone deserves applause.
Hopefully The Lost Crown’s universal acclaim guarantees our leaper prince more encore adventures. Sargon and the Immortals spin-off into their own trilogy? A Sands of Time remake borrowing this rejuvenated mojo? Either way, Ubisoft reasserted this franchise potential moving forward. Prince of Persia rides high once more – long may be continue travelling onwards. The King stands ready to reclaim his throne.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a triumphant return to form for this classic franchise. Ubisoft Montpellier's talented team successfully translated the thrilling platforming, satisfying combat, and exotic world that defined Prince of Persia's glory days into an exceptionally polished 2D metroidvania format. With gorgeous visuals, epic boss battles, and plenty of room for mastery, The Lost Crown revives the Prince with modern panache. This is a must-play title for fans of action-packed adventures.
- Satisfying, responsive combat system
- Great platforming with fun movement abilities
- Huge, interconnected Metroidvania map
- Excellent boss fights
- Stunning and stylish visual presentation
- Decent story with some strong moments
- Options for accessibility and custom difficulty
- Story can be muddled and confusing at times
- Not very innovative compared to other Metroidvanias
- Occasional bugs and glitches