Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown first look at Ubisoft Forward 2023

Ubisoft showed off many new games at this year's Ubisoft Forward event. Among those games was Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. The Lost Crown has a lot of potential to be an important entry in the Prince of Persia franchise, but it is a diversion from previous Prince of Persia games.

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Video Transcript

BRANDON QUINTANA: Ubisoft showed a lot of interesting stuff at their Ubisoft Forward event on Monday. But among all of the games that they showed, one piqued my interest in particular. Of course, being the nostalgic retro gaming fan than I am, that game was "Prince of Persia-- The Lost Crown."

Shortly after the Ubisoft Forward event, I had the pleasure of getting my hands on a demo build of the new "Prince of Persia," and I surprisingly had a lot of fun with it. But whether or not you will depends, of course, on how the full game plays out when it's released, but also, what your expectations are going in.



I, like most people who still care about the "Prince of Persia," grew up playing Ubisoft's 2003 hit, "Prince of Persia-- The Sands of Time." Since its release in 2003, anything with the name "Prince of Persia" attached to it is held up to the high standard set by "The Sands of Time."

I'm here to say that if you are going to enjoy the upcoming "Prince of Persia-- The Lost Crown," you need to let "The Sands of Time" go because, well, it's not "The Sands of Time." The only elements it really has in common with "The Sands of Time" is that it takes place in Persia, you have the ability to manipulate time, and you traverse the world using cleverly placed platforms and acrobatic wall jumps. Oh, and the protagonist, Sargon, is dressed eerily similar to the unnamed protagonist of "The Sands of Time."

With that being said, the protagonists aren't the same people. In "The Lost Crown," you don't even play as a Prince. In "The Lost Crown," you play as Sargon, a warrior who, with the help of his crew, the Immortals, was sent out by the queen to save the Prince Hassan. However, Sargon is separated by the immortals and is left to wander a world in which time has been altered and hostile enemies run rampant.

The build I played was stripped of both a tutorial and transitions between levels. I was told this was done to prevent story spoilers. So unfortunately, that's all the story that we really know.

However, what I can say is that the "Prince of Persia-- The Lost Crown" takes place in a semi-open world environment that is supposed to encourage exploration. Throughout that semi-open world, you'll find a wide variety of enemies to fight, treasure to collect, merchants to trade with, and characters to talk to.

Combat in "The Lost Crown" feels surprisingly fluid. I was told to utilize the parry during combat to maximize success. However, I'm stubborn and I don't like to play games the way I'm supposed to. So I ignored the parry completely and went full offense mode.

The variety of attacks in "The Lost Crown" allows for lots of creativity. A combination of mashing, holding, and combining button presses allow you to use a combination of strikes and special abilities to obliterate enemies. Over time, you can also apply amulets to your character, which allow for even more abilities and character buffs.

Your main weapons are Sargon's twin swords and a bow that can be used in a variety of ways. I found the bow and arrows to be particularly interesting. You can ricochet the arrows off of the walls in order to attack hard-to-reach enemies, unlock doors, and trigger temporary platforms that will allow you to reach higher places.

The arrows also have the ability to return to you once they've been shot, doing extra damage from behind the enemy. And if you time it just right, you could even detonate it, doing even more damage to your enemy.

I only got about 30 minutes to sink my teeth into the game. And there are many elements of the game that I would have to experience before I can really decide whether the game is truly worthy of being the next significant entry in the "Prince of Persia" series.

Traversing the world was fun, especially once you get a good flow going, and the combat was fluid and fast-paced. However, one of the main aspects of the game highlighted to me by one of the developers before playing was exploring the game's open world.

From my experience, there was nothing really compelling me to explore that open world, other than simply getting to my next destination and pursuing the main objective. This was probably due to my limited time with the game, but we'll have to wait and see.

Still, though I do believe this game being worthy of getting really excited about hinges on how fun the open world actually is to explore and how compelling the story is, I had a great experience playing the bit that I did. And there is enough there already to draw me back in to see for myself when it releases on January 18 of 2024.

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