Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Key Art
February 17, 2024

Will Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown stand the test of time or fall through the cracks? Find out in our spoiler-free review!

Right, no messing about. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a monumental 2.5D Metroidvania and Ubisoft’s best game in years. From its explosive combat and innovative platforming to the exceedingly detailed and enthralling environments, I adored every second I spent with The Lost Crown. My gripes are few in the grand scheme of things; only wishing some characters were better utilised, fast travel was more accessible, and some narrative cutscenes had stronger choreography with slightly more polished voice work. Ironically, polished is precisely the word I’d use to describe the rest of the experience.

While I had never played a game in the Prince of Persia series before, The Lost Crown has made a lifelong fan out of me. With rewarding skill progression, a plethora of side quests and collectables, and consistently epic boss encounters that rival that of its genre’s namesake, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is not only an excellent video game, but it defines the standard of what a next-gen Metroidvania should be.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Boss Fight

Get off your high horse!

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Review – Plot

A warrior’s journey is always one in progress, and when there’s nothing left in one’s path, the warrior wonders, “What is at the end of my blade?”.

The Lost Crown sees you take the reins not of any prince but rather as one of his protectors. Persia has suffered 30 years of strife. The land is dry, the coffers are empty, and war rages relentlessly on our shores. But fear not, Persia has its Immortals. Seven fierce warriors, gifted with godlike abilities, pledged to serve the throne. Picking up the controller as Sargon, the youngest and most inexperienced of the seven, you must aid Persia against, potentially, its greatest crisis yet. The prince has been abducted.

Along with the rest of the Immortals, Sargon must explore Mount Qaf, a cursed place home to the late King Darius’ citadel. Will Sargon rescue the prince, survive what remains in this mystical mountain, and discover the secrets behind his abilities? Well, you’ll have to play to find out.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Immortals

Onward, Immortals!

From the get-go, The Lost Crown drops you into the action, beginning amidst a sweeping warzone before unravelling into a twisting tale that builds and builds before reaching its mesmerising conclusion. I was surprised by the degree to which I was invested in Sargon’s adventure. The plot itself is simple. Kidnapped prince, cursed place, a young soldier’s duty and so on. But to its credit, The Lost Crown doesn’t divert from its narrative cliches but rather leans right into them.

Although at no point did the story take me by surprise, every plot twist and new revelation was committed to completely. The Lost Crown questions its characters, and players, about what defines a soldier, the value of sacrificing one for the sake of the many, and the importance of taking a leap of faith. While these themes aren’t as fully developed as we’ve seen in other games, they fit within the tone of the world we are brought into. It reminded me of watching cheesy anime growing up. Yes, it can be a little silly and predictable, but when the characters believe it, and the writing lends itself to bolstering up these big narrative moments, it manages to suspend your disbelief and bring you tighter into its weaves. 

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Dark Sargon

Who are you…what are you?

The core group of characters on your adventure are the Immortals themselves. From Artaban, the grizzled, jaded mercenary who plays the role of Sargon’s instructor in a training arena mode, to Orod, the navy man turned warrior who craves a good ale and an even better fight. These characters all have unique and memorable designs, and any interaction they have with each other and with Sargon himself continuously fleshes out the relationships this band of heroes has with each other.

Critically, the two least interesting characters in the bunch also happen to be the only two female Immortals. Neith, a battle-hardened warrior, only appears to provide exposition or offer Sargon with words of encouragement, while Radjen, a mysterious assassin, disappears at the start of the game and is barely referred to again. The former is only there to serve as a support pillar for Sargon, while the latter is introduced with an intriguing design only to be dropped from the game without so much a cutscene explaining her absence.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Neith

Neith, you see that too right?

While there are other more fleshed-out women in The Lost Crown, it is incredibly frustrating that the two female leads are not given the same character-building as their male counterparts. The Immortals play a vital role in The Lost Crown’s narrative. With entire arcs designed around other Immortals’ motivations, it’s an incredible shame that Neith and Radjen are resigned to two-dimensional caricatures who are pushed completely to the side.

Class is now in session!

Cutscenes range from cinematic action sequences to narrated lore drops delivered over beautiful still images. While these moments are engaging, one of the few things The Lost Crown doesn’t nail is how some of the cutscenes are presented. Choppy camera cuts, weak line delivery, or underwhelming battle effects did, on occasion, make what should be an exciting or emotional moment feel undercooked.

No scene is bad per se, but the unpolished nature of a few important scenes was distractingly noticeable. For example, a scene that leads into a significant late-game boss battle ultimately succeeds at getting you focused on facing the challenge ahead. However, the subsequent scene between the phases of the same boss fight was so jarring that it threw me off the rest of the battle.


