Sometimes it’s important to get back to our roots
This newest entry into the Prince of Persia franchise is a fantastic side scroller filled with puzzles and secrets for the player to discover. As well as an engaging storyline filled with various warriors and royalty. First a bit of gaming history. The first Prince of Persia was released way back in 1989, on the Apple II computer. This makes Prince of Persia one of the oldest gaming franchises to still be producing video games to this day. The franchise has released a whopping 15 games since its original conception.
The series has retained its popularity by constantly adapting to new trends and player bases while still keeping some of the old magic that made the series great in the first place. And with the release of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, Ubisoft will likely gain an entirely new base of players for future releases. First, let’s take a look at how the game actually plays. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown offers a surprising number of things for players to do, considering that this game is a side scroller. The maps are expansive and filled with puzzles and secrets for the player to solve. And like every great side scroller game, the map is filled with inaccessible areas that the player will need to return to later when they have developed new skills.
Release Date: January 18th on Switch, PS 4/5, Windows, Xbox One and Series S/X
I know that these aspects sometimes frustrate new players, but it adds a level of mystery that I enjoy. The way the game is set up, I am constantly on the lookout for areas that I may need to come back to later. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is fully aware of how easy it is to forget these locations, so they have added a snapshot feature to allow players to mark parts of the map that they will want to return to later. Not only that but there are some RPG elements to the game. The players will spend their time killing hoards of bad guys and collecting loot that they can later exchange for new items or upgrade the items that they already have. During the progression of the game, players will have the opportunity to obtain and equip different amulets that change combat style and damage that can be done. We aren’t looking at Final Fantasy levels of customization here, but for action side scrollers, there is a surprising amount of choice given to the player.
Next let’s take a look at the graphics presented in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. This game presents players with a bit of an indie comic book style of cut scenes and dialogue sequences. They aren’t bad by any means if that’s what you are looking for in an aesthetic. My only gripe is that the dialogue isn’t animated in many instances, so the game creates kind of floating head avatars that aren’t really my thing. During the traditional gameplay, the graphics are what you would expect from this style of action heavy game. The combat looks great but as a side scroller, the player isn’t offered that much detail. The graphics may be the weakest element of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, but even then, it’s not that weak.
The sound in this game is amazing as always. Not only during sessions of pitched battle but even when just exploring the map. The way that the sound design lends itself to the different areas really helps to pull the player into this amazing world. I would highly recommend playing with headphones to fully experience all of the details that the sound design adds.
The most important aspect of any action game is going to be the controls. You can nail everything else but if there is a slight input lag it will ruin the game. Luckily, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown does not have any issues in this department. The combat is sleek and fast, and the input feels the same way. The parry and counter system all feel immediate and natural as you play the game. It is honestly impressive to get this level of input control on a side scroller.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown will release on all major platforms on January 18th, 2024 and I highly recommend that you check it out if you are a fan of side scroller or action games. Even if you aren’t it may be worth the time to see just why this series has been going strong for almost 35 years.