Prince of Persia The Lost Crown Review – Best Metroidvania Yet

Title – Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

Platforms – PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Release Date –  January 18th, 2024

Developer – Ubisoft Montpellier

Publisher – Ubisoft

MSRP – $49.99

ESRB – T for Teen

Disclaimer –  Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown was reviewed on the PS5. Thanks to Ubisoft for providing a digital review code. Gaming Instincts is an Amazon Affiliate and does gain financial benefits if you choose to purchase this product on this page.

A 2.5 side-scrolling Prince of Persia is not something I’ve honestly expected too see from Ubisoft, but yet here we are with Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. This new title is a spin-off and Ubisoft has decided to go back to old-school metroidvania route of the original titles from the SNES days. I was not very happy when I first saw the announcement for this game and honestly just thought it was super lame and a complete slap to the hardcore fans. However, I was completely wrong in my assumption. Not only did Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown took me by surprise, I was also blown away by many of aspects including gameplay, voice acting and the soundtrack and here is why. Welcome to our review of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown.

The Story Beats

You play as Sargon who’s one of the members of the elite group of warriors called The Immortals. The Persian Prince Ghassan all of a sudden went missing and it is The Immortals duty to find and rescue him because otherwise Persia is going to be in great danger without a Prince. We won’t be discussing why he went missing and how it all happened because that would be going into the big spoiler territory. With that being said, that is all you need to know as far as the basic premise goes.

The game does have an interesting cast of characters and the voice acting is also very well done. The voices fit the character’s looks, personalities and style and that goes for both main characters and side quest NPCs that you meet throughout this epic adventure. My biggest gripe with the story is that some of the twists happen a bit too fast and because of that, the story’s pacing felt weird.  The story itself is more than serviceable and the twists could have been a lot more interesting if they didn’t just happen so abruptly.

The story is told through fully voiced dialogue and in-game cut-scenes that usually occur when you are about to encounter a boss battle or a big reveal is about to happen which adds more to the immersion and atmosphere. Overall, there is an enjoyable story here for sure, but unfortunately the pacing kind of hampers it quite a bit. With the story out of the way, let’s talk about where the game really shines which is the soundtrack, controls and gameplay.

The Gameplay and Systems

I’ve played many metroidvanias throughout my gaming career and I have to say I was more than pleasantly surprised with how well Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown handles its core gameplay systems including the combat and pacing of introducing new mechanics to the platforming and puzzle solving. Just like most metroidvania it starts a bit slow. Sargon doesn’t really have a lot of traversal abilities, power or combat capabilities. However, as you play through the game and start to conquer bosses and gain new special time-powered abilities the gameplay just starts getting sublime.

There is a great variety of traversal puzzles and I rather not give any examples. Simply because they are too good and are best experienced when discovered and solved on your own. The best way to put it is that the puzzles are well thought-out and are really clever. Whoever came up with their designs and ideas did a fantastic job on the dev team. They are both fun to think about and most importantly quite satisfying to solve and are rewarding.

prince of persia the lost crown

Just like any metrodvania you will be doing a ton of backtracking in order to gain access to either completely new unexplored areas or secrets and treasures that were hidden in plain sight. Thankfully, the game does a pretty good job providing you with a variety of fast travel points so you don’t have to spend and waste your time getting back to certain areas.

The boss fights are also incredibly fun and well designed. At first they may seem impossible, but after a few practice runs and retries it’s easy to get the hang of their patterns and understanding of their combat routine. The early bosses are quite easy as you can imagine, but the later ones do start to pose a bit of a challenge especially on the higher difficulties. I don’t want to talk too much about them, because that would also go into spoiler territory. But let’s just say there was not really a single boss in this game that I did not like. Sure, I liked some more than others, but none of them are overly complicated or cheap in terms of how they fight by any means. It’s rare for a game to have boss fights where majority of them give the player a good experience. Kudos to the boss fights design team over at Ubisoft Montpellier which is the same developer team that was responsible for Rayman Legends.

The combat system in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is fantastic. At first, it seemed a bit too simple and basic, but as I played and got deeper into the game I realized that simplicity does not always mean bad. In this game’s case the simplicity of the combat is what makes it good. You have your standard 3 hit combo and special abilities you can pull after you have filled a certain amount of the power gauge. Think of it like your super move for that extra damage near the end of your regular combo attacks. As you defeat the bosses and find secrets you can also gain more combat powers that you can later swap around.