Thanks to the ability to skip cutscenes, after watching these scenes once and dying to the boss, I was able to jump right into the action for my next attempt. These moments are infrequent. I just wish more time was spent thinking about alternative choreography or line delivery when they were edited.

The narrative lows certainly don’t outweigh the narrative highs to be found throughout The Lost Crown. Scenes between Sargon and the other Immortals feature some of the game’s best banter, while scenes taking place directly after a boss fight often accentuate the euphoria that comes from conquering your foes. There was one particular boss I simply did not want to defeat because of the narrative ramifications, but my emotional hesitancy was appeased by the boss’s final words, which are some of the most badass bits of dialogue I’ve ever heard a boss say.

Now you made me angry!

For the lore collectors out there, you’ll be pleased to know The Lost Crown has plenty to read. From collectable notes, letters, and tomes to monoliths hidden in the world, the history of Mount Qaf is there for you to find.

While I wouldn’t say Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a narrative-focused game, the one found here is better than I anticipated. There are inconsistencies in scene quality, and the way the two female leads are treated is deplorable. That said, cutscenes motivated me constantly, whether they asked interesting questions, satisfyingly closed character arcs, or simply got me engaged before an intense combat encounter.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Review – Gameplay

Sargon may be the newest recruit to the Immortals, but what he lacks in experience, he more than makes up for in his speed, agility, and skill with his blades. Traversing throughout Mount Qaf feels effortless despite the exceedingly demanding obstacles you are faced with. While incredibly fun, The Lost Crown is a difficult game.

Platforming challenges are riddled with traps to overcome, boss fights smack with a souls-like toughness that requires precise movements, and even common enemies can pack a punch if you are not careful. Joyfully, no hurdle is ever too great to overcome, thanks to Sargon’s fluid traversal abilities. You’ll dash, dodge, parry, and utilise Sargon’s special time-bending abilities throughout the 16 hours it took me to finish the main story, honing his skills while discovering new ones.

Smooth like butter!

Sargon’s time abilities range from an air dash to a double jump, with some incredibly innovative combat-focused skills, that I won’t spoil here, scattered between. The pacing by which you unlock these abilities keeps the gameplay fresh and makes it exciting to return to previously explored areas now equipped with the skill needed to delve even deeper.

Every encounter offers a chance to learn how to utilise Sargon’s techniques in unique ways, and as your arsenal grows, you’ll find yourself experimenting with how to incorporate a new ability into each fight. Combat and traversal are expertly intertwined, and every ability in this game feels profoundly satisfying. Each movement Sargon does seamlessly blends into the next. The gameplay evoked confidence in me that I would be prepared for anything I may face ahead, whether that be an obstacle to climb or a monster to take down.

This is no simple hack’n’slash adventure. The Lost Crown presents an evolving combat system. Wielding his twin blades, Sargon’s attack combos are designed to match his free-flowing movement. You can launch smaller enemies into the air with one combo before leaping up and slamming them down with an aerial assault. Larger enemies or those with shields can be slid under, exposing their backs for a charged-up attack. While the parry mechanic took me a little while to get used to, once I got a feel for it, I was deflecting blows left, right, and centre.

Parrying in The Lost Crown may be one of its most important mechanics, as every enemy in this game will match Sargon’s speed and ferocity. I was constantly surprised by just how swift their assaults could be when encountering new opponents. While most attacks can be deflected, enemies can also heavy attack. Signified by a swift red flash on the screen, Sargon must dodge these heavy attacks by any means necessary or risk being launched across the battlefield. Enemies do, however, sometimes flash yellow before they strike. Countering these blows leads to an insanely cool cinematic attack that instantly kills your target or takes a chunk out of their health bar on bosses and mini-bosses. 

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Athra

It’s Go Time!

When all else fails, Sargon can focus his abilities and unleash a powerful Athra Surge attack. Ranging from devastating sword combos to an all-out Hadouken beam, these abilities are unlocked throughout the game. Some are rewards for completing story missions, while others are locked behind challenging mini-bosses hidden throughout the map. These visually stunning abilities utilise Athra, a mana-like system you can charge up by fighting enemies or parrying attacks. While you can only equip two Athra Surges at a time, I found myself swapping out my build frequently depending on the types of enemies I would be facing in each of Mount Qaf’s biomes or what would best help me defeat a specific boss.

Sargon may be strong and swift, but that isn’t always enough. Dying in The Lost Crown is frequent but never unfair, often due to my poor decision-making or missing the timing of a telegraphed attack. Death will have you respawn at the most recent Wak-Wak Tree you visited.

