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Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown returns to side-scrolling platformer | Hands-on preview


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Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown was the first game revealed at this year’s Summer Game Fest. It was a return to 2D platforming and side-scrolling in the tradition of the original Prince of Persia game series.

The title is coming to the PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC on January 18, 2024. I was able to play it in a preview session with Ubisoft.

Since platformers aren’t my thing (Cuphead, anyone?), I found this game challenging but still something that I could learn so long as I bashed my head against the wall a few times. But I enjoyed the gameplay and saw it as a game that could bring a lot of hours of joy.


Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a 2D sidescroller.

The game is being led by Ubisoft Montpellier. It’s an action-adventure platformer that opens a new chapter in the franchise.

The Lost Crown takes place in a mythical ancient Persia. I played as the character Sargon, who is one of seven bodyguards known as Immortals. The Prince is missing, and Sargon and his six comrades must get him back.

It brings back a lot of the old platformer ingredients that make Prince of Persia so successful, with a combination of combat and exploration. It’s an age of heroes and gods. Sargon’s story takes place in Mount Qaf. The kingdom is under the protection of seven elite warriors called Immortals. Sargon is the youngest of them. Your job is to get the Prince back in a rescue mission.

But there are temporal anomalies where time doesn’t follow its natural flow. You have to take out a bunch of demon-like characters, and they’re not all that easy to dispatch. You have to use your blocking and your attacks, as well as your fast maneuverability — like sliding under their legs — to take them out.

Hands-on gameplay


I played in an area with a couple of biomes. One takes place in a sandstone fortress. The game was playable on the Nintendo Switch but I chose to play it on the PC. The game played at 60 frames per second and it was very snappy.

I started running sideways and quickly ran into some other-worldly enemies who vaporized when I took them out with my sword. I could block attacks if their weapon glowed in yellow, but the red-glow attacks were unblockable. I had a bow and arrow that I could access from the Xbox controller’s Y button, but it was relatively hard to aim in a tight spot. So I relied mostly on button mashing with the X button.

The game came with a fair amount of climbing puzzles. I had to learn how to jump and move. That’s always a challenge for me, but it was an analog button. So I held down the A button longer to get higher, and then I bounced off a wall or dashed to get to the right spot so I could bounce again and go higher.

There were a variety of obstacles to get past like spikes sticking out of walls that I needed to traverse. And there were occasional mini-bosses who were tougher to take out in combat. Flying bugs came down and zapped my head as I was trying to leap from one wall platform to another. Moving platforms made maneuvering challenging as well, but even I could get them down with enough work.

Overall, it was quite satisfying to slice up the bad guys, slide under their legs, and hit them from behind. I think this game is going to make a lot of old-school platform fans happy.

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