Home Tech Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown exhibits sheer beauty on every platform it is played on

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown exhibits sheer beauty on every platform it is played on

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown exhibits sheer beauty on every platform it is played on

UbiSoft has entirely abandoned its standard open world approach with Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, opting instead to concentrate on creating a side-scrolling, exploration-driven platform game. This may be my favorite product the firm has made in the last ten years. Rather than promoting state-of-the-art graphics, The Lost Crown is concentrating on creating an incredibly well-polished and fluid game that flawlessly utilizes every platform it has been released on. That’s correct, you may anticipate something unique regardless of the platform you decide to play this game on.

The Lost Crown ushers in a new era for both UbiSoft Montpellier, the game’s development studio, and the legendary history of Prince of Persia. I’ve been waiting for Montpellier to make a platforming game again since they were the ones behind Rayman Origins and Legends more than ten years ago. There’s no letdown with The Lost Crown. In contrast to Rayman, the studio has moved to a search/action style where you are tasked with discovering a massive, linked area and acquiring skills that are essential to advance the game. Yes, there are fleeting resemblances to Metroid and perhaps ‘Vania – a genre that has arguably worn out its welcome in recent years – and I was apprehensive coming in but in time, I grew captivated.

Players are tasked with navigating more complex chambers and puzzles utilizing a combination of leaps, dashes, wall runs, and more as the platforming builds up wonderfully. It’s fun to just run around the earth. Being a warrior named Sargon who has vowed to defend the Prince of Persia, combat is also fast-paced and difficult; opponents might take you out more quickly than you would anticipate. Because of the increased stakes, you’ll need to be able to dodge and parry in order to survive.

Beyond this, the storyline is quite intriguing, unlike other games in this category. It plays with time clichés, as you would expect, but it’s entertaining nevertheless. There’s a mystery that keeps you interested until the very end—at least, that’s what I did—when you run with someone who came just a few hours ago only to find out they’ve been there for weeks, months, or years. The crucial elements in this case are the superb action, the innovative and top-notch level design, the engaging universe to explore, the spot-on ambiance, and the very captivating plot.

The engine of The Lost Crown, however, is one of the most unexpected features from the standpoint of Digital Foundry. Although UbiSoft has access to a comprehensive array of internal technologies, such as the UbiArt Framework used in Rayman, this new game uses the Unity Engine. In and of itself, this is neither excellent nor terrible, but considering Ubi’s resources, it is intriguing. Multiplatform Unity games have historically yielded inconsistent results in our testing, with the Switch versions usually suffering, but UbiSoft has done a fantastic job here.

The actual visual makeup is simple yet powerful. It adheres closely to tried-and-true rendering conventions. This doesn’t have any cutting-edge visual effects or ray tracing, but it’s not really necessary. Rather, it’s about crafting a powerful aesthetic within the limitations of their intended audience, which is, I suppose you might imagine, the Nintendo Switch.

The crew has achieved a good degree of detail given the camera perspective. The models have good detail but are not too high-poly. The purpose of texture work is not realism, but rather a painterly approach. Lighting is totally baked yet nevertheless approximates things like light bounce to a rough degree. There are plenty of dynamic lighting and glossy surfaces within, and all versions include dynamic shadows—including self-shadows. The backdrops provide the feeling of exploring a vast area and have a pleasing sense of depth.

The stylized and extravagant animation include aspects such as a running animation that evokes Rayman’s movement, as well as some sleek segments that highlight Sargon’s dexterity and agility. This is an illustration of how the development team perfected a very particular style after dialing it in. The objective was always to make something that functions properly and consistently within its visual context, not to push technological limits. Sometimes it makes the most sense to have a coherent design, great performance, and responsiveness.

Although The Lost Crown is playable on almost every system out there, including previous and current models, we concentrated on the Switch and PC, which are current generation consoles. You’re in for a treat if you play The Lost Crown on a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X—it supports native 4K at 120 frames per second. To see this, of course, you’ll need a TV that supports HDMI 2.1, but believe me, it really does make a difference. For the PS5 and Xbox Series X, 60 frames per second is a piece of cake, and even at 4K 120, they perform well. While VRR is a terrific leveler and both of the premium current-gen systems seem quite similar, Xbox is closer to hitting the full 120 frames per second objective. In cases when your display does not support VRR and you are judder-sensitive, 60 frames per second is basically locked and could be better.

