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Prince of Persia fans are eating well these days. After the launch of the excellent Lost Crown, Ubisoft is back with one more Prince of Persia experience. But there’s a twist! The Rogue Prince of Persia is a 2D platformer game developed by Evil Empire (of Dead Cells fame) and published by Ubisoft. It was revealed on April 10, 2024, during The Triple-i Initiative, with an early access date of May 27th, 2024. The Rogue Prince of Persia follows a prince who emboldened the Huns to attack Persia. He can’t die, though, as his bola sends him back in time every time he does. From there, the Prince goes on run after run, fighting the Huns throughout Persia to stop them and get home. It’s a premise fitting of a roguelike, as it means the game stars a character who regrets his actions but has to see their impact over and over again.

The Evil Empire Experience

The Rogue Prince of Persia follows similar creative veins established within Dead Cells prior. A handful of distinct biomes can be explored, each involving platforming across enemy-infested areas, a handful of traps to evade, and plenty of secrets tucked away. You can choose your path forward if you can find your way to the right exit, though you’ll need to unlock certain locations through certain NPC interactions, and every visit to each location is procedurally generated. Runs may look or feel different with each visit, though you’ll find similar hidden characters that can aid you along the way. Cues from Hades are taken in how the narrative is delivered, as NPCs in the Oasis the prince respawns in have their own stories and different things to say after every run. It’s not finished yet, but I’m excited to see where this plot goes as Evil Empire expands upon the game.

the rogue prince of persia

The thing that will make me stick with The Rogue Prince of Persia is its gameplay, which is very similar to Dead Cells with a few key tweaks. Killing enemies sometimes gives spirit glimmers, which can be deposited at braziers located in levels and then spent at the Oasis to enable new weapons and trinkets to spawn during runs. On top of the fluid combat, The Rogue Prince of Persia also emphasizes movement; it’s possible to wall-run on background walls, which gives this roguelike a sense of verticality most others don’t have. The different kinds of traps players have to dodge also harken back to the series’ 2D cinematic platform roots in the same way January’s Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown did.

the rogue prince of persia

Audio-visual Treat

The Rogue Prince of Persia shows a lot of promise. There are currently six different biomes to explore, and they all feel remarkably distinct. Zagros Village, the first level, is all rickety wooden platforms and passageways carved into a ravine. However, now that I’ve unlocked the Hun War Camp, I can choose to start my run there instead – it’s a similar environment, but populated with tougher enemies and potentially more valuable rewards. I can then head to either the Aqueduct or the Academy on my way to the first boss. The Aqueduct is a blue maze of one-way waterslides, while the Academy feels more like a puzzle box where I have to figure out how to unlock a central mechanism that seals a large mysterious door.

the rogue prince of persia

Finally, the soundtrack is mesmerizing by ASADI, a Persian American electronic music producer that creates a fusion of hip hop and Middle Eastern, but each level has its own distinct score that fits perfectly within the big picture. When you die and get sent back to the oasis, the music provides a calm and serene feel that allows a minute to refocus. In other areas, like the enemy camp, the music is much more oppressive and industrial like creating a completely different feel, while staying cohesive with the rest of the game.

the rogue prince of persia

What We Think

The Rogue Prince of Persia drops our beloved Prince in the roguelike setting, bringing the familiar gameplay synonymous with the series to a bite-sized replayable experience. Currently, in early access, the game misses some bells and whistles but has a fun gameplay loop to bring you back. With the first big content update set to launch soon, we see nothing but greatness in the game’s future.

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