The acclaim surrounding Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is well-deserved. As a new Metroidvania poised to become a classic, it flawlessly combines rewarding exploration, precise platforming, and challenging boss battles that push players to their limits. Such is its gripping experience that I broke my favorite controller during an intense boss fight, a testament to its quality.

Undoubtedly fun, it stands out as the best Metroidvania since Ori and the Will of the Wisps and, begrudgingly, a more satisfying game than Metroid Dread. However, despite its many strengths, the game takes a misstep in the realm of character progression, introducing a triple-A influence that feels jarringly out of place in the context of a Metroidvania. This unwelcome aroma from Ubisoft's game design choices slightly mars an otherwise nearly flawless experience.

The Metroidvania progression formula is faithfully executed, with Sargon acquiring new abilities, using them to navigate fresh environments, engaging in boss fights, obtaining new powers, and repeating the cycle. The classic lock-and-key structure inherent to Metroidvania level design is well-implemented, enhancing the experience, especially when simple upgrades like an air dash and a double jump come into play.’s-gate-3-offers-relief-to-frustrated-players/

Exploration occasionally yields amulets, akin to Hollow Knight's charms, serving as customizable combat upgrades. While they don't unlock new areas, they enhance combat capabilities and contribute to a sense of progression. However, the progression system takes a problematic turn with the introduction of upgrade vendors. Here, Time Crystals can be spent to enhance amulet power, increase health potion capacity and potency, and unbelievably, boost the base stats of weapons. In an RPG-inspired twist, The Lost Crown allows players to farm enemies for Time Crystals and then invest them to incrementally boost damage dealt. Although one step removed from the widely criticized gear score system, this RPG-esque element proves toxic to the overall quality of The Lost Crown.