Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones

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Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
NTSC cover of Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
NTSC cover art
Developer(s) Ubisoft Montreal
Ubisoft Casablanca
Publisher(s) Ubisoft
Director(s) Jean-Christophe Guyot
Producer(s) Ben Mattes
Designer(s) Kevin Guillemette
Programmer(s) Charles Jacob
Writer(s) Corey G. May
Michael Wendschuh
Composer(s) Stuart Chatwood
Inon Zur
Series Prince of Persia
Engine Jade
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, PlayStation 3, Wii, PlayStation Portable, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows
Release PlayStation 2
  • NA: December 1, 2005
  • PAL: December 2, 2005
Xbox, GameCube & PC
  • NA: December 1, 2005
  • PAL: December 9, 2005
Mobile
  • NA: December 2, 2005
PlayStation 3
  • PAL: November 16, 2010
  • NA: December 21, 2010
Rival Swords
Wii & PSP
  • NA: April 3, 2007
  • PAL: April 5, 2007
Genre(s) Action-adventure, Platform, hack and slash
Mode(s) Single-player

Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones is an action-adventure video game developed and published by Ubisoft Montreal. It was released in December, 2005 in North America for the Xbox, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, and the Nintendo GameCube. It was ported to the PlayStation Portable and Wii,[1] under the title Prince of Persia: Rival Swords with the Wii version utilizing the motion-sensing functionality of its controller, while the PSP version added exclusive content. A remastered, high-definition version of The Two Thrones was released on the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 3 on December 21, 2010.[2]

The Two Thrones marked the third and final chapter for The Sands of Time saga.

Gameplay[edit]

The game combines exploration and combat. Both elements make use of the Prince's acrobatic capability and agility. Throughout much of the game, the player must attempt to traverse the palace by running across walls, ascending or descending chasms by jumping back and forth between walls, avoiding traps, climbing structures and jumping from platform to platform, making other types of well-timed leaps, solving puzzles and using discovered objects to progress.

During combat, many of the same moves vital to the player in other situations can be put to use to overpower enemies. An example is the ability of the Prince to jump off walls in order to strike enemies decisively. The player generally attacks enemies and blocks using a dagger, although other objects or factors, such as the Dagger of Time and its time-control abilities eventually prove to be critical to victory.

In The Two Thrones, the Prince's acrobatic skills have improved and is now able to launch himself off walls at 45 degree angles at strategically placed vertical shutters, slide down chutes and balance on swinging poles, among other things. The designers have also improved the stealth system. Instead of merely being able to do more damage when striking without being seen, the game uses a speed-kill system. If the player does not complete the speed kill, the enemy knocks him off and the speed kill fails. The amount of moves or the length of time required depends on how strong the opponents are. The same system is also used in some of the boss battles.

The Prince also develops a split personality, known as the Dark Prince, and this alter ego constantly bickers with him in his mind about right and wrong. At times, the Prince physically transforms into the Dark Prince. These transformations are scripted and not controlled by the player. During these times, however, the Prince retains control of his body, and the player still has control over the character. For the most part, the Prince's dark side is simply an inner voice.

When controlling the Dark Prince, the player loses the ability to wield a secondary weapon, instead using the "Daggertail", a bladed whip fused to his arm. This allows medium range combat moves and new interactions with the environment. The Dark Prince also constantly loses health as a result of the semi-transformation, with eventual death from the loss. He goes back to full health whenever he collects Sand, from either a monster or object. Also, his Daggertail gives him a different button combination for speed kills, in which he strangles his victims. Coming into contact with water allows the Prince to return to normal.

Plot[edit]

The game is set after the events of Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, in which the Prince kills the Dahaka, saves Kaileena and prevents the Sands of Time from being created. Unlike the previous games, the story is narrated by Kaileena. The Prince's actions alter the timeline of events that took place before that point. In the original timeline, the Vizier and Maharajah traveled to the Island of Time and found an hourglass filled with the Sands of Time. In the modified timeline, they find the hourglass empty. Since the Vizier never released the Sands of Time and fought the Prince, he is still alive at the beginning of this game. Farah, who helped the Prince during the events for Sands of Time, has never met the Prince.

As The Prince and Kaileena return to the city of Babylon, they find it being ravaged by war. Their ship is attacked and destroyed, and he and Kaileena wash ashore. The Prince awakens and watches as enemy soldiers take Kaileena away. The Prince fights his way into the palace and confronts the Vizier, who kills Kaileena with the Dagger of Time, unleashing the Sands again. The Vizier then impales himself with it and makes himself immortal. The Prince is also affected, having a whip-like weapon known as a Daggertail embedded in his skin when the Sands infect the wound. However, in the confusion following the release of the Sands, the Vizier throws the Dagger aside and the Prince manages to steal it before the Sands infected him completely.

