Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 18.01.2024

Review for Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown on Nintendo Switch

The Prince of Persia (PoP) series is old now; it has numerous games and has employed a variety of styles. Unquestionably the favourite of that history is The Sands of Time, which saw the Prince in his second 3D adventure, one that offered incredible action combat, traversal and mind-bending puzzles all sat upon a great story that was fun to experience. This was rumoured to be getting a remake but that is taking much longer than expected. In mid 2023 publisher Ubisoft dropped a trailer for a new Prince of Persia title, The Lost Crown, touting a return to 2D but featuring an expansive world to explore and fight through. This title was developed by the team behind Rayman: Legends, so it promised something quite special. Can it unseat Sands of Time or even coexist at the top?

Persia's greatest heroes, the Immortals, are about to meet their match. The game opens up on the Persian heroes turning the tide of war with the main character Sargon taking out an enemy General. However, when things go south, players join Sargon in his mystical quest to rescue the Prince of Persia and unravel a sinister plot. The story in The Lost Crown sees a return of the sort of tone and writing style players loved in The Sands of Time, as everything seems a bit bouncier, though the story all happens in dialogue and not monologue, just for those who might read it that way. The characters are quite focussed on cliché personalities but they are written well and tend to present a variety of emotions and motivations as the story goes on. There is also time manipulation present so it really ticks the PoP series highlights. It takes a while for the context of everything to be explained in the story but it absolutely pays off over the course of the whole adventure.

Screenshot for Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown on Nintendo Switch

The game design is heavily based on the Metroid-Vania style and it does a bang-up job of matching the likes of Metroid: Dread. This 'Metroid of Persia' system gives players general directions while deliberately opening the map up gradually and making sure to casually throw around skill-specific traversal areas and shortcuts. To begin with, Sargon can jump, dodge, parry, pull off simple combos and unleash a single type of special attack. This limited move-set forms the base of the gameplay and is very satisfying. Everything from running and sliding into a combo just has a really good response both visually and in terms of latency; players literally couldn't ask for more on that front. Attacks can be chained in a variety of ways and from different starting positions. For example, if Sargon slides, the player can initiate a kick that throws the enemy into the air and it feels great. Parrying has become commonplace in many games and this game deploys the Dread flash when an attack is incoming and if the player gets a perfect parry they can pull off a special counter, this is quite frantic if facing multiple enemies!

Enemies are also interesting with a decent variety of designs all tailored to the areas in which they appear. They have interesting AI that does a decent job of providing a back-and-forth feeling in combat, forcing the player to parry and dodge, making sure that they aren't simply set dressing but instead actual adversaries. Normal enemies also have the courtesy to stay dead for a while, meaning traversal back and forwards is a little easier if the player chooses to stand and fight. There are also plentiful bosses to be found, all varying hugely in design and boasting fairly interesting and learnable attack sequences. To use the enemy general from the prologue as an example, he begins on his horse using dashes and lunging spear attacks, some of which the player can parry. At half health, he gets knocked to the ground resulting in a change in his behaviour. Though he still lunges, he now hits harder and moves less. It's pretty thrilling and this sort of design is part of many of the boss fights in the title.

Screenshot for Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown on Nintendo Switch

Visually, things are a little on the cartoony side but using realistic proportions - somewhat reminiscent of Prince of Persia on Xbox 360 with its more cartoony artistic aesthetic. Characters and enemies have this lovely, not quite cell-shaded, look about them. Taking Sargon himself for example, he rocks a pretty traditional Sands of Time inspired clothing set with a bare chest, white trousers and a blue sash. It's a strong and recognisable design and he stands out well from the environments regardless of lighting. This is true of enemy colour schemes as well, meaning the player shouldn't feel unfairly challenged at any point by the visuals. The game also just looks great, even on Switch, with punch vibrant main colours that highlight playable objects and lovely rendering on the 3D environments. The lighting and texture work has each area looking polished and interesting as well as being fairly memorable which is great for exploring.

The excellent design continues into the sound design with some great voicework which never really feels out of place, and the return of the almighty Prince of Persia theme tune. The soundtrack is sublime with fantastic orchestration and a nice balance between explorational slower themes and more bombastic fighting tunes. When the initial trailer launched there was a slight fear in this reviewer that the music might be themed differently but happily, the game chose to stay close to the themes seen in the earlier titles. One aspect that will likely go unmentioned in a lot of places is the light background environmental soundscape which has nice water sounds and other situational sound effects that really add a bit of depth and life to the world.

Screenshot for Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown on Nintendo Switch

Naturally being on Switch it can be hard for a company to optimise the game without cutting a huge swathe out of the visuals but it seems this game was designed with Switch in mind as everything looks sharp and runs consistently. It actually offers one of the most consistent experiences on Switch in the last few months. In fact, one of the only tells that visuals have extra features elsewhere are the "in-game" cutscenes that have extra lighting and rendering features not seen in the real-time gameplay areas! As a fun side note, it also features the first full voiceover in the Farsi language, not only appropriate for the game but amazing for those who want to experience the title in the language.

Screenshot for Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Prince of Persia is back, Baybee! The Lost Crown is not only a fantastic new entry to the series but one of the best Ubisoft titles in a long time (sorry FarCry and Assassin's Creed!). It's exciting to see the Prince return in such a polished title and it easily stands shoulder to shoulder with The Sands of Time. The adventure of Sargon is one to remember. A heartily recommended title to all who want a fun 2D action adventure!






2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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