From Sands of Time to Lost Crown: Navigating the Evolution of Prince of Persia

The first previews of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown were greeted coldly by most players, but this is a game with impressive gameplay and enchanting visual performances, music and story

by Sededin Dedovic
From Sands of Time to Lost Crown: Navigating the Evolution of Prince of Persia
© Shirrako / Youtube channel

Previously, the misconception prevailed that Ubisoft's "The Sands of Time" marked the beginning of the series. However, the prince's roots go back to the late 80s of the last century. The prince's formula, characterized by a skillful alternation between parkour, close combat and spatial traps and puzzles, has universally captivated players.

The appeal is enhanced by an exotic aesthetic that springs from mystical Persia. An extended hiatus of over 15 years since the last full-blooded Prince of Persia title, along with Ubisoft's ongoing complications with the "Sands of Time" remake, further complicated the fate of the series.

The absence of a release date for the remastered "Sands of Time" adds to the uncertainty. When Prince's somewhat forgotten 2D roots are taken into account, it becomes clear why first impressions of "Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown" received a lukewarm reception from most gamers.

On paper, "Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown" looks like it was originally intended as a low-key addition, satisfying the hunger of the prince's devoted fans eagerly awaiting his royal return after years of absence. However, to the delight of many, "The Lost Crown" defied expectations from the early chapters.

By the end of the rich 20-hour journey, players can forgo any boyish nostalgia and quietly admit that this Prince of Persia might be one of the best games ever played. The protagonist in "Lost Crown" is not the same Prince of Persia, and his story is not directly related to the previous games.

The game revolves around Sargon, a powerful and agile warrior, the youngest member of an elite Persian group known as the Immortals. The Immortals successfully defend Persia at the very beginning, but the joyful moment is interrupted by the tragic news of the kidnapping of Prince Ghassan.

Making matters worse, the captors take the prince to the mystical Mount Kaf, a place teeming with magic and supernatural creatures. As Sargon and his party arrive at the mountain, they realize that the greatest danger lies in the warped relationship between space and time.

While the plot of "The Lost Crown" may not be a modern masterpiece of storytelling, it maintains enough interest throughout, thanks to the twists and turns interwoven with the beautifully brought to life motifs of Persian history and mythology.

Sargon's saga is a classic story of coming of age and finding inner peace in the midst of constant violence, leaving a rounded and positive impression. For those looking for more than the main 20-hour campaign, there are additional side missions from the imaginative inhabitants of Coffee.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown© Shirrako / Youtube channel

Persian mythology is heavily represented

What sets "The Lost Crown" apart from similar fairy tales is its bold emphasis on the vast myths of the Persian Empire.

As for Greek, Norse, and Egyptian mythology, Persian myths and legends are often overlooked in games. The game's atmosphere, reminiscent of Sinbad and Scheherazade's One Thousand and One Nights, serves as a delightful departure from the norm.

Given the relative obscurity of Persian culture, encounters with familiar creatures, deities and names in "The Lost Crown" seem refreshingly new and intriguing. The game assumes that players may not be familiar with the divine Simurgh, the role of Mount Qaf, or the reasons why King Darius was called the Great, and skillfully integrates these elements into the narrative without burdening players with history lessons.

"The Lost Crown" unfolds through a variety of techniques, combining finely directed scenes and stylized comedic frameworks for the main narrative. Static dialog boxes, scattered scrolls and writings provide additional depth for those who want to dive deeper.

The directed sequences, influenced by Marvel and modern anime series, are very lively. The epic experience is further complemented by a fantastic soundtrack that seamlessly combines Arabic instrumental compositions, drums and contemporary music.

Set against the backdrop of a large and intricate map, the game's stylized Persian fairy tales find a perfect home on Mount Kaf—a mythical place that contains fragments of an entire world in its mythology. Expansive landscapes and intricate designs create an immersive experience that goes beyond mere gameplay.

Players move through a meticulously crafted world that breathes life into the rich tapestry of Persian mythology. Switching between parkour, close combat, and spatial traps and puzzles remains at the core of the gameplay, paying homage to the series' roots.

The fluidity of movement, along with the intricacy of combat, adds a layer of engagement that keeps players invested in the unfolding narrative. So it will remind you the most of the older games of this series. The game's narrative takes an unexpected turn by focusing on Sargon, a character different from the famous Prince of Persia.

Sargon's journey is one of self-discovery and resilience as he grapples with the complexities of his role as a member of the elite immortals. The abduction of Prince Ghassan and the subsequent journey to Mount Kaf provide the backdrop for Sargon's growth, both as a warrior and as an individual.

Themes of maturation and inner peace, set against a backdrop of magical landscapes and supernatural threats, reverberate throughout the narrative.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown© Shirrako / Youtube channel

Side Missions

For those willing to explore beyond the main campaign, The Lost Crown offers plenty of side missions.

These missions add depth to the overall gameplay experience. Players can immerse themselves in the intricacies of Persian culture and mythology through these side missions, uncovering hidden gems of storytelling that complement the main story and should clarify some things about the story.

What truly sets The Lost Crown apart is its unapologetic emphasis on the vast myths of the Persian Empire. While Greek, Norse, and Egyptian mythology often took center stage in the gaming world, Persian myths remained relatively unexplored.

The game successfully brings the richness of Persian culture, introducing players to unknown creatures, deities and historical figures. The result is a gaming experience that transcends the boundaries of entertainment, offering players a glimpse into the fascinating world of Persian mythology.

Visual performances and Music

The visual presentation of "The Lost Crown" is a spectacle in itself. Finely directed scenes and stylized comic frames will delight players. The influence of Marvel and modern anime series is evident in the vivid and dynamic sequences that unfold throughout the game.

Each frame is a work of art. Static frames with dialogues, scrolls and writings serve as a complement to dynamic visuals. These elements allow players to engage in the knowledge of the game at their own pace. The incorporation of Persian motifs and aesthetics enhances the overall visual appeal, creating a cohesive and immersive experience.

The soundtrack for "Lost Crown" deserves special attention for its contribution to the atmosphere of the game. The seamless integration of Arabic instrumental compositions, drums and contemporary music enhances the epic feel of the journey.

The auditory experience, together with the visual spectacle, creates a multisensory adventure that remains in the player's memory.