Prince of Persia offered one of the best action-adventure games I’ve played in the PS2 era. But what intrigued me the most was the decision to make its spin-off, The Lost Crown, a sidescroller action platformer. It turns out that direction gave a refreshing take on the franchise. Based on the 3-hour worth of hands-on time with the game, I felt that it was a lot of fun and had a ton of exciting gameplay.
The Lost Crown’s direction in gameplay is similar to those of Metroidvania-style games. There will be locked areas that are eventually unlocked after progressing deeper into the game, gaining new abilities that help you open that new area. I encountered many enemies that were challenging enough to pose a threat. The game also offered a ton of puzzles to solve, a unique progression system, and an interesting location that kept me wanting to explore.
During my session with the game, I was brought into the shoes of one of the members of the Immortals clan, Sargon. The first act showcased its fluid and engaging combat mechanics, which was enjoyable for a sidescroller action. It’s hard to pull off that similar Castlevania and Dead Cells vibes, and The Lost Crown kept me on my toes when I faced off against enemies and bosses. There’s a risk-and-reward system wherein simply blocking will only reduce the damage taken, and perfectly parrying an enemy’s attack will completely block any incoming damage. You can even dodge an attack if you want to, but that would only give you a small window of invulnerability.
While the combat is pretty easy to understand, as you have one button for each light and heavy attack, mastering the timing before attacking enemies is difficult. Colored auras can indicate upcoming attacks, whether they can be parried or not. Executing an immediate attack after a successful parry is essential to defeat enemies quickly.
Where The Lost Crown rises are the boss fights. They present a challenging yet satisfying experience. They can give off an exciting feeling when you successfully block an attack, then immediately follow it up with an attack and dash away from the boss to keep yourself from taking damage at a safe distance. While I did retry for more than seven times before getting to understand the patterns and timing, the satisfying feeling you get after defeating the boss gets rewarding.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is setting up to be an entertaining game despite its change of overall gameplay direction, which I fully support after experiencing such an enjoyable session.