Believe it or not, the game’s combat reminded me quite a bit of the original God of War titles but in a 2.5 format and that’s because Sargon has a variety of ways to juggle his enemies in midair until their death. It would not be a good combat system without the fantastic and responsive controls. Everything feels tight and fun to press. The animations are slick and the visual and physical feedback on the screen is also great. Basically, the game manages to nail every aspect that is vital to having a great combat system.

The game does not have any kind of leveling or any sort of skill trees as you’d normally come to expect. Instead, the game relies on Sargon’s neck chain that is able to carry multiple amulets at a time. There a ton of amulets collect and these amulets provide a variety of passive bonuses. Like adding a 4th or even 5th additional attack to your regular 3 hit combo, or gaining health back anytime you parry an attack.

Sargon is able to parry regular attacks along with certain special attacks that glow yellow when the enemy is about to do it. If the player can time and parry the special attack then Sargon will do a really badass kill animation that is in a form of an execution. Some bosses also have such an attack and if parried you will deal a great amount of damage in return and save yourself from getting one shot if you already are halfway dead depending on your difficulty setting. Then there are red glowing attacks that can only be dodged and not parried by pressing the dodge button while dodging to either side.

prince of persia the lost crown

Mastering the combat system is the fun part of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. It can be extremely satisfying to play if you are good at reading and reacting to the enemies and bosses move set. Thankfully, the game does have four different levels of difficulty settings to choose from. if you just want to play the game and finish the story without worrying about being good at the game, then you may do so. If you are a player who enjoys a good challenge then I highly recommend you play on the Heroic or Immortal difficulty which is the hardest one in the game.

In a nutshell, Ubisoft Montpellier did a phenomenal job at crafting fantastic gameplay, platforming and combat systems that complement one another from beginning to the very end. However, as it is with most metroidvanias some people might find the beginning a bit too slow and the lack of traversal abilities a turn-off until later in the game. This is just something that comes with the territory of metroidvania style titles and you may either accept it or not. Regardless, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown does a lot of things objectively well for such a genre.

The Visuals and Audio

The visuals and overall feel of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown won’t blow you away. If you are looking for insane true-next graphics you won’t find it here. This is not a game you buy or play to impress yourself or your friends. This is a game that you play for its awesome gameplay and tight combat controls. That doesn’t mean the game is bad looking, it just simply means that visuals aren’t everything when it comes to having a good game. However, the art-style is fitting and consistent all through out.

What impressed me the most about the game’s world is the variety of different regions throughout the entire map of the game. You have mazes, underground areas, sewers, temples, forests and much more. And each of these regions all fit really well throughout the world. You won’t ever come across a jarring transition of one area to the next. The same applies to the enemy variety and boss fights. No enemies really feel the same when you are fighting them and they all look unique and different enough. Many games suffer from not having enough variety of enemies, but that is not the case with this game and the same goes for the boss fights.

While the visuals won’t blow you away in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown what will you blow is the soundtrack. The game’s composer for boss fights is none other than Gareth Coker who’s mostly famous for Ori and The Will of The Wisps soundtrack which was also phenomenal. In addition, an Iranian born composer Mentrix was also responsible for the rest of the game’s soundtrack. Since Mentrix is an Iranian born individual, he was able to perfectly capture the feel of Persia.

Final Verdict

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

was a pleasant surprise for me personally. 2024 has barely started and we already have a fantastic game on our plate. While it may not be your fully fledged insanely high budget title like Final Fantasy VII Rebirth or the upcoming Star Wars: Outlaws from Ubisoft that does not mean this game doesn’t deserve any recognition or a play through. If you are into metroidvanias or just want to play a great game then I highly recommend that you play Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown.

The game’s awesome combat system, brain teasing puzzles and cool universe is not the one that you want to miss out on. I had a great time with it and I believe you will as well. As I’ve previously said, my biggest gripe was the story pacing and how fast the plot twists came along. Play this game for its sublime gameplay, great cast of characters, fun platforming and cool boss fights. You don’t want to miss this one out. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown will be getting a final verdict of 9 out of 10.

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Engaging combat, great puzzles, fun traversal and great level design.


The game won’t blow you away visually, but the overall aesthetic and art-style is fantastic and complements the universe.


Phenomenal memorable soundtrack and great voice acting, great audio design overall.


Game is roughly 10-15 hours long just for the story. If you are looking to collect everything and do all then we are looking at over 20-30 hours or so of gameplay.