The Rogue Prince of Persia Review | PC

The Rogue Pirnce of Persia feels like any other roguelike on the market with the Prince of Persia branding taped on the top.

By AtillaTuran, Posted 30 May 2024

The slow emergence of side-scrolling combat games has made a big impact on upcoming games. Titles like Hollow Knight and Dead Cells had their fair share of interest over the years, not because of their fancy and stylized graphics, but their simplistic combat with the implementation of 2D platforming. Now, it has been some time since those games came out, but the subgenre is still thriving with more instances, popping up from time to time. Some developers have even brought other mechanics, such as shooting or rhythm elements to 2D combat platformers.

Dead Cells, one of the titles that I mentioned, has gained quite a reputation since its release date because it provided adequate levels of grinding and enjoyment at the same time. Alongside a fluid feel on movement and character-building, its roguelike element also made it one of the milestones in the ever-growing roguelike genre. As you may know, everyone’s after making simple roguelikes nowadays, whether it is bullet hells, 2D shooters, hell, a driving game has roguelike mechanics available too.

The Rogue Prince of Persia, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Roguelike, 2D Platformer, Combat, Hack and Slash, NoobFeed

Overdoing an idea is not terrible per se, but seeing it over and over might become rather annoying. It is not the case with The Rogue Prince of Persia on its own, but there are certain reasons why it's well-balanced between upsides and downsides. As many of us know, Prince of Persia, in its original form, is a platformer game set in the ancient Persian era with lots of deserts and kingdoms built around it.

The game was usually set with a protagonist, who could use his surroundings to traverse through obstacles and was considered to be a noble knight in the Persian army. Don’t look at me for the plot and the story of Prince of Persia, back when it was a new game in the 80s for Amiga’s and Commodores. Nowadays though, Prince of Persia still exists albeit with lots of negligence, people always think and say “It’s just there, doing nothing.”

Until a few games actually fired up this year for the continuation of the series, one of them being combat-oriented Prince of Persia: Lost Crown. The initial feedback was favorable, but people always came up with rudimentary reasons like the protagonist having a hairstyle close to what Zoomers think is cool to have nowadays. Other than small, unimportant bits, Lost Crown was regarded as the return of the Prince of Persia with a different coat of paint but with themes that make the title stand out. 

Fast forward a few months later, we have a similar case with a different take on the Prince of Persia franchise, though I am not sure what makes the simultaneous release of these two games back to back within a few months. Sure, they play a bit differently but they are both 2D platformers with combat that includes tricky movement and fast-paced thinking.

The Rogue Prince of Persia, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Roguelike, 2D Platformer, Combat, Hack and Slash, NoobFeed

The only difference between The Prince of Persia: Lost Crown and The Rogue Prince of Persia is the inclusion of roguelike elements of the latter title, which is inevitable at this point due to the popularity of the roguelike genre as a whole.

The Rogue Prince of Persia starts with the prince, trying to stop the Huns from raiding the Persian kingdom, but since it’s a roguelike game, the game begins a few days before the actual raid, and every time you die, you have to start all over again. As you play through and unveil more stories and leads, new routes appear, making the title more bearable than the randomly generated roguelikes we come across now and then.

One prominent part of the Prince of Persia series is the movement and platforming. Since the 80s, our protagonist has been known to pull stunts like wall rights, extreme jumping, and walking on ropes to beat the threat out of his way.

Just like the actual games from the past, The Rogue Prince of Persia also has detailed platforming with previously mentioned mechanics, though they are a bit watered down due to the 2D environment. Wall rides are quite doable with a single button and don’t require much thought, just watch out if there is a solid wall in the background or not while attempting to do so.

In heart, The Rogue Prince of Persia’s combat tries to be just like how it was back in the day. Unfortunately, the flat lines, which I mean by the 2D environment, give a bit of a tough time for players to space themselves out between enemies. Thankfully, there are some mechanics to kick or evade the enemies you are facing, but these fall quite short as you can get swarmed by four or five enemies all at once if you are not playing your cards right.

The Rogue Prince of Persia, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Roguelike, 2D Platformer, Combat, Hack and Slash, NoobFeed

Combat is something that you need to get used to, and the game itself is aware of this fact as well. Every time you get sent back, Prince has an inner monologue about what to do next. This will repeat until you unlock a new lead, such as a new level or enemy to run after.

