While waiting for the full remake of The Sands of Time, the Prince of Persia saga returns today through The Lost Crown. Officialized last summer, this new opus returns to the origins of the saga, with a new episode all in 2D, and which opens up to the Metroidvania genre. A brand new prince, with the added bonus of a brand new style (more modern, but not too much), for a title that is original to say the least. But is that enough to make this Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown a veritable cave of wonders? Our complete review!
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, the test!
In Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, the player embodies Sargon, an immortal responsible for watching over the health of the prince of the kingdom. What a physique, it's magnificent, he's charming, but quickly, the latter will be carried away into a cursed world, Mount Qaf, inspired by Persian mythology which is full of places (and monsters) larger than life .
We might as well say it straight away, the first steps in this Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown are a bit… confusing. Indeed, the gameplay seems a tad more rigid than what one might expect, and even if the combat and the first platform phases offer excellent sensations, the whole still smells a little bit… mobile gaming. But don't leave yet!
Fortunately, the game will quickly become richer, both in terms of gameplay and scenario, without forgetting a relatively narrow world at the very beginning of the adventure, but which ;#8217;actually turns out to be GIGANTIC. The Metroidvania side is manifested by these many places that are inaccessible at first glance, which will subsequently become inaccessible, depending on the new powers acquired. A classic of the genre. Also, despite its old-style 2D side, the “nostalgia” of this new Prince of Persia does not occur at the start of the game, but on the contrary will manifest itself over the hours.
Technically, let's be frank, we are far from any technical slip-up (the fault of the Nintendo Switch?), we sometimes point out certain crude textures (or even absence) on PS5 and Xbox Series , but the whole remains nevertheless correct, with the added bonus of a few passages which allow a little welcome camera movement to accentuate, for example, the gigantism of an environment.
Get ready for… the thousand and one deaths
On the combat side, Prince of Persia offers 2D confrontations that are both dynamic and demanding, and you will need to know how to use dodging as well as parrying to get out of a good number of # 8217;clashes. Some will even find a little From Software side with trees acting as save points, which will regenerate health… and which will make enemies reappear.
There are also gigantic bosses, inspired by Persian mythology, with clashes that are often spectacular to play as well as to watch. The most seasoned players will also be able to trigger unique special moves, which will give rise to sublime cutscenes, in addition to significantly lowering the life bar of the vile, bellicose attacker. So yes, we die a lot in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, sometimes bravely, often courageously, but sometimes also in ridiculous ways… and this is ultimately what makes each success more satisfying than the previous one.
Prince of Persia obliges, the mastery of time (just like sand for that matter) occupies an important place in the gameplay (and the scenario), and certain powers will put the players' brains to the test. ;#8230; but also their talents with the controller in their hands. Indeed, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is full of very (very) demanding 100% platform passages, like Ori & the Blind Forest or Metroid Dread.
It can be frustrating at times, but what a pleasure when you finally reach the desired area, after a spectacular choreography which most of the time requires a real sense of direction. timing. Overall, the game offers very aerial gameplay, more and more as the hours go by. So prepare to fly, like a golden eagle.
On this subject, as mentioned above, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown sometimes lacks a tad of flexibility in terms of its animations, not to mention some environments, it must be said, less charming than in ;others. Ditto on the gameplay side, with many excellent discoveries, but also other mechanics which don't really exude originality.
Of course, we will be able to unlock a fast travel function, but Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown will however require a lot of back and forth travel, which, combined with a huge map (we insist), will perhaps be able to discourage some at times.
One of the great strengths of this Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is precisely its immense playground. In fact, count on a good twenty hours to cover the entire map, which will gradually appear before the eyes of the players, and good luck for 100%.< /p>
Obviously, the places are overflowing with secret objects to discover as well as hidden passages, for a very in-depth exploration side, and this irrepressible desire to “search everything“. It's also difficult not to mention the sound ambiance of the game, so captivating, with the added bonus of very elaborate sound effects and voices.
Complete and intelligent accessibility
Metroidvania obliges, we may sometimes feel lost within the immense (and it's an understatement) maze that constitutes this Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. What could be more frustrating than not knowing where to go after recovering a new power?
With this Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, Ubisoft is playing it big, with a host of welcome assistance to say the least.
In addition to accessibility in terms of menus, texts, contrasts or colors, the game also shines with its assistance, with aiming assistance for example, or even assistance for wall jumps, parries, dodges, without forget the fights… The idea is therefore to allow as many people as possible to fully enjoy the game, with assistance to activate/deactivate as we see fit.
Better yet, we can ask the game to guide us, which will have the effect of displaying the location of the next objective on the map, as well as the paths now accessible thanks to to our new skills. Here again, you can activate Guide mode in the event of an emergency, in order to visualize your next direction, before deactivating it to once again use your sense of direction (and the clues of certain characters).
The best perhaps remains the Fragments of Memory, screenshots (in addition to the traditional markers) that can be taken at any time on the map, in order to better visualize, a posteriori, why we were blocking in this specific sector (see below). Impressive.
Also, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown introduces a system of amulets, which will make it possible to “simplify” certain situations. For example, we can have a small chime indicating the presence of a treasure, or even an amulet reinforcing defense or attack. These are numerous, but are not unlimited, and it will be possible to carry only a small handful at a time. It's up to the player to use it or not.
With cumulative experience on the battlefield, we can also improve Sargon's skills, including the number of life vials, the power of weapons, etc. etc. An aspect that should not (especially) be neglected if you wish to become the terror of enemies. Also, in addition to the main plot, certain characters will sometimes offer you secondary quests that we can only strongly advise you to follow, if only to immerse yourself a little more in this majestic atmosphere.
In short, if the first contact is not super flattering, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown quickly grabs the player with its incredible atmosphere, its ultra precise gameplay, but also (and above all) ;nbsp;?) its particularly catchy Metroidvania aspect, which makes you want to progress a little further… and too bad if we had promised to go to bed early. An excellent surprise therefore, which will not detract from your retina, but absolutely worth testing if you are at all fond of the genre.
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Our opinion on Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown
Fluid, rhythmic, often very inspired and based on a real sense of timing for platform phases such as combat, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is an excellent surprise. The Metroidvania side is very (very) impressive, with the added bonus of very dynamic combat, and overall a rather tough challenge, which will appeal to all of the player's senses. Certainly, we can complain about one side a little “mobile game” at times (visually speaking), with a somewhat questionable AD as well as a certain lack of flexibility sometimes, but the pleasure of the game is like Mount Qaf, namely IMMENSE, sublimated what's more is by a simply extraordinary sound ambiance.
Test carried out from a PlayStation 5 digital version, provided by the publisher.
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