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Over the past several years I’ve made a pretty big discovery about myself in relation to video games: I absolutely love Metroidvanias. I tried and tried when I was younger to love Metroid, but something about it just didn’t click with me. I kept trying every now and then, and when 2017’s Metroid II remake, Metroid: Samus Returns, rolled around on the 3DS I had a lot of fun with it. But things didn’t really start sliding into place until Dandara dropped into my lap in early 2018, and then it all finally clicked for me when Hollow Knight came to the Switch in June of that year. Since the back half of 2018 when Hollow Knight consumed my every thought, I dove back into Metroid itself, falling in love with Metroid Fusion especially, and eagerly awaiting the release of Metroid Dread in 2021 after it was announced. Most recently I spent some time on Worldless, a Metroidvania that I followed on Twitter for years as it slowly materialized, and loved it.



I’m still not a Metroidvania veteran, but I know that I love them, which is why the announcement of a Prince of Persia revival that was set to be a Prince of Persia game influenced by Metroidvania elements excited me so much. Thanks to an early copy from Ubisoft, I’ve been playing Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown for about a week, and I’ve been having a blast with it. 


A Story Fit For a Prince



Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown follows Sargon, a skilled warrior and member of the Immortals, a fierce group of fighters who works to keep Persia safe from its enemies. Sargon must venture to the vast Mount Qaf to rescue Persia’s kidnapped prince, Ghassan. The Lost Crown marks the first time that a prince of Persia has been named, and also the first time that the titular Prince of Persia has not been playable. Sargon’s characterization as a noble warrior who fights for the good of his country and its people really resonates through the story of The Lost Crown, and his dedication to Ghassan as not only his prince, but also as his friend adds a lot of depth that you don’t tend to see from the protagonists of Metroidvania games.


Old and New – Prince of Persia’s Influences


After just the first few hours with Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, it was fairly obvious that the game has been largely influenced by what is probably the biggest name in Metroidvanias over the last couple of years – Hollow Knight. The inspiration there is in the level design and to a lesser extent the enemy design, but it’s most obvious in the collectible Amulets that Sargon can equip to augment his abilities or grant additional effects. Much like Hollow Knight’s charms, the Amulets are scattered all over the map and obtained in different ways or from different characters.



It’s also pretty clear that a lot of parts of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown were influenced by Metroid Dread, though not every piece, as The Lost Crown does have several of its own ideas that work very well, which I’ll speak more on in a little bit. Metroid Dread ‘s influence can be felt in a lot of the cinematic moments of The Lost Crown, with boss fights getting big entrances and special cinematics mid-fight for special attacks or form changes, which are all very fun. Anything that can make a 2D side-scroller feel bigger and deeper than its own 2D dimensions is a great addition in my book.


What makes The Lost Crown a Prince of Persia game?


Like I mentioned above, The Lost Crown also has a lot of unique ideas that it brings to the table that build on its influences, helping the game create its own identity rather than becoming an amalgamation of mechanics from other games. Where Metroid Dread’s Planet ZDR was cramped, dark, and terrifying, most of The Lost Crown’s Mount Qaf is open and bright, and a lot of the cinematics are action-heavy and a little campy in a Saturday-morning-action-cartoon sort of way that’s very endearing. The combat, too, feels wholly its own, with Sargon and his twin blades Qays and Layla fluidly slashing in and out of several satisfying combos, and the ability to parry just about any attack that comes their way.



Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is also, of course, inspired by past games in the Prince of Persia series. Returning to the series’ 2D roots is a big jump from more recent 3D action adventure titles in the series, and I think that Ubisoft Montpellier really stuck the landing. There are plenty of difficult platforming puzzles to be solved here, and not only for secret items or hidden upgrades, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown doesn’t shy away from sticking a tricky puzzle right in your path – sometimes the only way to get to your destination is through using a complex chain of Sargon’s abilities and platforming prowess, and I love every minute of it.


How well does Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown run on Nintendo Switch?


For the most part, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown runs very well on Switch. Running at 60 frames per second at 1080p when the Switch is docked and 60 frames per second at 720p when the Switch is in handheld mode, The Lost Crown plays like a dream. Where I found it struggled was with a few animations and cinematics, with some of them feeling truncated or choppy. Cinematics especially, with their campy, cartoony action (again, pretty endearing in practice) feeling like certain things were getting cut off at the end of scenes or in-between cuts of the action. I don’t know if this particular issue is Switch-specific, or even related to performance, but I do know that it was jarring and left me feeling confused about what exactly took place when it would happen in fast-moving scenes.



I’m far from done with solving every puzzle and finding every collectible in the nooks and crannies of Mount Qaf, so I’ll be spending a bit more time with Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown in the future, a prospect that I genuinely and thoroughly excited by. The Lost Crown takes the best of its influences and uses them to deftly inform all of the ways it does its own thing, never feeling like it’s blatantly taking its ideas from somewhere else and reskinning them as Prince of Persia. Instead it’s a Prince of Persia game inspired by the Metroidvania greats that came before it that ultimately walks its own path. Sargon and his journey will definitely stick with me for a long time to come.


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  • The Lost Crown utilizes its influences well without feeling like it’s taking too much from them
  • Combo- and parry-heavy combat is fun and fluid
  • Difficult puzzles are the norm here, and very enjoyable
  • Almost always runs very smoothly on the Switch
  • There were a few weirdly stuttered/truncated animations and cinematics that sometimes made it hard to tell what had happened

System: Nintendo Switch

Release Date: January 18th, 2024

Categories: Action, Adventure

Publisher: Ubisoft

Developer: Ubisoft

Written by Jaxson Tapp

As a lover of gaming and the written word, Jaxson currently fills his time not only with playing games, but also writing about them. Ready for anything, Jaxson’s passion for puzzle games, JRPGs, tough platformers, and whimsical indies helps him bring a well-rounded opinion to Nintendo Wire’s reporting.