- Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown brings the franchise back to its 2D side-scrolling roots, and its Memory Shard mechanic could revolutionize the Metroidvania genre.
- One common issue in Metroidvanias is the frustrating backtracking to blocked pathways, but The Lost Crown’s Memory Shard mechanic allows players to easily mark and locate these areas on the map.
- While some Metroidvania purists may not approve, the Memory Shard feature is an innovative quality-of-life improvement that could be implemented in future games of the genre.
The Prince of Persia franchise has had a bit of an odd history, occasionally serving up some of the most influential games of all time, but also disappearing almost completely over the past decade or so. The first Prince of Persia redefined the 2D side-scrolling adventure genre back in 1989 with its fluid animations and greater emphasis on realistic platforming, and that same general vibe was evoked once again with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, which quickly became one of the most beloved games of the sixth console generation. Thankfully, it looks as though Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown might be putting the franchise back on the map.
Releasing on January 18, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is bringing the series back to its 2D side-scrolling roots, albeit with the addition of some modern Metroidvania. While Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown as an entire package is sure to be great, its most influential element might end up being just one small mechanic: its Memory Shards.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown – All Deluxe Edition and Pre-Order Bonuses
If you wonder which Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown edition you should get, this comparison will help you.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown’s Memory Shard Mechanic Could Be Revolutionary for Metroidvanias
Big Metroidvanias Can Run Into the Same Problem
As the name implies, the Metroidvania genre has been around for a good few decades, and over that time it’s established a lot of general rules and guidelines that most Metroidvania games abide by. One of the biggest elements inherent to the Metroidvania genre is stumbling upon a blocked pathway, making a mental note of where that is on the map, and knowing to return there when a new upgrade or ability has been unlocked. In a good Metroidvania, this can feel incredibly satisfying, but even in some of the best, it’s all too easy for this sense of rewarding progress to feel like a frustrating obstacle.
This becomes a pretty major issue in Metroidvanias with a larger map size, especially those with interweaving areas and a non-linear approach to objectives. It’s often the case that players will forget where they saw a blocked pathway, with it having appeared hours ago, in a completely different location. This then usually leads to hours of tedious back-tracking, meaning that once players finally do reach the blocked pathway, they don’t feel satisfied but just glad that it’s an end to their frustrations.
Prince of Persia’s Memory Shard Mechanic Fixes That Problem
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown might be about to eliminate this common Metroidvania issue completely. Just one of its surprisingly high number of in-depth accessibility options, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown introduces a mechanic called the Memory Shard. Activated via the D-pad, the player can drop a Memory Shard at any point in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. This Memory Shard takes a full-size screenshot of the game in its current state, allowing the player to directly pinpoint the Shard’s location on the map, and get an immediate visual cue of what type of obstacle or blocked pathway was in that area.
While Metroidvania purists may turn their noses up at Prince of Persia‘s Memory Shard feature, it seems like a genuinely innovative quality-of-life improvement for the genre. It’s one we could easily see end up being implemented in future high-profile Metroidvania games, especially those that are aiming to reach a wider audience.
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