Hands on with Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown on Switch

Ubisoft Australia invited Vooks out to their Sydney office to play the opening hours of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown on the Switch. All flights and travel were paid for by Ubisoft.

The team at Ubisoft Montpellier, who are working on Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, consists of devs who worked on the brilliant Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends, as well as veterans from the Prince of Persia Sands of Time trilogy. In the three hours spent with the game, the spirit of both those series felt present. From the get-go controlling, the new protagonist, Sargon, felt fluid and easy to get around the world. Wall jumping is enjoyable; sliding and swinging your swords around works well.

Captured while Docked

The story starts with Sargon, a part of a group of elite warriors called the Immortals. Just before celebrating their latest victory in protecting Persia, the titular Prince Ghassan is kidnapped with the Immortals being betrayed by one of their own, with the mighty warriors giving chase. They wind up at Mount Qaf, a fantastical location that has become cursed, trapping all who enter. Monsters roam, and time itself is unravelling. The Immortals must stop their former friend from using the Prince for a mysterious blessing.

As Sargon explores the areas of Mount Qaf I found the other Immortals as they across the map doing their part in the mission. The story unfolds as the cursed land begins to toy with everyone trapped there. While you don’t spend much time with the Immortals before everything falls apart, it was nice to get a better idea of these different personalities between the early scenes and, as they’re all affected by Mount Qaf in different ways.The brash and oversized Orod is a stand-out for some levity, with the rest of the crew also making their mark despite not being heavily involved. I hope to go into how this all plays out once I get more time with the game.

Ubisoft categorises PoP as a Metroidvania, which is apparent as soon as you get to Mount Qaf. I didn’t have to travel far before coming across chests or areas inaccessible. Early on, you are introduced to memory shards, where you can hit a button and leave a marker on the map so you know to return when you’ve gotten new abilities. The Lost Crown has also been inspired by the Dark Souls series; there’s limited potions that can only be refilled at the checkpoints. As I explored the Mountain, I found myself opening up shortcuts to save Sargon some time with the more platform-heavy paths. For every area I discovered, it felt like I was uncovering branches off to other adjacent areas, providing a tease of areas to come.

The traversal feels smooth and Sargon can really hoof it, which is essential as there can be a lot of backtracking while you’re finding your way. Sometimes, I would have a few tries at getting somewhere seemingly out of reach. The wall jump helps getting to hard to reach spots, with an air dash introduced early on making the movement feel even better. Just holding down the trigger to initiate the sprint provides a boost in speed to help when moving through familiar areas, or even to just keep momentum going.

Initially starting with Sargon’s two blades, in the course of the preview I also unlocked a Bow and Chakram. The bow of course is great for hitting targets from afar, as long as you have the arrows. The Chakram in the small time I used it was useful for activating mechanisms, which involved some fun puzzles to work out around using it for multiple mechanisms.

Combat isn’t just swinging the blades around either, Sargon can build up a meter for different abilities which you’ll earn during the game. The first meter allowed me to unleash a powerful charged attack, but if I let the meter fill up twice, I could create a little healing area. The Immortal Artaban is also on hand to help teach you additional combos that can really expand on your attacks and dodging. Being pressed for time, I didn’t get to try out much of the training area, but I could see I was still scratching the surface of what Sargon can do in battle.

During the three-and-a-half-hour preview, I got to explore a few different areas of Mount Qaf. The different areas are fortunately quite distinct, with their own types of enemies and obstacles. The forest has fungus platforms and more feral variants of the cursed enemies. The book-filled Sacred Archives are under the protection of the Jailer, who has no qualms about capturing you and letting you rot in prison. Some areas I only had a short time within, riddled with out of reach areas or sealed off doors which Sargon will no doubt return to in the full game. I did enjoy when getting to some of the outdoor areas, there’s shattered statue that blocks your pursuit of the Prince which was a neat quest to restore the statue and get closer to stopping the traitor.


In the time I had with the game I played right up to a major story moment that has me wanting to see what happens next. While I suspected where the story was heading, the characters and the story to that point had got me on board for at least this part of the game. I enjoyed getting to know about the different personalities within the Immortals as a team, and as the situation within Mount Qaf unfolds.

There were a few small boss battles, with a larger one against a Manticore. I nearly got it in the first go, which turned into a fair few attempts to slay the beast. All of the bosses, like the regular enemies, have recognisable patterns and you’re more than equipped to get around them. With the bosses and especially the Manticore I found they can hit hard quickly and if you muck up a parry they’ll do even more damage, introducing some real risk and reward to those bigger fights.

The camera can get pretty dynamic at times (Docked)

While The Lost Crown is a new game within the Prince of Persia series, time plays a part once again. From what I’ve seen, it doesn’t mean rewinding or freezing time. Throughout Mount Qaf and interacting with the other Immortals or any other poor souls trapped there, it is apparent that time is messing with everyone in different ways. As I got further into the different areas, I found areas where speed was affected or platforms could be conjured from anomalies. In some cases, I got the slightest glimpse of what might lie ahead when I could get there later; they were tantalising enough to look forward to finding out what was beyond those points later in the game.

You can see from the footage (and included on Vooks) that The Lost Crown isn’t going for super-realism or anything. Still, it looks good with its more exaggerated style. Some really cool things are happening with bright, flashy colours to accentuate the Immortal’s powers, mostly Sargons. Ubisoft is aiming for a solid 60 frames across all versions, and from what I saw, it holds up well. Because it’s not a final version, I won’t know if they nail that until a bit closer to release, but the game ran well and could keep up with all my running and jumping around and make me look good while doing it.

I am looking forward to playing Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown in full. It’s my understanding I have only played a small fraction of the game, so I can only speak to the opening hours. If you like fluid movement/traversal in your platformers and need more wall jumping in your life, then Prince of Persia might scratch that itch. Keep an eye out for the full review closer to release.


For full disclosure, Ubisoft flew me out to their office and covered transport expenses. I also ate two little strawberry danishes and some rockmelon.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is out on January 18th, 2024. There will also be a demo released on January 11th, 2024 as well. Next year is not that far away!

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About The Author
Paul Roberts
Lego enthusiast, Picross Master and appreciator of games.

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