PS5 Review: The Crown of Wu

Will this Monkey King game drive you bananas?

Get ready to explore a new world inspired by Journey to the West, a traditional Chinese tale about the Monkey King, Sun Wukong. You’ll explore the future-past fantasy world as Sun Wukong, fighting alone against enemies and overcoming complex obstacles to retrieve the great Crown stolen by the antagonist Zhu. With Zhu waiting to fight and kill you, will you be able to get back the Crown and save your world from destruction.

The Crown of Wu comes from indie PlayStation Talent-studio Red Mountain and is a mixture of combat, puzzles and platforming with an almost Souls-like feel to it. It’s surroundings feel like a mixture of old China with futuristic tech and enemies. It sounds great on paper, but is that the case or does it monkey about?

You play as Sun Wukong who handles well for the most part, but there are some issues with the game in general that hopefully get fixed via updates. There are a lot of out-of-bound areas that aren’t obvious to the eye so you will end up either falling to your death or landing several platforms below and have to climb back up.

Combat is also a bit lacklustre and predictable with easy to memorize patterns and in the end, each fight feels more or less the same. You do get elemental powers such as Earth, Fire, Lightning and Wind but these are more useful for solving puzzles than actually fighting. Boss fights do actually require more strategy and are the best areas of the game to fight in, but it’s the puzzles that make the game stand out overall.

The entire experience should only last you around 6-7 hours which doesn’t seem that long for a game of its design. The visuals are pretty impressive with a nice, detailed environment, even with the invisible walls everywhere. The framerate was consistent and besides a few buggy moments here and there, nothing besides the aforementioned invisible walls stood in the way of me progressing. The soundtrack was also pretty impressive.

The Verdict

The Crown of Wu tells a good tale and has some good ideas, but it’s let down by shallow, repetitive combat and frustrating platforming with not-so-obvious invisible walls. It does have great boss fights and neat puzzles and if you need further convincing, then there’s a free demo to try on the PlayStation Store for PS5 owners.

Score: 6.0