Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown (Switch) Review


It is time for a new Prince of Persia. Following preview events in December, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is finally here. You can find what I wrote about the preview regarding a portion of the game, but lets get on to the main event.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown begins with a great battle for Persia. The Immortals are an elite group of warriors who can single-handedly turn the tide of great battles and save the day. You play as Sargon, a newer member of the team, an up-and-comer plucky warrior who makes a name for himself in the intro battle. It’s not long after that there is a royal kidnapping, with Persia’s Prince Ghassan stolen away. Hot in pursuit, the Immortals enter the mysterious and dangerous Mount Qaf in a desperate race to stop his traitorous mentor and rescue the kidnapped Prince. However, something is horribly wrong on Mount Qaf; the Immortals find themselves trapped, and time is unravelling. There is so much I would like to talk about, but once the game really gets moving at the three-hour point, I wouldn’t want to spoil it.

Ultimately, Sargon is on a quest to gather the Feathers of the Simurgh, God of Time and Knowledge, a missing God who plays a vital role in what is happening to Mount Qaf. Sargon might not be the titular Prince, but he is a likeable protagonist whose journey to understand himself and the actions of his mentor is interesting. Then there are the mysteries of Mount Qaf as the other inhabitants as trapped as the Immortals. These characters mostly provide services such as maps, weapons and amulet upgrades, as well as offering side quests to complete along the way. They provide extra lore to Mount Qaf and weave together how unstuck in time the region has truly become.

The Lost Crown is very much in the structure of a Metroidvania (Ubisoft said it, it’s apt so I’m using it!). The open world of Mount Qaf is structured around the abilities you unlock so you can access new areas. Across Mount Qaf there are a surprising amount of different and varied environments to traverse and explore, full of a wide variety of enemies that won’t make it easy on you.

Prince of Persia is known for its treacherous traps from the game’s early beginnings, way back when and it is no different now. Mount Qaf is riddled with spikes, pits, crumbling platforms, platforms with hidden spikes and more. Ubisoft Montpellier has taken to absolutely brilliant and challenging platforming from Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends and has made it shine in The Lost Crown.

Sargon isn’t just dodging traps and jumping around; fighting the many enemies plaguing the Mount is necessary. The game’s combat is deeper than it initially appears, and thanks to some early game training, you’re given a pretty good introduction to attack combos and a wider range of evasion. I really recommend it, as the game doesn’t give you any indicator some of these combos are possible without it. The more Sargon unlocks to add to his abilities; the more options are opened up for attacks and defence in some really fun ways.

Athra is the energy you build up through combat; it’s used to power your Athra Surge attacks. These complement your standard and charged attacks, giving Sargon large energy attacks in various forms. Only one of the surges seems to be for healing, which makes it hard to ever swap away from it until you build up enough potions and health meter. I tended to forget I had the Surges until I accidentally unleashed one, or until I wanted to get some extra damage on a boss. On the higher difficulties, these could have much more of an impact, but they feel mostly forgettable. If you use them or don’t, it has no impact on enjoying the game.

With the release of the game, Ubisoft issued a Day One patch, which I also had access to, which was good to compare to what I experienced in the 3 hours I had without. I found there have definitely been some tweaks to the game’s difficulty, with it feeling more balanced against the earlier bosses. The frame rate is also feeling like it sticks to the 60fps much closer than the preview build. Mind you, it would be quite the endeavour to attempt to test this between Docked and Undocked modes.


If you’re for some reason concerned that any balance updates would risk making the game too easy, don’t worry. The Lost Crown has you covered. There are varying difficulty options, from the more relaxed to the most punishing. You can also adjust options to make your own custom difficulty. If you don’t want to take as much damage you can change that, if you want to take much more damage you can tweak it the other way. You can really make the game as easy or as difficult as you want, and it won’t impact anything – more games need this feature.

There is even an assist option if you’re having trouble getting through platforming sections. I did try it twice to see how it worked and I don’t know if it was because of the section I tried it on, but I didn’t have any luck. Ideally, it should help you get through some of the more brutal areas to platform through. Given how absolutely unforgiving some of the platforming sections can be, it’s good they are taking into consideration that it could impact on someone being able to see the story through.

The Lost Crown does something quite useful regarding keeping track of points of interest to return to. Memory Shards are a great addition to the game. You have a limited number of shards, and when you see an area that contains something just out of reach at the time, hold down a button. This will then save a screenshot and keep it in the map so you can check if you have the ability to progress later on. It makes backtracking a more streamlined process.

Over the 17-20 hours it takes to finish up the main story, there is, of course back, tracking, it’s the nature of these games, and it’s no different here. It can often be that you hit a point in this style of game where the backtracking drags out as there’s less new locations to open up. I didn’t feel the drag so much with The Lost Crown, you open up enough fast travel locations over the course of the game. Then there’s the unlocked abilities improving the overal traversal, making getting around the large world much quicker and enjoyable to blast through.

With the Lost Crown appearing on all the major platforms, it’s time to return to the usual question: how does it run on the Switch? I am happy to say it runs pretty damn well. The game looks great and makes the most of the art style while handling a lot of fast-paced platforming and combat. The Lost Crown keeps to a smooth 60fps the majority of the time. As a result, the platforming and combat feel fluid as Sargon moves across the large map. I found when one of the time powers is used, it would impact the frame rate, and sometimes, during a big battle, there was the occasional drop. To be honest, these were minimal throughout and never affected the gameplay.


I did, however, have a few glitches pop up across the many hours. Sometimes, it was visual glitches where the camera got a little lost in a boss battle. I also had it crash on me at least once, so maybe a few little bugs are still in the system. Overall, these were minor issues, too; even the boss battle glitch didn’t ruin the battle outside of making a special attack look silly.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown revitalises a classic series. It’s wild that the Sands of Time trilogy is 20 years old at this point, with Ubisoft never quite working out what they wanted to do with the series. The Lost Crown is just a joy to play; the platforming is fast-paced, smooth and makes you feel like a real badass for nailing some of the more tricky areas on the first go. Sargon and the Immortals are characters you care about, the story is one that I wanted to see through (and of course I have to finish it). As much as I try to think about my little gripes, none of it made the game worse. In fact, after I finish this review, I will be going back to track down all the out-of-the-way places I didn’t get to explore in my initial run.

Ubisoft has struggled with what to do with the Prince of Persia series; the Lost Crown is the revival the series needs. If you’re a fan of the previous games or the Metroidvania genre, you should get The Lost Crown. Or even if you miss Rayman Origins/Legends, get this game! It is nice to see the series back, and I hope it’s not the last we see of it.

Rating: 5/5

The Good

+ A princely return to the series, and fun on it’s own
+ An enjoyable adventure from start to finish with top notch platforming
+ Stellar performance on Switch

The Bad

- Still a few small bugs to squash

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Ubisoft has struggled with what to do with the Prince of Persia series; the Lost Crown is the revival the series needs. If you're a fan of the previous games or the Metroidvania genre, you should get The Lost Crown. Or even if you miss Rayman Origins/Legends, get this game! It is nice to see the series back, and I hope it's not the last we see of it.

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

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