Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Preview – Change is a Good Thing

the lost crown

I was lucky enough to get a hands-on preview of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, guided by the helping hands of Ubisoft as I entered a world unfamiliar to me. I’ve never been a fan of the 2.5D side-scroller style of games, but following my session (during which I grappled with controls and died around fifteen times), I may be edging into the realms of calling myself a convert.

From my short but sweet preview of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, I had several key takeaways. Firstly, change is a very good thing and it was much better than I expected. It’s a game that’s equal parts pleasing to the eye and a joy to explore, and once I’d gotten the hang of the combat mechanics, every fight became satisfying.

I’m genuinely excited for the full release.

The Lost Crown – Different, But Still The Same

It was explained to me by the Ubisoft team on site that the preview I was playing for The Lost Crown had been assembled to showcase everything that the game has to offer, and I had to agree with them there. I learned about the verticality of the maps as I explored the Metroidvania-style environments, uncovering traps, hidden entrances, and pitfalls everywhere.

It didn’t end there, of course – I also uncovered ancient entities that could craft for me some legendary weapons, I found mystical trees that granted me the power of amulets, and I even saw one of the game’s impressive bosses – the mythical-like manticore, Jahandar.

On the surface, it’s unequivocally a Prince of Persia game. I was bouncing from wall to wall, dodging traps, and using my dual swords – and my remarkable bow – to do away with all manner of enemies. It was challenging enough that it took me a while to find my feet, and when I did… It was still quite challenging – but that’s because I’m terrible at these kinds of games.

But you know what? I kept going back after every death, eager to soak up more of The Lost Crown.

Small But Mighty

I was told by the ever-so-helpful Ubisoft representative that the price of The Lost Crown will reflect its smaller size, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have heaps of value wrapped up in its neat package. It boasts a replayability element – as you unlock upgrades and new abilities, areas that were previously inaccessible will open up, pushing your playthrough even further and encouraging you to go back again to see what you’ve missed.

Every skirmish was different, and the set pieces were fantastic – I felt forever fluid, jumping, sliding, and sprinting across the screen, making use of our hero’s abilities. In The Lost Crown, players assume control of Sargon – an ‘Immortal’ with God-like powers. If you’ve ever played VALORANT and run a few rounds as Yoru, you’ll recognise one of Sargon’s key abilities – he can place down an ethereal marker of himself that he can teleport back to at the press of a button – it’s really neat.

With multiple ways to proceed through levels, a hearty mix of enemies to face off against, and more movement mechanics than I could shake a sword at, I came away from my preview of The Lost Crown feeling very excited about the full product. It might be a different experience than what players remember from years ago, but it’s important to remember that the original Prince of Persia games were side-scrollers too!

The Lost Crown will be released on January 18th, 2024 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

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