PS2 REVIEW: PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE TWO THRONES

If you've noticed that the prince doesn't appear to be himself in the last couple of adventures, it's because he's actually two selves. Through the use of sands of time, he's become infected and has developed a split personality. The new personality is the Dark Prince. He's more aggressive and arrogant than the likeable version of the prince. He's also more powerful. He wields a large, chain-like whip called the Daggertail which can kill several enemies with one blow. It can also be used as grapple to pull himself up walls or across chasms. It doesn't require precise aiming, it's got a large target radius. As long as you swing it around it will manage to do some damage.

Using the Dark Prince will cost you in energy. His health is continually and rapidly depleting. You will regain health by killing enemies and absconding their sand but when performing puzzles you will find yourself under a time limit since there is no way to replenish your health until you solve the puzzle. It puts the pressure on you but it's like using "turbo" on any other game. It's more like a power-up in that the effects are only temporary. The good prince is still a good source of action-oriented moves.

A new move called the "speed kill" really brings the combat up a few notches - and paces. It really speeds things up when confronted by several enemies. Armed with your sword you will press the speed kill button when the screen goes a little blurry, allowing your character to execute a violent finishing move. An icon will appear on the screen cueing you to press the button again. You may have to press it four or five times depending on the strength of the enemy. The finishing moves are graphic. Enemies are beheaded, disemboweled or split in half in no time at all, allowing you to clear out an area quickly and get on with your adventure. Speed kills can also be used for boss battles, though you will be required to employ a lot of your other skills to get in good positions and out of bad ones. Prince of Persia is not renowned for its combat but with the new speed kill moves we are gifted a new dimension to the gameplay.

As if there isn't enough gameplay variety, chariot races are also included. Taking control of a team of horses should be child's play but these beasts are about as difficult to control as a car with a broken steering pump. In all actually, it's the course that is hard to navigate. Some of the walls really squeeze you in making the course very narrow where any mistake could be costly. You would think that the horses would have enough sense not to smash into a wall even if they are accidentally nudged in that direction. Fortunately you can rewind the game if you make a mistake, as long as you have some sand left - which this chariot racing can deplete quite rapidly.

Environments include an artist's rendering of a large Arabian city including a palace and the mythical tower of Babylon. Outside the perimeter are caves, waterways and an expansive desert. All of the architecture fits in perfectly with the Middle-Eastern theme. The whole look of the game straddles the fence between fantasy and reality. The animation of the prince is astounding. His movements are fluid and incredibly realistic. Even his beard flows in the breeze.

The music reflects the Arabian theme. Instead of guitar riffs we get tones and scales from instruments more appropriate to the theme. The voiceacting is great and occasionally displays the game's sense of humor. As seriously fun as this game is, it doesn't take itself too seriously. There are moments when the characters are self-aware that they are characters in a game.

The prince is one of the best action heroes in videogames today. He's capable of performing an entire circus routine with just a few button pushes. It can take a player anywhere from 10 to 20 hours to compete the game, and replay value is rather low so you will want to heavily consider whether you want to rent or purchase it. Either way you're in for a great gaming experience.

Features:

  • Play and master two distinct characters
  • Wield the powers and weapons of two master warriors with different combat styles, attitudes, and histories.
  • Choose your way to kill
  • Master the expanded Free-Form Fighting system to destroy enemies in your own style; strangle enemies from afar with the deadly Daggertail; or use a new stealth art to inflict surprise decapitations - the choice is yours.
  • Battle freely through Babylon
  • Dominate enemies on the perilous rooftops, dodge through chaotic streets, and ambush pursuers in dark, underground passageways.
  • Immerse yourself in a dramatic story
  • Experience unparalleled depth in storytelling as you fight your way through a twisting tale filled with adrenaline, tension and discovery.
  • Manipulate time to surprise enemies
  • Execute powerful attacks against entire armies by slowing down or rewinding time, or surprise them by using some all-new Sands of Time powers.
  • Experience a masterful blend of gameplay
  • True to the Prince of Persia franchise, the game provides a variety of action combat, agility and story-driven puzzles - all masterfully blended together into a rich gaming experience.

By StewXX
CCC Staff Writer

2
Rating out of 5
Prince Of Persia: The Two Thrones
5.0
Graphics
Fluid, flowing, hell.. I'm gushing. Excellent textures and architecture.
4.8
Control
Speed kills add a new dimension to the combat system and pick up the pace of the game overall.
4.4
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
From the music to the voiceovers you won't have any trouble believing your in an enchanted and antiquated land.
3.8
Play Value
Lack of collectibles, modes and freedom to explore firmly closes the gate on this one after it's done, but it's one wild ride the first time through.
4.8
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
Preview By Vaughn

Updated screens! The Prince of Persia, a seasoned warrior, returns from the Island of Time to Babylon with his love, Kaileena. Instead of the peace that he longs for, he finds his homeland ravaged by war and the kingdom turned against him. The Prince is rapidly captured and Kaileena has no choice but to sacrifice herself and unleash the Sands of Time in order to save him. Now cast out on the streets and hunted as a fugitive, the Prince soon discovers that past battles have given rise to a deadly Dark Prince, whose spirit gradually possesses him.

 

“Prince of Persia 3 promises to be THE best instalment in the legendary franchise,” said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing for Ubisoft. “By combining two playable characters in a masterly balanced gameplay, with the perfect mix of acrobatic moves and a compelling storyline, the Prince of Persia will appeal to both Sands of Time and Warrior Within fans alike. The Prince is back to reclaim his kingdom, and he has a few surprises in store…”

 

 

Game features include:

  • Play and master two distinct characters: Wield the powers and weapons of two master warriors with different combat styles, attitudes, and histories.
  • Choose your way to fight: Master the expanded Free-Form Fighting system to destroy enemies in your own style; strangle enemies from afar with the deadly Daggertail; or surprise them with full-speed one-shot kills using a brand new stealth art. The choice is yours.
  • Battle freely through Babylon: Dominate enemies on the perilous rooftops, dodge through chaotic streets, and ambush pursuers in dark, underground passageways.
  • Immerse yourself in a dramatic story: Experience unparalleled depth in storytelling as you fight your way through a twisting tale filled with adrenaline, tension and discovery.
  • Manipulate time to surprise enemies: Execute powerful attacks against entire armies by slowing down or rewinding time, or surprise them by using some all-new Sands of Time powers.
  • Experience a masterful blend of gameplay: True to the Prince of Persia® franchise, the game provides a variety of action combat, agility and story-driven puzzles – all masterfully blended together into a rich gaming experience.

Review Rating Legend
1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor
2.5 - 2.9 = Average
3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
3.5 - 3.9 = Good
4.0 - 4.4 = Great
4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
5.0 = The Best