Before diving deep into other topics, Prince is aware of him reappearing in the same camp over and over again after he’s defeated. Just like any other roguelike in the market, he’s being protected by a godly entity, therefore he can reappear back in time to give another shot at stopping the Huns.

Our Prince has very basic attacks, from kicks to evades, and special attacks where he uses a ranged weapon. Combining these mechanics can cause a lot of havoc in the field, but what I gathered from any sort of combat is that it is quite hectic and sometimes you might end up losing track of the attacks you are performing. Sure, if you have a dedicated combo, it gets easier in each encounter, but where’s the fun in that if you are applying the same tactic to each enemy you see, right?

Personally, the evade mechanic feels the weakest of the provided moves, as you get no visual confirmation of the Prince leaping over the enemies. Evading enemies by leaping over their heads is a classic move by the Prince, as he always does in 3D-era games, and uses his environment to his advantage. In The Rogue Prince of Persia, the same moves didn’t feel impressive, or easily readable by a player with semi-competence.

The Rogue Prince of Persia, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Roguelike, 2D Platformer, Combat, Hack and Slash, NoobFeed

What makes The Rogue Prince of Persia different from The Lost Crown is, as I mentioned, the roguelike element. It is sparsely implemented throughout your runs. By coming across chests, random pickups, or shops, you can build up Prince’s abilities as you try to reach the exit of the route. As you keep progressing, both enemies and the parkour elements get harder, and unfortunately a bit tedious because the game lacks some of the tight controls you need to input.

I wouldn’t say laggy or sloppy, but grabbing ledges randomly or not properly setting up a wall run demolishes some of the smooth transitions. By taking a look at the overall scenery, you can make up the next move you want to accomplish, but simply reaching a dead end or not being sure if it's the right part of the parkour leads to either taking environmental damage or starting the parkour from the bottom.

Since parkour is one of the biggest themes of The Rogue Prince of Persia, there are some hazardous places where you take damage, after all, if you are taking a risk of going up a wall, there must be a downside to it. You might easily traverse through the given parkour section, but you mustn't forget that you cannot see below you, therefore you have no idea if you are going to fall down to a hazardous pit or not, giving you skepticism on each leap of faith.

Now I would say certain parts, outside the gameplay, of The Rogue Prince of Persia got me thinking about too much. No, it is not how the game is portrayed or talking about a clash between two nations, or the characters that feel dull and have zero voice acting- nono, it is the music.

The Rogue Prince of Persia, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Roguelike, 2D Platformer, Combat, Hack and Slash, NoobFeed

Nowadays teenagers, or anyone who enjoys video games for that matter, do not care about how a soundtrack affects the game. For them, it is just another enjoyable aspect since developers and publishers agreed to employ such tracks in their games.

But can someone please explain, why trap and phonk beats were mixed with ancient Persian melodies to create the most obnoxious music that has to exist? I mean, I get the idea behind the motive, to both appeal to the new generation while keeping the spirit of The Prince of Persia alive- but wouldn’t it be better to keep the old-timey melodies from the start?

I honestly do not have any idea why boasting a very young and widely popular electronic music genre to side with what’s essentially the first steps of music theory and knowledge. Visually though, the game looks cute and the art style is very memorable, though interactable foreground objects like walls and poles should have been more blatantly in front, so we could essentially understand which part can be interacted with or not.


Overall, The Rogue Prince of Persia is far away from being done at this rate. It is currently in early access and the developer team, Evil Empire, pretty much listens to the feedback of the players. In fact, they are readying up some nice updates for a few issues, especially about slowdowns and getting the game optimized better. The game itself is fun if you are keen on playing 2D roguelike beat ‘em ups, but if you haven’t dived into the roguelike craze since it started, you might have problems getting used to how it plays and reacts to your choices.

Atilla Turan (@burningarrow)
Editor, NoobFeed

comments powered by Disqus


General Information

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Ubisoft Entertainment
Developer(s): Evil Empire
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: 2D Platformer, Roguelike, Combat, Parkour
Release Date: 2024-05-27

View All

Popular Articles