Couch Soup Previews: Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown – Prince of Persia Returns in Style

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| October 23, 2023

When you’ve been around as long as Prince of Persia, you’re bound to go through a couple of reboots. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is the latest iteration of the long-running Prince of Persia series, and it’s way more fun than I thought. This new Metroidvania take on the series is something I didn’t know I needed in my life until I was able to demo the game at PAX Aus 2023. I knew the game existed, but it wasn’t on my radar. However, after my time with the game, I’m more keen than ever to jump into this new version of Prince of Persia.

Less Time Travel, More Running

The Prince has dashed away from two enemies and left an after-image. The Prince is preparing to fire his bow while the two enemies are attacking where he was. They are on a bridge with a city behind them.
Can’t hit me suckers. (Ubisoft)

The Lost Crown is a bit of a departure for the series. Instead of being a 3D platformer with time powers, this game is a 2.5D Metroidvania game with no time powers and lots of dashing. This change in gameplay may deter some older fans, however, as a newcomer to this series, I adored it. The movement was especially fun as you can zip through the levels with multiple movement abilities, such as a double jump and dash. I even went out of my way to find the odd platforming puzzle in the demo to experience more of the excellent movement.

The combat, while simple, was also satisfying once you understood how it worked. You have a light attack, a heavy attack, a ranged attack, and a parry. You can combine these with your movement abilities to combo enemies into oblivion. The timing for the parry was a little tricky to nail down at first, but by the end of the demo, I was hitting them relatively consistently. You can also unleash special attacks when the meter down the bottom fills up. I never figured out how to use them without button mashing  (I probably should’ve asked someone). The final aspect of the gameplay was the talismans, which grant you buffs and new abilities. This opens the door for a ton of skill customization, and I’m interested to see how much you can customize further into the game.

Prince of Metroidvania

The Prince is dashing through multiple swinging blades. The Prince is followed by a blue effect. There are spikes just to the right.
Dashing away from my problems. (Ubisoft)

I think the switch to 2.5D and a Metroidvania design was a great decision. It differentiates this game from other Prince of Persia games and gives it its own identity. I also didn’t expect this when I started the demo, as I hadn’t followed any marketing for the game. I was pleasantly surprised with this as this genre has become one of my favourites over recent years. The level I could play through was filled with all kinds of secrets and hidden pathways that were a joy to seek out. I got turned around a few times, but getting back on track didn’t take long. This level design also allows for multiple ways to handle enemy encounters.

I mentioned before that I enjoyed the combat, but there were some enemies that I just couldn’t beat (probably because I suck). So, instead of bashing my head against a wall, I used the super fun movement and ran past the enemy (unlike Rohan, who got stuck there for a while). This freedom to choose how you want to interact with enemies is a welcome addition and will undoubtedly benefit any speed runners who pick up this game.

Platforming up a Storm

The Prince is spinning around on a bar while an enemy shoots an arrow at him. The arrow is halfway to the Prince. The enemy is on a platform and there is a bridge and some building in the background.
This will only end well. (Ubisoft)

For a game that wasn’t on my radar, I had a surprising amount of fun with Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. The combat was rewarding, the movement was impeccable, and the level design was immaculate. The shift to a Metroidvania approach has made me interested in a Prince of Persia game for the first time in a while. The freedom the movement provides is exhilarating, and the customisation possibilities for your skills look very interesting. If the rest of the game maintains this same level of quality and freedom, this might go down as one of the best Metroidvania games of all time. This game has quickly risen up my most anticipated games of 2024, and I can’t wait to dive into the game as soon as possible.

The Prince is standing in front of an open door. He has an angry look on his face. He has two swords on his back and looks prepared to fight.
Damn the Prince is shredded. (Ubisoft)

We won’t have to wait too long to get our hands on the game. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown releases on January 18th on all systems. Keep it locked to Couch Soup for all things Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown and more previews from PAX Aus 2023.

 Editors Note: Wow, didn’t expect to be called out to quite that extent. Anyway, like Thomas, I really enjoyed the gameplay. It was nice and fluid, and I loved using the dash to fly around enemies and launch them into the air. The 2.5D format seems like a breath of fresh air for the series. Can’t wait to play the full game. – Rohan  

Are you a fan of Prince of Persia? Will you pick up The Lost Crown? Are you ok with the change in gameplay? Let us know in the comments where we can talk about all things Prince of Persia.

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