LUCCA – The Saga of Prince of Persia has been missing from the Ubisoft catalog for a long time. The last chapter, The forgotten time, In fact, it dates back to 2010 and nothing has been heard about it since then until it was unveiled a few months ago during Summer Game Fest the first trailer From Prince of Persia: The Lost Crowna new chapter that brings the plot back into two (and a half) dimensions.
The title is developed by Ubisoft Montpellierthe division of the company that has dealt with the series in the past Rayman and from Beyond Good and EvilAnd will be released on January 18th on PC and on all currently existing consoles.
During the Lucca Comics & Games 2023 edition we had the opportunity to extensively try out a demo of the game that lasted about half an hour and such first taste the game mechanics that will guide the new chapter of the historical saga.
A mythology of swords and sand
They are introduced to us in the introductory video of the demo the protagonist Sargon and his companions, the Order of the Immortals, very skilled warriors employed directly by Prince Ghassan himself.
The game shows us their arrival in the cursed city on Mount Qaf, where it seems that evil forces have kidnapped the prince. This is where the journey of Sargon begins, an agile warrior and one of the youngest of the group, who must face hordes of enemies to save his prince.
We still know little about the history, which could hide some interesting surprises, especially since for the first time the aforementioned prince is not the protagonist of the game. For now we have to praise the character design of the Immortals group, all of which are well characterized on an aesthetic level to leave their mark at first glance.
The focus of our test Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown (You can already book the game at Amazon) was mostly on the Combat systemThe He surprised us with the fluidity and variety of his attacks.
It will also be possible to throw enemies into the air and then perform air combos.
In fact, our Sargon, with his two blades, is able to unleash a rapid series of blows on his enemies by repeatedly pressing the attack button. However, if we hold down the same button it is possible to use a charged shot, with some variations changing depending on the moment of the combination in which we use it.
Sargon then has one slipped This can be used to dodge or, in combination with the attack, to attack throw enemies into the air and continue with air combinations. A key must not be missing parry and, if the command is carried out at the last second, to perform the classics parry.
If one succeeds, Sargon will make a spectacular entrance Counterattack. There will be some too Special attacks, executable after loading a certain bar, which is possible by attacking enemies. In the middle of a combo, Sargon can also perform bow attacks: it will also be possible to use it by holding down the command to aim more calmly and precisely. This recording will also be useful for Solve some environmental puzzles.
Sargon then has a unique special ability that allows him to do it create some kind of image of yourself at any desired time. By pressing the button again with a “sands of time“, He can rewind the action and return to that exact point from any position he is in. This power is very useful in both combat and puzzles, such as when you fail a complex jump from one platform to another.
There are some enemies in battles specially designed so that we can use this ability. For example, among those we encountered was an undead soldier with a large shield that protected him from any frontal attack. Position the image so that it was behind his back, it was possible to move with this rewind power, surprising him from behind and rendering his shield useless. It will be very interesting to see it in the full version of the game like many other uses will have this power.
The opponents we encountered in the half-hour test were very different and each had weaknesses and strengths that had to be overcome in order to survive The opponents were very aggressive.
We did it too Face a boss of the game, i.e. the Manticore that can be seen in the trailer. The boss fight is interesting and allows you to take full advantage of the game’s combat system – especially the power it offers you rewind of the action in order to avoid area attacks and penetrate into the enemy’s blind spots.
The beast then had different phases that followed each other each time it lost some of its health, and with each new phase its attack pattern changed.
What we’ve seen of the combat system so far Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown It impressed us with fluid and spectacular combat, a well-thought-out combo system and a good portion of strategic options for dealing with the various enemies. We’re now eagerly awaiting how much this will expand in the final game.
Prince of Metroidvania
Another very important aspect of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown it is exploration. That is Built practically like a classic Metroidvania, whereby areas are only accessible if appropriate forces or objects are present. In the demo, some areas were actually inaccessible due to a lack of skills and we didn’t have the opportunity to explore them in the limited time we had.
The different screens the game is divided into are full of secrets, detours and shortcuts.
For example, there are special crystals that are often hidden and are useful for obtaining the game’s internal currency. This currency can then be used to purchase new equipment from some NPCs, but at the moment we have not yet had the opportunity to explore the equipment and the possibility of significantly improving our protagonist. Just know that this option will be available in the final game.
In one Prince of Persia Of course the traps couldn’t be missingand in some sequences we even had to do it Avoid rotating blades, spikes on the ground and walls and bottomless ravines. In short, the classic routine for those who already know well the Prince’s past adventures.
Luckily, our Sargon can easily avoid these obstacles thanks to various movement abilities, including one where he uses the power of rewind to sprint while jumping in any direction.
Therefore, even the exploration of the areas, although it corresponds to the classic elements of Metroidvania, seems to be structured according to criteria in order to greatly vary the gameplay and make the most of the skills of the young protagonist.
We therefore conclude by mentioning the technical component of the titletested by us on Nintendo Switch in docked mode.
The game runs very well on the big N console, the quality of the character models and environments is good but not great, and will probably improve a lot on the more powerful consoles, but the game is moving very smoothly without no hiccups or bugs somehow.
Sargon’s animations are very well done, especially his peculiar movements – such as the aforementioned rewind effect, which is accompanied by special effects with excellent aesthetic results.