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Prince of Persia Review

Prince+of+Persia+Review

A couple years ago, Metroid Dread came out and cemented for me that Metroid games, and Metroidvanias are easily some of my favorite games. Since Metroid Dread, I have replayed Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion, and earlier last year I was able to finally beat Metroid Prime thanks to the remaster. My biggest takeaway from playing all of these back to back is that from a design perspective, Metroidvanias shouldn’t work.

The main gameplay involves players getting stuck with  little idea where to go and spending lots of time backtracking through environments that they have already been in countless times. However, when players execute this gameplay correctly, they find the backtracking rewarding, rarely experience getting stuck, and are able to witness the other amazing aspects of the genre. This includes the beautifully crafted environments, the creative, challenging, and rewarding puzzles and platforming, and the significant and game-changing nature of every powerup. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown not only excels in all these aspects but also pushes the genre forward in incredible ways that will forever change Metroidvanias.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown starts off strong as you play the main character Sargon, fighting in a giant war alongside the other immortals, warriors who have been blessed with powers that make them immortal. After finishing this war, you all return back to the castle to celebrate when the Prince is kidnapped and taken to Mount Qaf, a place seemingly frozen in time and space. This area is brimming with incredible vistas, variety and engaging set pieces, including dark mines, forests full of poison, ice brimmed mountain tops, and so much more. 

Zooming through space and time

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown | Ubisoft (US)

Thankfully, exploring this location is absolutely invigorating, thanks to an incredibly fluid and fast movement system that only gets better and better as you unlock more and more abilities such as double jump, teleport, or a signature dash.

However it doesn’t stop there, as all of these movement abilities greatly influence an easy to learn hard to master combat system. While this combat system only really uses two buttons, one for attack one for bow, you are able to create some incredibly complex combos off of this system, such as air combos, grounding combos, charge up attacks. On top of this, using the movement abilities in combat further extends combos in ways that feel more and more creative and fluid until by the end of the game you are chaining together so many things that you feel like a god. 

Slice, Slash and Dash

Thankfully, the game encourages this with some incredible boss battles, many of which seemingly straight out of old 90s anime with over the top attacks, counters that send characters flying across arenas, charge up blasts and so much more. Unfortunately most of these boss battles are spoiler heavy, and there were less boss battles than I hoped in my 20 or so hours of gameplay, but all of them were memorable nonetheless. Although the boss battles reveal significant plot details, the overall story began strongly and features some great plot twists. However, it ultimately didn’t meet my expectations, and I often found myself not really caring about the characters besides Sargon. Nonetheless, I am not too disappointed in that aspect thanks to the amazing gameplay.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown | Ubisoft (US)While this game is already a top tier metroidvania, with great movement, combat, boss battles and platforming, what really cements this game as an all time great metroidvania however, is how it pushes forward the genre in so many incredible ways. Such as the ability to turn on a guided mode which always tells you where to go and where things are located, to a more classic mode that doesn’t tell you anything outside of main quest marks. On top of this, you can take screenshots at areas you can’t reach yet, and be able to quickly pull up said screenshots later to see if you have an ability that can get you past that point. If you are still stuck, hints, accessibility options, and much more enable you to play this game exactly how you want to.

Conclusion

As a huge fan of metroidvanias, this game is all I want and more, and I truly enjoyed every backflip, platforming puzzle, and boss fight that I played. Despite the rather uninteresting story, and a want for more amazing boss fights, I truly hope this is the future of Prince of Persia games, and cannot wait to return back to the world of Mount Qaf.

For more, check out Caitlyn’s review of the new hit Disney Plus series Percy Jackson, or Ronny’s review of Mass Effect

If you’d like to purchase the game, you can do so on all platforms including Xbox, Playstation or Nintendo

 

9/10 Amazing

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