Naturally, The Lost Crown’s PC edition provides a plethora of further adjustments in addition to this level of performance if your machine is competent. picture quality enthusiasts will note that The Lost Crown avoids using TAA in favor of more anti-aliasing methods like FXAA and SMAA, which result in a sharper picture. Post-process AA is also used on consoles, but it’s more than sufficient at these resolutions and with this kind of visual design. The game is super sharp.

As we go down the stack, Series S—which has a maximum resolution of 1440p60—is the one that raises the most eyebrows in my opinion. I could argue that it is more than sufficient, performs well, and looks fantastic, yet there is a sense that the little box should do better. The idea concerning VRR remains true, even if 120 frames per second is out of the question. It would be best to let the game run at a frame rate higher than 60 on a VRR display. I say this because the findings from consoles from the previous generation are more precise. Just to test this game, I took the PS4 Pro off the shelf. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it plays at a resolution just below 4K and is significantly crisper than the Xbox Series S. Xbox Series X is presumably crisper as well.

While the PS4 Pro must pause and load at certain places, current generation devices do not; the S, on the other hand, uses textures with greater quality than the previous generation and loads much quicker. Moreover, cutscenes on the PS4 Pro run at 30 frames per second, whereas Series S maintains a higher frame rate.

However, the Switch version performs better than anticipated in terms of presentation; you get 720p60 in portable mode and 1080p60 in docked mode, and the effects are really amazing. Sure, it’s evident from comparisons that certain visual elements have been eliminated. For example, all textures have been made at a lower quality, several scenes lack reflections entirely, and cutscenes often play at 30 frames per second as opposed to 60. But other than that, everything is quite similar and fluid. When combined with the Switch OLED, I think this is one of the most visually appealing games I’ve ever played on the Switch.

Although not flawless, switch performance is still remarkable. I do believe it holds 60 quite well overall. Frame rates may sometimes dip during hectic moments, but after playing Switch for a few hours, this is rare, and the game seems smooth and well-made overall. Cutscenes may end abruptly in a few scenes when alpha effects cover the screen, however this is also rather rare. This game almost seems like a miracle for the Switch, especially in light of recent developments on the platform (especially with regard to third-party games). If you wanted to play on the go, this version is nice enough that I could suggest it! That solidity exists. Naturally, this also applies to portable mode, which functions flawlessly and could even be a little smoother than docked mode.

On the other hand, the experience is excellent when you consider the variety of platforms. Even though I’ve pointed out particular instances where performance decreases may happen, this game works well on every platform we tested, and given how many platforms are supported, I think it’s one of the better multiplatform titles we’ve reviewed recently. Even more to its advantage is the fact that it is very polished. It’s a shining example of well-executed design. Although I’m not aware of their patch plans, the pre-release version I’ve played hasn’t caused me any problems, so I’d say it’s complete and ready for the future. These days, you can’t take anything for granted.

There are only two things wrong with the game. First off, it’s very unfortunate that HDR does not seem to have native support. On the PC, nevertheless, I managed to use a little application made to compel AutoHDR in games, and Prince of Persia is compatible with it. Unfortunately, this is a PC-only feature, therefore it won’t work on other platforms. It looks OK in SDR, mind you, but real HDR would have been appreciated.

The issue with the Ubisoft Account comes in second. I’ve found that in order to play the game when the PS5 and Xbox first boot up, you have to log into Ubisoft Connect. That is, I believed. You may access the site without a Ubi account if you deactivate your internet connection, but if it detects a connection, you must log in, which is, to put it mildly, really bad form. While there is a solution, it’s not very nice. Fortunately, this is not the case with the Nintendo Switch; in fact, if you have a connection, you may skip the login page entirely. This is important to know for people who would want to have a physical copy. Cross-platform cloud saves are, I think, the only advantage of Ubi Connect. Well, it is helpful after all.

The account access feature is a pain, but don’t let it stop you from playing this amazing game. If anything, maybe it will achieve the success it so well deserves and demonstrate to Ubisoft that producing several game genres is acceptable once again. And the greatest thing is, it appears to be fantastic on every platform. I didn’t have chance to check out the Xbox One, One X, or PS4, but because the game is scalable and will work well on the Switch, I’m not too concerned about those systems. All things considered, this is a well made game that I heartily recommend.


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