Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Review – The Fresh Prince

Ubisoft, a major publisher with a glorious past but a struggling present, can hope for a brighter future if it hedges more bets like this one. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is their finest game in (at least) a decade. It drops the three-dimensional shenanigans of every modern PoP title, settling for the glorious 2D, but it can hardly be described as a redux. It draws inspiration from the great progenitor of the series from 1989, splicing the platforming formula with the modern Metroidvania concepts. In mixing the classic with the new while avoiding unnecessary gimmicks, it becomes the ultimate Prince of Persia. I would go so far as to claim that it, in a relative sense, outshines the cultural impact of Sands of Time (2003), which is everyone’s favorite PoP.

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And it does all that without any pomp! Compared to the noise the hapless Skull and Bones generated over the last few years, it creeps like a ninja into the market. I bet that a great many Prince of Persia veterans have no idea that this sleepy January brings the first new PoP in fourteen years. And not just any PoP, but the best PoP. But I digress and repeat myself needlessly.

Ancient Avengers

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Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown stars Sargon, the youngest of the Immortals. Those champions of ancient, Zoroastrian Persia were Avengers of their time, violently fixing every trouble that had befallen over the ancient empire. The latest yatagan that hit the fan was the obduction of royal prince Ghassan. The traitors from the royal court kidnapped the lad and brought him to Mount Qaf, once the place of great civilizational significance, now cursed warren of temporal black magic. Sargon and the gang will face the ultimate test of their abilities there, dealing with treachery, long-forgotten monsters, and deadly traps. On top of all that, time seems to flow differently in Qaf, and the streams of past and present cross themselves, seemingly at random.

Mount Qaf is a truly breathtaking place, full of ancient splendor and buried history. In a true Metroidvania sense, it has a plethora of different biomes, gated by Sargon’s abilities you’ll progressively unlock. It opens up like a flower, simultaneously surprising and bewitching you. You’ll meet a host of interesting NPCs, some of which will offer side-quests and an opportunity to delve even deeper into the ancient, corrupted mountain.

Persian souls

Prince of Persia The Lost Crown Review Boss

It’s hard to say which part of the game shines the most, but I would argue for both its combat model and navigational structure. Both elements work and feel very Soulslike. Sargon fights with dual (upgradable) swords, helped with a bow, and Chakram, the sorta of ancient magical boomerang. He can equip various charms which enhances his combat abilities in numerous ways. During the game, Sargon will learn to harness assorted time powers, as well as simple Athra magical surges. All this combines into a complex package that’s easy to understand and use, with a lot of room for optional finesse needed for playing on higher difficulty levels. The combat benefits from a robust combo structure, which you’ll need to embrace to deal with increasingly dangerous bosses.

Mount Qaf is seeded with magical Wak-Wak trees that serve as bonfires in souls games. There you can respawn after (inevitable) death, and also re-arrange the amulets depending on the challenges of every particular zone. Fast travel opens up after a while, but the scarcity of teleportation-enabling statues means it never becomes an overly dominant feature. The major bosses often carry crucial time powers needed for moving on with the story, and that linearity is the only thing I slightly dislike about The Lost Crown.

Accessibility champion

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Compared to similar games, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown offers unprecedented accessibility options. Initially, it asks you about the type of experience you want, allowing you to opt for Exploration or Guided mode. The first one is a classic Metroidvania, where snooping around and occasional headbanging due to being hopelessly lost are essential parts of the experience. The second option is to feast on the objective markers, where tight hand-holding will guide you every step of the way. Apart from that, the game sports five difficulty modes, as well as the option to skip the trickiest platforming sections altogether.

The thing I liked a lot was Memory Shards. At any time in the game, those shards enable you to take a screenshot of your current place and pin it on the map. Say you stumble upon the obvious ability gate between rooms/zones, but instead of taking a mental note, you get a visual hard copy etched on the map. It’s brilliant and it doesn’t take anything from the exploration experience. Regarding visual accessibility, the devs implemented a high-contrast scheme with three different colorblind modes! This is fantastic news for players suffering from protanopia, deuteranopia, and other variants of this genetic disability.

Last but not least, this is the first (AFAIK) major Western AAA game fully localized in Farsi (both dub and the text). The people of modern Iran rarely get any love from the collective West, so hats off to a developer for this classy kindness.

New life for the ancient prince

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Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown brought a brilliant start to 2024. It breathed a new life into a long-dormant franchise, resetting the perception of what the Prince of Persia game should look like. It’s awesome in every element that counts! Let’s hope it helps long-struggling Ubisoft reach the end of the road of pain they have trekked for a long time now.



  • Fantastic combat module, superb boss fights, awesome traversal mechanics.
  • Mount Qaf is a beautiful place, full of ancient splendor, deadly secrets, and buried history.
  • Tons of accessibility options, including the best color-blind modes in any game to date.
  • Minimal hardware requirements help it run like a charm on flimsy PCs.
  • Great celebration of Zoroastrian Persian culture.


  • Sargon could have benefitted from a bit more personality.
Review platform: PS5
Developed by: Ubisoft Montpellier
Published by: Ubisoft
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Author Serge profile picture
Having games be part of his life since Commodore 64 it was only natural that Serge co-founded With every new game he travels from being the Noob to being Gosu. Whether he does coding or editorial work on the website he is still amazed by the fact that gaming is what he does for living.