Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown Review - Crowning Achievement
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Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown Review - Crowning Achievement

Within its long history, Prince of Persia has always been better at leading than following. Its original trailblazing release in 1989 set a new standard for fluid animation and death-defying platforming, and the acclaimed Sands of Time was deservedly praised for its innovative parkour-inspired 3D traversal. Series entries that attempt to chase trends like the gritty Warrior Within, on the other hand, have been less than successful. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is the series' first attempt at a modernized metroidvania, which could have easily fallen into the category of competent imitators. But with impactful combat, silky platforming, and innovative exploration mechanics, this latest Prince of Persia makes the series a leader in its class once again.

Breaking with tradition, the eponymous prince in this case is not actually the player-character himself. Instead you play as Sargon, the youngest member of the Immortals--a sort of Persian royal guard by way of Avengers-like superheroes. When a member of your clan betrays the order by kidnapping the Prince and taking him to the mysterious and cursed Mount Qaf, the Immortals give chase to rescue him. The setting allows the story to pay homage to Persian mythology like the benevolent god Simurgh, but this is a very stylized take that doesn't seem concerned with meticulously setting itself at any specific point in history. It's a pastiche that blends history and mythology with hyper-stylized visual flourishes inspired by anime and comic books.

Mount Qaf is an elaborate setting for The Lost Crown, encompassing ancient temples, catacombs, royal libraries, caverns, and more. It was once the heart of the kingdom but has fallen into disrepair following the death of the wise King Darius. And as a cursed mountain, the few remaining inhabitants talk as if they are living outside of the sequential flow of time, frequently referencing things that happened either too long ago, or not yet.

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