I got to play "Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown" on the Steam Deck early, and I must say, it's been an interesting experience. Although currently exclusive to the Ubisoft Connect store, installing it is a breeze with our easy-launch installs guide, which is available here.
Performance-wise, the game is a marvel on the Steam Deck. When connected to a 144Hz monitor, it bounces between 80 and 120 FPS. The OLED version of the Steam Deck can reach over 90 FPS, but realistically, it mostly sticks around 80 FPS with high graphics settings and SMAA enabled, providing a fantastic gameplay experience.
For those preferring a consistent frame rate, capping it at 60 FPS is a viable option and will be the case anyway with the LCD Steam Deck which runs perfectly, with around 1.5 hours less battery life with the OLED pushing 4 hours.
Ubisoft has done an exceptional job optimizing this title for once on Ubisoft Connect for the Steam Deck. It's one of the best Ubisoft Connect games I've seen in terms of optimization.
Even during intense boss fights and graphic-heavy cutscenes, the game maintains a steady 80 FPS, with occasional dips into the 60s. It's worth noting, though, that the game runs at 720p, resulting in black bars at the top and bottom of the screen, which is a bit of a letdown considering its otherwise stellar performance.
Adapting to the game's difficulty curve is part of the journey, especially as you progress through levels and unlock new abilities. The vibrant environments and engaging gameplay keep the experience fresh, maintaining that sweet spot of 80 FPS on the OLED Steam Deck.
Dropping the settings to medium could push it to 90 FPS, but honestly, it's not necessary, given the smooth performance at higher settings.
Using the Ubisoft Connect launcher, I experimented with different Proton versions. GE-Proton8-25 works well, and so does the experimental version. The initial navigation requires the Steam shortcut and trackpad, but once you're in the game, it's smooth sailing with the controller layout set as the default controller with the trackpad mouse option.
One of the game's notable features is its full offline support. You can launch the Ubisoft Connect launcher and the game in offline mode, though this means you won't have access to cloud saves. There's an option to manually upload and download cloud saves, which isn't automatic but is a valuable feature for transferring progress between devices. With three save slots, there's a safety net in case you forget to transfer saves.
"Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown" offers a substantial adventure, with an estimated 20-25 hours of gameplay along the main path, featuring nine main bosses, over 65 unique enemies, and 13 diverse biomes. The inclusion of six-time powers and nine side quests adds depth to the gameplay, ensuring there's always something new to discover. While it's essentially a platformer with a Prince of Persia twist, it's a journey well worth embarking on.
A big shoutout to Ubisoft for granting early access and allowing us to review this on the Steam Deck before its official launch on January 18th.
Share your thoughts in the comments below if you're planning to dive into this one.