Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

More info »

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown review
Samuel Corey


A Solid Metroidvania with a Massive Price Tag

Prince of Persia, No Prince Included.

One would assume, this being a Prince of Persia game that the players would take on the role of the titular prince. It's only been the premise for every Prince of Persia game in the last 35 years. Here however the prince is reduced to damsel in distress status after he is kidnapped by a treacherous general and brought to a mysterious ruin.

Instead, you play as Sargon, a member of the Immortals (based on the real-life bodyguard of the Achaemenid kings, though in real life there were a hell of a lot more of them than the seven in the game). Sargon is a fearsome warrior, with a really stupid haircut that seems woefully out of place with the world he inhabits. Seriously, a character that is supposed to inhabit an ancient kingdom should not look like a wannabe rapper hawking his latest mix tape on a subway. It is one of the most misguided attempts at making a character trendy that I have seen in quite some time. I kept fervently hoping that Sargon would pull a Sakura from Naruto and have a moment of character development that coincided with a haircut.

New Genre, Old Tricks

In a departure from the series up to this point, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a conventional Metroidvania. Indeed it might be a little bit too conventional, as there is very little in the combat, traversal methods, or level design that will make anyone who has played a Metroidvania before sit up and take notice. Lost Crown's sole unique feature is the ability to take a photo of the screen and paste it to your map as a to-do reminder for collectibles and areas you cannot yet access. It's useful, but it's not exactly going to set the world on fire. It doesn't compare well to indie offerings like Doomblade, which feature cool gameplay gimmicks and unique visual styles to set them apart from the herd.

Gripes aside though, Lost Crown has the fundamentals of 2D Metroidvanias down pat. The world is massive, with a variety of environments each with its own unique enemy types and hazards. The levels interconnect and the map gradually opens up as you unlock new powerups, combat moves, and movement abilities.

The combat is of particular note, Sargon has an impressive array of moves that he can chain together seamlessly in combat. Combat is intuitive, with enemies helpfully glowing red before delivering an un-blockable attack and letting you know ahead of time to dodge, and glowing yellow before special attacks that will do extra damage to parry. I would advise anyone going into Lost Crown to play the game on the highest difficulty setting that you can tolerate, as that will force you to engage with the combat and not just button-mash your way through every non-boss encounter. That said, expect a couple of bulls**t moments on the highest difficult settings where an enemy's attack sends you flying into a bomb, a trap, or another enemy and you have to watch helplessly as you die despite your stack of healing potions.

The only place where the combat falters is the inclusion of annoying, elaborate cut-scenes that play whenever the player parries a special attack. Like a summon in an old Final Fantasy game, there is no way to skip them and they do too much damage to just avoid altogether. What's worse though is after the cut-scene stops you will be momentarily vulnerable as the perspective shifts back to the 2D sidescroller format. More than once this caused me to lose track of enemies around me and tack additional damage.

Questionable Mythology

After playing through the game for a while a character referred to the Gods of Persia. This phrase struck me as a little off, especially when I remembered that the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia followed Zoroastrianism. For those who don't know, Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion (one of the world's oldest) so the phrase Gods of Persia is about as applicable as the phrase: Gods of Israel (not a mistake you want to make)!

Now of course, an empire as large and as decentralized as Persia at this time would be unlikely to have an official state religion, and indeed all manner of polytheistic and animist religions were tolerated within the bounds of the empire. However, calling these the Gods of Persia is a bit like calling Horus and Osiris as Gods of the Roman Empire.

You Want How Much?

Of course, the biggest reason to pass on Lost Crown is the price tag. In a world where the greatest Metroidvania of all time (Hollow Knight for those wondering) sold for $15 at launch, charging $50 for a Metroidvania is a bold strategy. While Lost Crown is a solid game, at that price point I would advise most people to wait for a sale and pick up Hollow Knight, Lost Ruins, AfterImage, or Doomblade if you haven't already. Still, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is worth a purchase if you have extra cash sitting around and have already played all the aforementioned titles.

And, as always, follow us on Instagram for news updates, reviews, competitions and more.


fun score


Excellent combat, Massive world, Some really fun platforming sections.


Cut-scenes in combat are annoying, Questionable mythology, Huge price tag, Main character has a stupid haircut.