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Prince of Platforming

Updated on: 21 January,2024 06:57 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Jaison Lewis |

Prince of Persia taps into its platformer roots, refreshing the series with an excellent combination of puzzle, combat, and gameplay

Prince of Platforming

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown
Rating: 4/5
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, XBS, XBO
Price: PC – Rs 3,499

The 1989 version of Prince of Persia will always be one of the greats. While Sands of Time in 2003 changed the game and was hugely popular, it always felt like it lacked the soul of the original. Ubisoft has struck a delicate balance between the old and the new with The Lost Crown.

What stands out almost immediately with Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown (POP:TLC) is the combat. You are almost instantly thrown into a battle where you are taught everything you need to know to succeed in the game. You play as Sargon, part of a group of mighty warriors called the Immortals. Your mission is to save the kidnapped prince of Persia.

This game has many nostalgic elements, including the Parkour puzzles, hidden goodies, challenging bosses, and punishing combat. It isn’t as punishing as the first POP game, but it is relatively difficult compared to most modern games. Fortunately, the autosave is pretty good, and you won’t lose too much progress every time you die. 

The battles are essentially a dance in figuring out the pattern of attacks and selecting the best times to either attack or dodge. Unlike most games, your character is kitted out with all combat abilities right from the beginning. Once you figure out your attack strategy, combat gets very satisfying. However, one wrong move can still land you in trouble, especially with boss battles. Figuring this out in boss battles is especially crucial because some bosses are extremely overpowered, and your character can only take so many hits before dying. 

Graphics in the game are another standout element. While the overall view of the game is in two dimensions, the developers have done an excellent job of effectively mixing in the 3D elements. The city where the game takes place is meticulously designed to challenge your ability to perform acrobatics precisely. Getting around sometimes is a puzzle in itself, with hidden platforms and precise timing. There are also a lot of hidden areas in the levels that are fun to discover, and you can go back to maps to explore them further. 

TLC’s snapshot system is also pretty brilliant. You can take a photo of any place you want in the game, including these hidden areas, and you can go back to the spot when you are ready to solve the puzzle or explore a hidden area. Considering the labyrinth, you must explore, it’s a welcome feature that should probably be exported to other games of similar genres.

A lot of attention has been given to the level design. Combat cutscenes are also brilliantly executed and have been liberally thrown in; special attacks are fun to execute because of them. There are cutscenes for the story elements as well. These looked good, but I felt like the story was rather plain for a game that was executed at such a high level. There is an attempt to create intrigue, which instead creates confusion. However, I must say the Immortals as characters are great; they have some good personalities, and the character design is on point. The voice acting is also very on-point, which always lends to the immersion of a game.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a pretty good game that fans of platformers will enjoy a lot. Even at the lowest level, the difficulty makes finishing this game highly satisfying, even if the story is a bit disappointing. If you like challenging platformers, then this is definitely the game for you. However, if you are looking for some Sands of Time-style gameplay, you will need to look elsewhere. It is a game I enjoyed despite its flaws.

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