Jeremy Jastrzab
16 Nov, 2005

Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones Preview

Xbox Preview | So how is the third one shaping up?
Prince of Persia jumped back into the gaming world with a bang back in 2003. The Prince rebuilt himself into a nimble athlete with crazy acrobatic moves that could be pulled off in the most sublime fashion. The Sands of Time wasn’t that successful sale-wise but it obviously hit a chord with gamers, as shown by earning 38th place in our recent top 100. Warrior Within was much more successful but a few design choices were questionable. Personally, I really liked the game, until I got to the inconclusive, unsatisfying ending. By taking these two games into account, Ubisoft are looking to build off the two and return with the ultimate game, Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones. Recently, PALGN got to spend some time with the game.

The third game in this revived series attempts to fix up that blatantly inconclusive ending from part two. The Prince is returning home with his “catch”, Princess Kaileena. Having slain the Dahaka and released himself from his horrible fate, it looks like he thinks he’s in the clear. Oh how wrong he was, when he lands at home to find that Babylon has been overrun and in the process of occupying and terrorising. The final blow comes when Kaileena is murdered and the nefarious sands are once again released and infect everyone around them, including the Prince.

This probably would've been more effective from behind

This probably would've been more effective from behind
While the Prince is completely afflicted, this does cause the emergence of the “Dark Prince”. This fellow happens to be the physical embodiment of all the sinister and evil traits of the Prince. Best of all, he controls and plays completely different to “normal” Prince. There will be a transformation but players will not have control over when this happens.

Warrior Withinhad a heavy focus on combat. It was much better than in Sands of Time but it left a few instances where you were left with nothing but a load of annoying enemies to hack away at. To circumvent this and promote the free flowing design of the original, the developers have added the “speed kill” system. If you sneak up on an enemy quietly and press the correct button, you can initiate the speed kill sequence. By pressing the correct buttons as they appear or when necessary, the Prince can swiftly kill the opponent without any messy battles. However, if you fail the sequence, you’re left with messy battles.

This system can and probably will work in two opposing ways. Sure, you’ll get to wipe through enemies in a much easier fashion and you’re encouraged to find the best vantage point to pull off a speed kill. It’s not quite stealth but it shares a lot of characteristics of your token stealth game and will the process get unnecessarily repetitive? The combat is entirely intact but the enemies we came across were quite formidable from the point they took a lot of hits to go down.

The big issue that gamers are sweating on is whether The Two Thrones is able to replicate the same immaculate level design as the original. From our session of play, it was impossible to tell if this is indeed the case but in the very least, the game played similarly to the previous two. The layouts provided for a nice flow and you could get from A to B in a typically acrobatic fashion. There have been a few new moves provided and the levels have been designed with a bit of choice in mind. Not only that but you are now able to quickly adapt your strategy if you fall by accident. The controls didn’t feel as tight as we’re used to but this was not the final build of the game.

Will the game be as satisfying as that looks?

Will the game be as satisfying as that looks?
Graphically, the game is not as dark as Warrior Within and it feels closer to the original Sands of Time. Sure, Babylon is going to hell but at least it looks vibrant and lively, not just well detailed. The same artstyle has been retained. Sound-wise, the voice of the Prince from the original has retained his role as the Prince while the poor sap who played the Prince in Warrior Within gets to be the Dark Prince. We have been reassured that the heavy metal from Warrior Within has been abolished. No doubt the purists will be pleased.

Overall, Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones is shaping up nicely. There are a few things that we can’t gauge until the final game is released but the developers have at least tried to take out some of the inappropriate elements in order to make a much more satisfying and authentic experience. Basically, if you liked either of the two previous games, there should be something for you in this one.
It's hard to tell at this point if this title will be the one for the ages. At least the early indications are strong and the game feels like it should.

Related Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones Content

Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones Review
21 Dec, 2005 A princely conclusion to the greatest revival of this generation.
Prince of Persia 3 Named
22 Sep, 2005 No toilet humour please. Screen shots and a video included.
TGS: Prince of Persia: Warrior Within - New screenshots and in-game footage.
25 Sep, 2004 Ubisoft takes us through the all-new free-form fighting system in detail.
1 Comment
8 years ago
this game looks really good. i might try and get this game.
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