Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is one of the most highly anticipated games of 2024, mainly because it’s the first major Prince of Persia game since 2010. The official announcement and trailer of this latest entry in June 2023 generated positive reactions from critics and fans alike.
Series creator Jordan Mechner, who is not directly involved in development of The Lost Crown, expressed his support and enthusiasm for the game. He called it the Prince of Persia game he’s been wishing for. As the release date of this game slowly approaches and anticipation builds for the resurgence of the beloved Prince of Persia series, let’s take a look at what this new game could look like.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown to be a big return for the franchise
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a 2.5D platform action-adventure game, that’s meant to make a big return for the franchise to the gaming scene. It will be the first major installment in the Prince of Persia series since 2010’s Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands. At its core, The Lost Crown looks like a mix of Rayman, Immortals Fenyx Rising, and classic Prince of Persia, but even more advanced.
Players will get a chance to play as a new protagonist – Sargon. Sargon is the youngest member of the group of Immortals. They’re a group of Persian soldiers assigned to rescue Prince Ghassan. Historically, the Immortals were an elite unit of the Achaemenid Empire. They served as the king’s bodyguards and troopers.
Their role in the conquest of Egypt in the Battle of Pelusium, European Scythia, and Indus Valley was important to the Persian empire. They were also a part of the legendary Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BCE during the famous Greco-Persian War. Before the Achaemenid Empire was over, the role of the commanding officer of Immortals was extended to being a personal bodyguard of the King.
Sargon is an orphan, and he was raised by this iconic group of warriors. All of it was to make him a deadly weapon to the Persian empire. He is one of the best warriors in their group, even though he is the youngest. We can also see that he was possibly named after the first ruler of the Akkadian Empire – Sargon the Great.
The story will mostly take place in the city of Mount Qaf. The Immortals will try to rescue the kidnapped Prince Ghassan, but, just as in many previous Prince of Persia entries, there’s always more to the story. And what is it? Well, we’ll just have to wait and find out.
A different technical approach in The Lost Crown
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown looks like one of those games that try to tell you a story throughout a visually stunning world filled with challenges and mysteries. The developer’s main focus is on gameplay and Sargon’s story, but only in 2.5D. That way you can feel like you’re playing an older Prince of Persia game, without the need to go back and play in the 1989’s version. Amongst the different abilities Sargon will have are jumping, sliding, air dashing, dual-sword combat, and more.
From the first trailer and a gameplay trailer, The Lost Crown provides dynamic areas for navigating through a world of different platform levels. Which in the end will make up the game’s entire landscape and with a variety of levels. I’d say that it will be something similar to the classic Captain Claw game. In this game, you had enemies that were responsible for different damages/attacks. But on each new level, they looked different to fit the theme of the level, while still doing the same things/actions.
Sargon will be armed with a pair of lethal blades which he’ll use to engage in combat with enemies, and will have to time his parry’s perfectly to accumulate Athra’s Glow. This will allow him to use a special ability that can be unleashed once fully charged. It’s like an Ultimate attack that will have to take some time to be used again but is powerful, so you’ll have to wait for a perfect opportunity to use it.
The game introduces an innovative time-based mechanic, adding a layer of complexity to both combat and exploring/traveling through levels. Sargon possesses unique powers called Rush of the Simurgh which enables him to dash instantly through time, becoming invincible for a short amount of time. Another ability is Shadow of the Simurgh, allowing the placement of “shadow markers” that act as temporary checkpoints for swift returns. He’ll also be able to use a bow and arrows to hit long-distance enemies.
The inclusion of customizable and collectible talismans further enhances and upgrades Sargon’s abilities. That way you can choose your own way of playing through this game. It provides you with strategic options to choose your playstyle, giving the player the responsibility for making this decision.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown also mixes elements of Metroidvania, by offering an interconnected game world filled with shortcuts, secret rooms, and puzzles that must be solved to progress. Think of it as one level, where you’ll have to explore it fully to move to the next one, just like it was in the original Prince of Persia game. Exploration of each level is rewarded with Time Crystals, valuable resources that unlock upgrades for Sargon’s weapons and his abilities to make him a much more powerful character.
To help players more in their journey, the game introduces a unique feature that allows them to capture and pin screenshots of unsolved puzzles to the in-game map. And I think that it’s one of the greatest features of this game. Imagine that you’re in one place possibly solving a riddle and you have to remember certain symbols in a particular order. That way you don’t have to draw them on a piece of paper or take a picture with your phone, just make a screenshot of this place on a map.
The future of the Prince of Persia franchise
The developer responsible for Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is Ubisoft Montpellier. This studio also developed the Rayman series, Beyond Good and Evil, and The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. The creative process for this game took over three and a half years. It’s all because people who worked on this game wanted to give us something worth our time and try to convince people who don’t like 2.5D games, that this one is worth playing.
Also what I’m happy with is the notable contribution from composer Gareth Coker. He composed one of the most beautiful soundtracks for games. The ones most recognizable are Ori and the Blind Forest, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Immortals Fenyx Rising, and even Minecraft. He worked together with Mentrix to compose the soundtrack for The Lost Crown.
Music will certainly draw inspiration from Persian mythology, music motives, and their culture. Just like the game itself. It looks like the whole game wants to shed some light on not only the whole Persian mythology but also to give it more recognition. As we know, in recent years, people at Ubisoft have done a great job trying to honor and show different cultures. Either it’s in the Assassin’s Creed franchise or now with Prince of Persia.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is neither a sequel nor a prequel. It’s a stand-alone game that will try to present an entirely original narrative that wasn’t told in previous games. Also, The iconic time powers from The Sands of Time series return but are wielded by the game’s antagonist. Additionally, if this game is a success, it’ll lead to the other games from this franchise giving us a chance to explore this world once again.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown will be released on January 18, 2024, on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. Are you hyped for it? Do you like the Prince of Persia franchise? Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus or The Cosmic Circus Discord.