Scattered across the map, the Wak-Wak Trees offer Sargon a moment of respite on his journey, healing him, refilling any used potions, and allowing you to swap load-outs before embarking once more. These landmarks are a godsend. With many to find, seeing the trail of leaves that signify one is close motivated me to venture just a little further, even when severely injured, knowing a safe point is within reach. Curiously, these rest spots are not how fast travel works in this game.

Aren’t you a sight for sore eyes!

Secondary landmarks, enchanted monolith statues, are found few and far between. With only one or two available per biome, I found it a strange choice to limit fast travel to these statues instead of the Wak-Wak Trees, especially since these fast travel points are often right beside them. Both are required to be activated before use and are hidden throughout the map, but the choice to utilise them as separate entities felt restricting.

I often found myself annoyed to have to traverse halfway across a biome, passing by many Wak-Wak Trees along the way, in order to finally get to the closest fast travel point. This becomes especially tedious when trying to quickly chase side quest objectives or explore undiscovered rooms. The Wak-Wak Trees are plentiful and well-placed. By not using them as the fast travel system in favour of a sparse resource, fast travel in The Lost Crown is cumbersome rather than explorative.

Gotta get around somehow!

While Sargon battles sewer mutants and harpies or ponders how to solve an environmental puzzle, he may come across a new amulet to add to his necklace. These equipable collectables offer Sargon perks to assist on his journey. From simple amulets that increase your health or damage to rarer ones that slow down time after a successful parry, the amulets add even more layers to The Lost Crown’s innovative combat and traversal.

The amount of amulets you can equip at one time is limited by a progressively increasing slot system but you can always swap out your amulets at your local Wak Wak Tree. I ended up having one amulet load-out that helped me with exploration and traversal that I would exchange for a combat-focused set when preparing for a boss encounter or when I was struggling to get through a horde of smaller enemies. Unlocking new amulets offers yet another way to keep combat fresh, and once you find your favourites, you can increase their efficiency at the blacksmith.

What will it be today?

You’ll discover Kaheva’s Forge early on in your adventure, and after completing a side quest for the blacksmith, Kaheva will open up her forge to improve your equipment. Using the collectable resources you find in Mount Qaf as currency, she’ll increase your damage stats, potion potency, and the effectiveness of your amulets. When I hit a wall, or more specifically, a manticore that consistently ripped me to shreds, spending my resources at the blacksmith was just what I needed to overcome the challenge.

The Lost Crown’s upgrade system rewards completionists in how the only limitation to quickly upgrading your equipment is how many resources you have on you. It was absolutely worth the time spent solving optional puzzles, hunting mini-bosses, or exploring off-the-beaten paths to bring my rewards back to the blacksmith and improve my gear. It felt incredible to always be just a little bit stronger than the progressive difficulty spikes the game throws at you because I invested time into collecting and upgrading. 

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Manticore

I got you this time!

In true Metroidvania fashion, Sargon’s lack of abilities in the early game limits how far he can explore. Discover a large cavern you can’t cross; come back when you can double jump. Find a cracked wall Sargon’s swords can’t break; go and find something stronger. These “return when you have the tools” obstacles are frequently found across Mount Qaf’s tremendous map, and remembering where you have to return to once you unlock the skill you need to venture further can feel daunting in most games. Not in this one, though.

The Lost Crown introduces Memory Shards, a map-marking resource that literally takes a screenshot of your current placement and pins it to your map for you to return to later. I found myself pinning images of treasure chests I couldn’t reach, puzzles I couldn’t solve, and unrecognisable platforms I couldn’t yet interact with, knowing I would come back to them when I unlocked the means to solve these problems.

I’ll come back for this later!

While Memory Shards are a limited resource, they are well-balanced with the rate at which you unlock new skills. Deleting a Memory Shard from your map replenishes the resource, so once I unlocked the air dash, for example, I was able to return to and remove the markers I had placed for that specific skill. This gave me more than enough Memory Shards to mark the following round of obstacles I would need to revisit. The Memory Shard system is an excellent quality-of-life addition that I hope future Metroidvanias adopt.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is an engaging, rewarding, and addictive gameplay experience. Combat is filled with ever-shifting layers that keep even the smallest encounters feeling fresh. Enemies offer a real challenge that pushes you to experiment with your skillset to find new ways to conquer your foes. Although restricted by a limiting fast travel system, traversal is fluid and exciting, while exploration rewards you with collectables and unlockables that further bolster your arsenal. Each biome offers unique ways for you to use your expanding abilities, leading to some of the most memorable boss fights you can find in a platformer. Above all, The Lost Crown is incredibly fun and left me wanting to ensure I’ve explored Mount Qaf entirely after completing the main story.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Parry

Outta the way!

