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Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown has a brilliant feature that eliminates pointless backtracking

Seriously, why has no one thought of this before?

Sargon crosses his arms ready to strike in a special attack in Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Ubisoft

I don't know about you, but the number of times I've combed the map of a Metroidvania game looking for the next path I can go down, only to discover that, 'Nope, still can't go down this road!' after hauling myself all the there is, simply too many to count. If only there was a way to get my brain to remember which obstacles were where... Happily, Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown has an ingenious solution. Aside from shaping up to be one of the best platformers I've played in ages, it also has a very neat feature that lets you pin screenshots to your map screen, meaning you'll never have to pointlessly backtrack ever again.

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I saw the feature in action when I went to preview the game at Ubisoft Montpellier. While demoing an area called the Sacred Archives later on in the game, the developers showed us exactly how it works. The map itself is fairly barebones, giving you the rough shape of each room and where Sargon is in relation to his objective, but that's pretty much it. It will also have its own markers for paths you haven't fully explored yet, but nothing to tell you whether it's a locked door blocking your way, for example, or a platforming puzzle you're not quite equipped for.

Enter the screenshot tool. "You can use a specific tool - the memory shards - to register a screenshot directly on your map," game director Mounir Radi explained, and it's really as simple as that. The whole process took seconds, and the result was a handy visual reminder that yes, there's a blocked hatch in this particular room, so I'll need to go around to hit the lever to open it.

What a brilliant thing! It's so good in fact, that I can't believe no one's thought of this before. So I asked world director Christophe Pic how it came about after the presentation.

"It came from [the team] internally," he told me. "We were playing it and most of the time in Metroidvanias, we would just like to have this kind of feature [where] you could take a picture of your screen just to remember, so it came about like that. When we started to discuss about this feature, it resonated with the fantasy of the game, too. It's cool to find a way to integrate this kind of fantasy and find something that's integrated in the world. It gives more strength to the feature."

It sure does, and it's made me even more excited to play the final thing when it launches on January 18th 2024.

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