One of the first major releases of 2024 is Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, a new Metroidvania set in the Prince of Persia universe and the first game in the series in 13 years. In our hands-on preview of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, we walked away suitably impressed not just by the core gameplay loop of the title, but all the ways it innovates and expands on the Metroidvania genre. It should come as no surprise that the Metroidvania genre is a perfect fit for the Prince of Persia franchise, given its roots, but perhaps not in the way everyone is expecting.
Ahead of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown‘s release, Game Rant had the chance to sit down with several members of the development team at Ubisoft Montpellier and ask some questions pertaining to the game’s narrative, structure, influences, combat, and more. One of the topics that came up was the question of how Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown compares to other modern Metroidvania titles such as Hollow Knight or Blasphemous, and the insight from the studio shows that The Lost Crown is shaping up to be its own unique Metroidvania while still adhering to the formulas of the genre’s all-time greats.
How Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Pushes Boundaries for Side-Scroller Storytelling
As Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown draws closer, the game’s approach to storytelling signals a new era for the side-scroller genre.
The Lost Crown is a Prince of Persia Game First, Metroidvania Second
Despite seemingly coming out of nowhere as the newest game in the Prince of Persia series, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown has been in development for quite some time, with several members of its team envisioning a Prince of Persia Metroidvania right from the project’s conceptualization. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Senior Producer Abdelhak Elguess notes that introducing the Metroidvania genre to the franchise has been a goal for Ubisoft for quite some time, thanks to its natural fit within the context of the series’ gameplay.
There has been this desire for a long time. The metroidvania genre allows us to truly bring together the essence of what a Prince of Persia is. It is possible to do combat, platforming, and puzzles at a very high level. And as in Prince of Persia, immersion in a world is central, the possibility of exploring and traveling freely in various biomes seemed central to us and respectful of the freedom that we wanted to give to the players.
In terms of indie games, few genres have seen as much of a renaissance in the last decade as Metroidvanias, with several new standouts that have come to redefine the genre released since 2017. Hollow Knight, both Blasphemous games, and both Ori games can count themselves in the conversation for “best Metroidvanias” alongside the genre’s forefathers. In deciding how to tackle making a new Metroidvania, the team behind Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown made the conscious decision to play to its strengths.
Rather than exist solely as a Metroidvania with a Prince of Persia setting and style, The Lost Crown is an action-platformer like the Prince of Persia series’ origins that is elevated through Metroidvania elements. When asked how Prince of Persia fits into the Metrodvania box like some of the aforementioned games, director Mounir Radi would explain that,
The Lost Crown, like all its predecessors, is first and foremost an Action Adventure game that uses the Metroidvania codes to elevate its formula. This is a genre that tends to highlight a world structure, governed by a mechanical progression (a world gated by abilities)…The best way to classify Lost Crown would be “it’s a Prince of Persia game!”
When working on a series like Prince of Persia, it’s important to start with the pillars…Prince of Persia are action-adventure games for me, offering a clever balance between narration, action, platforming, and puzzles, and the same goes for Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. The game is inspired by the Metroidvania genre, but the term in itself is above all representative of the structure of the world and the rules allowing the player to evolve in it.
By embracing the core aspects of what makes a good Prince of Persia game but filtering them through the mechanics of the Metroidvania genre, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown looks to offer something wholly new to players when it releases in just a few weeks.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown
Ubisoft’s The Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a throwback to the franchise’s early 2D days, albeit with a heavy focus on stylish combat. Inspired by Persian mythology and set on Mount Qaf, the game features platforming, parkour, action, and storytelling.
- January 18, 2024
- Ubisoft Montpellier
- Action , Platformer , 2D