DEVELOPER Ubisoft Montpellier
PLATFORMS Xbox Series X/S, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, PS4, PC
RELEASE DATE 01.18.2024
It’s hard to believe—for us oldsters, at least—that it’s been more than a decade since we last got a new Prince of Persia game. After two franchise reboots, one un-reboot, and a Sands of Time remake that’s been stuck in development limbo for over three years, you might expect any comeback to be either weighted down by legacy or so radically different from what’s come before as to be unrecognizable. But with The Lost Crown, Ubisoft Montpellier looks on track to dodge both pitfalls, like the nimble Prince of old avoiding traps.
Yes, this is a return to the Prince of Persia’s very earliest roots as a 2D platformer, but it hardly feels stuck in the past. For starters, you don’t even play as the Prince this time around. Instead, you play as a young warrior named Sargon, battling his way across the Metroidvania-style world of Mount Qaf to rescue the Prince from captivity. The game draws more closely on Iranian mythology than ever before to keep the setting fresh and authentic. And the combat is fast, fluid, and modern, relying on a mix of swordplay, archery, and special abilities to let you string together flashy combos.
Yet, despite all those changes, what we’ve played still feels at home within the franchise. Sargon will dodge plenty of whirling blades and spike traps, harking back to the earliest games in the series. What’s more, some of the time-twisting abilities he employs in combat and puzzle solving would be right at home in the Sands of Time trilogy—although, in a neat twist, the bad guys can use them now, too.