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Review – Audio and Visuals

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a stunning game. The environments are filled with vibrant colours, impactful lighting, and incredibly detailed foregrounds and backgrounds. Each of the game’s biomes offers a unique location to explore. From frosted peaks and enchanted forests to a methodically engineered library and even an ocean storm stuck in time, I was blown away by just how many ideas were on display each time I entered a new biome. I couldn’t count the times I was genuinely gobsmacked by the detail found in The Lost Crown‘s wildly creative set pieces.

Can’t beat that view!

Playing into the 2.5D styling, NPCs, enemies, and the environments themselves fill out the foreground occasionally, harmonising with the intricate, vivid, and sometimes breathtaking backgrounds, ultimately bringing Mount Qaf to life. Enemy design may start off repetitive, but as you open up new areas, I was shocked by just how varied, interesting, and often strange monster models became. I can’t tell you how loud I screamed when a specific creature in The Depths first jumped out of the darkness. The biomes in The Lost Crown are vastly different from each other, each finding unique ways to inspire wanderlust. The living, breathing world of Mount Qaf is simply a visual delight to explore.

Oh, the places we’ll go!

The Lost Crown is said to run at a maximum of 2160p and 120 frames per second on the PlayStation 5, and it looks the part. I never experienced any frame rate dips or texture pop-ins in my playthrough, with the only bugs seen being the rare frozen asset or enemy, like a fireball stuck getting in place or a monster trapped in a wall.

Character models also look great throughout, fitting well within the game’s art direction and cutscenes. During text conversations between characters, we are presented with 2D character portraits accompanying a text box. These portraits look great, but each character only has a few. With the hefty amount of dialogue attached to The Lost Crown’s main and side missions, I wish these portraits had more variants with different emotions during these conversations, reminiscent of the Fire Emblem series. This is by no means a fatal critique. It was just a little odd to see the same Sargon portrait when he’s threatening an enemy as when he is telling a joke.

Wise beyond her years!

The voice-over work that narrates these text-based conversations and the dialogue in cutscenes sometimes misses the mark. A couple of side character voices are jarringly overacted, and cutscene line delivery occasionally dips in quality. However, Sargon and the Immortals sound great with performances that strongly suit their character designs and motivations.

While The Lost Crown’s musical score is good, it isn’t memorable. With all the sprinting, sliding, and stabbing Sargon does it was difficult for me to listen to the score truly. The music in cutscenes before an epic boss achieved their intention of getting me pumped up for the fight, but upon reflection, I couldn’t hum a melody if I tried. While quiet moments between the action offer a chance to take in the score, I was always far more impressed with what I saw rather than what I heard. 

While the soundtrack competes to be noticed, the audio design demands attention. From Sargon’s sword swipes and special skills to enemy death wails and victory cries, the folly work and voice efforts are outstanding. The clang of steel upon a successful parry, the skittering of a creature lurking in the shadows, the weight beneath the crumpling floor as a great club swings down upon it. With environments that are wonderous enough to lure you into Mount Qaf, the sound effects keep you enthralled during each and every combat encounter.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Feather

Almost got it!

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Review – Conclusion

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a mesmerising, immersive, intricately crafted game that blew away any expectations I had going in. Combat is layered and constantly evolving, traversal is intuitive and rewarding, and Mount Qaf is an explosion of ideas presented in captivating detail. The Lost Crown isn’t without its flaws: some cutscenes feel rushed, backtracking can be tedious thanks to a mediocre fast travel system, the soundtrack gets lost in the action, and the female leads are severely underutilised. With that said, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a tremendous adventure that will make you want to explore for hours after you roll credits. 

So, why should you play Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown?

  • You are a fan of action platformers or Metroidvanias.
  • You thrive on conquering souls like boss fights using your wit and skill.
  • You are enamoured by rich, diverse, and creative environments.
  • You enjoy cheesy anime fight sequences.

But why shouldn’t you play Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown?

  • You don’t like difficult games.
  • You find replaying boss fights or platforming challenges tedious.
  • You find backtracking annoying.
  • You need an incredibly rich narrative in your games.

A code was kindly provided by Ubisoft Australia for the purpose of our Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown review.

Looking for more great PS5 games? Then check out our Spider-Man 2 Review and join the chat over on the Official Qualbert Discord!

Author: James Grech

James is a writer and absolute dork who is as passionate about making puns as he is about video games. From Melbourne, Australia, when he’s not playing Dungeons and Dragons or rocking out at karaoke, you can usually find him engaged in some kind of story. Keep up with James on Twitter, or check out his Folio for more game reviews!

In this post:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *