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Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown Fixes The Worst Thing About Metroidvanias

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is the newest entry in Ubisoft’s action-adventure franchise, launching on just about every platform on January 18. (You get three-day early access if you preorder the $60 Deluxe Edition.) I’ve been having a great time with the 2.5D side-scrolling Metroidvania, which has been kicking my ass and leaving me puzzled the whole way through. And I’ve realized The Lost Crown does something that other Metroidvanias should totally steal—a screenshot feature that makes backtracking so much easier.

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Metroidvanias are predicated on the notion of retracing old paths with new powers, so that you can uncover new explorable areas. These games often demand that you memorize the locations of unreachable areas, and The Lost Crown is very much the same way. But thanks to the screenshot feature, keeping mental notes about the vast world is, essentially, a thing of the past.

The Lost Crown’s Memory Shard Is A Genre Innovation

Early on, you’ll get an item known as The Eye. It serves several functions, most notably being the mini map that houses a bevy of icons from shopkeepers to fast-travel spots. The Eye can also take screenshots using Memory Shards, an upgradable resource that places a point on the mini map showing a full render of that particular location. This is a godsend.

Often, you’ll encounter a path in The Lost Crown that’s blocked by something: an unobtained key, a locked door, an impassable enemy, a stuck platform. Sometimes, these barred areas are mandatory. Other times, they’re totally optional side content that has no impact on the main story. Either way, you may want to go back later. By holding down on the D-pad, you’ll take a screenshot with The Eye, which places an entirely viewable image of that specific position so that you can recall identifying elements when backtracking the world.

I can’t tell you how many screenshots I’ve taken, and each time, they helped jog my memory while avoiding frustration. I’ve found hidden bosses, secret areas, and enough upgrade materials to max out some of my gear.

This feature is The Lost Crown’s single greatest innovation. No longer do you have to memorize a spot or get out a pen and paper to write down where something is located. And when you’ve finally reached the thing placed just out of your fingers, you can easily delete these screenshots to free up your Memory Shards for more images. So, yeah, Metroidvanias should totally rip off this feature. They’ll be much better for it.

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I’m not done with The Lost Crown yet. According to game length tracker How Long To Beat, Ubisoft Montpellier’s latest is some 22 hours long, and while I have 14 hours in it on my PlayStation 5 right now, I’ve still got a ways to go before the end. Be on the lookout for my review of the game ahead of its January 18 launch. For now, though, know that this is the best Prince of Persia game we’ve had in a minute.

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