It’s been a scorching minute since we’ve had a Prince of Persia recreation, and it looks as if the Prince of Persia: Sand of Time remake continues to be caught in manufacturing hell. So, think about our shock when Prince of Persia: The Misplaced Crown appeared. Ubisoft Montpellier is creating the title, who chances are you’ll keep in mind from the stellar 2D platformers Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends.
The pedigree doesn’t cease there both, as Gareth Coker is on soundtrack duties, an outstanding expertise that followers could acknowledge from his current work on Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Coker can also be teaming up with Iranian musician Mentrix, and we’re excited to see what the Persian-inspired title holds with this type of expertise within the driver’s seat.
We now have performed round 30 minutes of Prince of Persia: The Misplaced Crown (The Misplaced Crown from right here on out), and whereas trailers clearly clarify that the title is a Metroidvania recreation with a flash of the historic aptitude that Prince of Persia followers love, nothing fairly does justice to getting a controller in your hand and taking this title for a run. After I say I’m impressed, that’s underselling it dramatically, so learn all about it in our Prince of Persia: The Misplaced Crown preview.
First up, it’s very clear that Ubisoft Montpellier has performed Metroid Dread, and I imply that in the absolute best manner. Within the prolonged hole earlier than Metroid’s final 2D outing, Metroid Fusion, the style advanced and created such trendy classics as Hole Knight and the aforementioned Ori video games. Metroid Dread didn’t simply carry the collection screaming again into this decade. It confirmed precisely why Metroid and Nintendo are nonetheless the highest of the category.
In The Misplaced Crown, you play as Sargon, a younger warrior with a pithy perspective and a specific aptitude for platforming. First impressions present that the sport is straddling a nice line between witty banter and annoying drivel, a line that Immortals: Fenyx Rising sadly couldn’t fairly stability. Right here, Sargon is a likable protagonist with some nice one-liners, and the forged surrounding him all add some nice world-building and humor with out over-explaining.
It’s onerous to evaluate the story from a couple of minutes of cut-scenes, however on the very least, I like our hero, Sargon, fairly a bit, and the brooding antagonist did a pleasant little bit of foreboding dialogue and surroundings chewing. It’s not fairly life-changing, nevertheless it’s like a teenage Child Icarus: Rebellion with an awesome mix of humor and stakes serving to to drive the narrative ahead and preserve you engaged.
Now, onto the great things. The Misplaced Crown controls like a dream. There’s a motive I discussed Metroid Dread, and that’s as a result of Ubisoft Montpellier is crafting a motion system that feels simply as easy and satisfying as Samus’ newest outing. Sargon zips across the stage, however nonetheless with a pleasant feeling of weight and confidence. You may rapidly entry a run after utilizing your sprint, slide beneath obstacles, and may briefly cling to partitions to bounce off them and acquire top.
Your character simply feels nice to manage and has precisely the kind of acrobatic movepool I count on from a Prince of Persia recreation. Sargon has two swords for close-quarters fight, a long-range bow (with a helpful line displaying you the place your assaults will land), and may parry assaults that enemies telegraph with a yellow flash. Deal sufficient injury and pull off sufficient parry assaults, and also you cost a particular meter, permitting you to unleash one huge assault positive to deal mammoth injury.
This mix of assaults retains the motion regular, whereas additionally permitting you to maneuver across the stage as you please and pull off ranged assaults, then often dashing in to deflect yellow assaults and acquire the candy parry. It’s a satisfying fight system, however one which works very effectively with the platforming at your disposal, as Ubisoft Montpellier appears to have thought of every assault alongside Sargon’s platforming prowess.
It feels unimaginable to zip round ranges, bouncing off partitions and utilizing poles to swing your self increased, after which flashing underneath obstacles solely to drag off some fast sword assaults and an enormous flash parry to complete all of it off. The place Metroid Dread is extra targeted on you stopping shifting, then attacking, and carrying on, as a substitute, The Misplaced Crown looks like a pure evolution for Rayman Legends, the place traversal and fight are one and the identical.
You may positively really feel that Rayman DNA in The Misplaced Crown, as the degrees really feel like they’ve a sure rhythm to them, despite the fact that this time it’s all one giant space. That’s proper, The Misplaced Crown is unquestionably a Metroidvania, with one giant interconnected world simply ready so that you can unlock some powers and uncover some shortcuts alongside the best way.
You additionally cease at lovely golden timber to vary your loadout, and very similar to Hole Knight’s badges, Sargon has a rising arsenal of amulets you possibly can equip to swap your skills on the fly. There’s additionally loads of collectibles dotted round, although in our temporary demo, it primarily appears to be these blue time crystals you employ to buy extra assaults and weapons. We’re positive amulets and different mysteries are ready for gamers, and we did solely discover a small nook of the world.
After darting round, slaying some zombies, and fixing some platforming puzzles involving some time-bending ledges, we arrived on the demo’s boss, the Manticore. A grotesque and imposing boss, this reminded us fairly a little bit of the Corpius boss battle from Metroid Dread, the place, equally, we’re caught in a confined area with a big beast that has one hell of a sting on its tail.
The Manticore boss battle shouldn’t be simple, demanding your consideration and abilities. It’s an awesome instance of the cohesion between motion and assaults, because the Manticore’s imposing determine challenges Sargon to leap across the room to keep away from many alternative assaults after which rapidly zip in to seize that all-important parry when mandatory. Certain, you possibly can stand again and chip away along with your arrow assault if you need, however you’ll run out of arrows faster than the Manticore runs out of persistence.
My time with The Misplaced Crown was temporary, however I’m already aching to play extra. As a hardcore Rayman Legends fan who additionally adores Metroid Dread (and Child Icarus: Rebellion), I’m extremely happy to see Ubisoft Montpellier deal with my beloved childhood franchise, Prince of Persia, with such care. Extra importantly, this looks like a pure step for the collection, mixing that time-based platforming with a nimble protagonist and a beautiful Center Jap setting. We don’t have too lengthy to attend till the Prince of Persia: The Misplaced Crown launch date, however after this demo, we are able to barely wait one other day.
We now have some time to attend earlier than Prince of Persia: The Misplaced Crown arrives, so whereas we wait, why not take a look at our information to the best Switch Metroidvanias to maintain you going.