Sunday, March 25, 2012
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (2005)
The closing chapter in the Sands of Time series is a return to form after the glitchy, emo disaster that was Warrior Within. It is a nice hybrid of the 2 previous games with the less moody atmosphere of Sands of Time and the improved combat and platforming tweaks of Warrior Within. Returning to the role of the Prince is Yuri Lowenthal which is most welcome as his snarky, slightly naive Prince is a much more likeable character as he returns home from his adventures to find his kingdom under siege.
The dual blade combat is back from WW almost unchanged, but it is improved in that enemies are much better at fighting so now trying different combos yields results instead of just memorizing what combos work and using them ad nauseam (though you can still do that some) and the targeting is much more inclined to listen to the player this time around. The biggest change to the combat are the speed kills which are a series of quick-time events that the player can activate if they can sneak up on enemies that if performed correctly give a quick and silent death to the enemy. It's a nice reward if you play stealthily or if you perform well at the platforming, but if you don't like it it's not necessary for the majority of the game.
There is also the addition of the Dark Prince which is a split personality that gives the Prince new abilities at the cost of constantly draining life. Taking sand in this form is essential as it refills the life meter as well as the sand tanks. This form also grants the use of the daggertail weapon which is a chain-like whip that the player can use for new combos. Water returns the Prince to normal and the timed nature of the transformations adds one more gameplay addition to the formula without hampering the rest. The Dark Prince is quite the smartass too. There are a few chariot race sections that aren't bad, but seem really out of place in this game.
Improved platforming and combat, new gameplay additions and a better art direction make this one a great end to the saga. A few bugs and a lackluster soundtrack hamper it a bit, but it's not nearly as bad as Warrior Within.
Can be had for cheap on several platforms. There is also a PSP and Wii port under the name Rival Swords and an HD remastered version for PSN.
4 Spring-loaded window shutters in ancient Persia? out of 5