The Prince falls into the sewers and gets carried to the outskirts of Babylon. As he travels through the city once again to kill the Vizier, he finds that the infection caused by the Sands of Time is affecting his mind, giving rise to an alter ego called the Dark Prince (voiced by Rick Miller), manifested by a voice within. The Dark Prince is cold, cruel, arrogant and sarcastic; he attempts to convince the Prince that he should strive to serve only himself, using his vengeance as a catalyst for his other emotions. On many occasions, the Dark Prince seizes control of the Prince's body and the Prince is fully transformed into a hybrid sand monster with abilities that allow the Prince to pass otherwise insurmountable obstacles.

Later, the Prince encounters Farah (voiced by Helen King), who is surprised that the Prince knows her name. Despite this, the pair begin to grow an entirely new romance together. The Prince eventually starts to ignore the Dark Prince, and begins to fight against the suffering of his people, which the Dark Prince had always spoken against.

In the palace gardens, the Vizier captures Farah and casts the Prince into an ancient well, where the long silent Dark Prince emerges once again and tries to take permanent control. The Prince desperately tries to resist the power, driving slowly deeper into the well looking for an escape, but he slowly weakens. At the bottom of the well, the Prince stumbles upon the dead body of his father Sharaman. He mourns for him, accepting the consequences of what he has done and wields his father's sword to resist the Dark Prince's power.

At the top of the Tower of Babel, the Prince confronts and kills The Vizier with the Dagger of Time. The Sands released from the Vizier slowly takes the shape of Kaileena, who cleanses the Prince's infection and disappears. As the Prince finds Sharaman's crown, the Dark Prince takes it and lures the Prince into his mind, where the two struggle until the Prince abandons his shadow. The game ends with Farah asking how the Prince knows her name and the Prince beginning to tell his story.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PS2) 86.45%[3]
(Xbox) 86.35%[4]
(GC) 85.25%[5]
(PC) 82.81%[6]
(Mobile) 82.40%[7]
(Wii) 71.22%[8]
(PSP) 70.44%[9]
Metacritic (PS2) 85/100[10]
(Xbox) 85/100[11]
(PC) 85/100[12]
(GC) 84/100[13]
(PSP) 74/100[14]
(Wii) 70/100[15]
Review scores
Publication Score
Edge 7/10[16]
(Wii) 4/10[17]
EGM 8.5/10[18]
Eurogamer (Xbox) 8/10[19]
(Wii) 6/10[20]
Game Informer 9.25/10[21]
(Wii) 8.5/10[22]
Game Revolution B−[23]
GameSpot 8.6/10[24]
(PC) 8.4/10[25]
(PSP) 8.1/10[26]
(Mobile) 7.3/10[27]
(Wii) 7.1/10[28]
GameSpy 4/5 stars[29][30][31][32]
(PSP & Wii) 3.5/5 stars[33][34]
GameTrailers 8.5/10[35]
(Wii) 7.4/10[36]
GameZone (GC) 8.9/10[37]
(PS2) 8.8/10[38]
IGN (PC) 9/10[39]
8.8/10[40]
(Mobile) 8/10[41]
(Wii) 7.1/10[42]
(PSP) 7/10[43]
Nintendo Power (GC) 9/10[44]
(Wii) 7/10[45]
OPM (US) 5/5 stars[46]
OXM (US) 9/10[47]
PC Gamer (US) 73%[48]
The A.V. Club A−[49]
Detroit Free Press 3/4 stars[50]

By the end of September 2005, sales of The Two Thrones had surpassed 1.5 million copies.[51] The game received a "Gold" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA),[52] indicating sales of at least 200,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[53]

The game and Rival Swords have received positive to mixed reviews. GameRankings and Metacritic gave it a score of 86.45% and 85 out of 100 for the PlayStation 2 version;[3][10] 86.35% and 85 out of 100 for the Xbox version;[4][11] 85.25% and 84 out of 100 for the GameCube version;[5][13] 82.81% and 85 out of 100 for the PC version;[6][12] 82.40% for the mobile version;[7] 71.22% and 70 out of 100 for the Wii version;[8][15] and 70.44% and 74 out of 100 for the PSP version.[9][14]

IGN gave the PC version 9 out of 10, saying, "Two Thrones is great. The story is cool, the heroes are likable, the weak are pitiable, the villains are bastards, the major plot points are exciting, the art is grand, the sound is wonderful...and then the gameplay comes."[39] GameSpy gave it four stars on all platforms except the PSP and Wii versions, saying of the PC version, "All of [the] settings, without exception, are stunning. As might be expected, the sharper, more detailed graphics for the PC version of the game are the clear winner when compared with the consoles, especially at higher resolutions."[32] GameSpot gave the PC version 8.4 out of 10.[25]

Non video-game publications gave the game some positive reviews. The A.V. Club gave the game an A− and stated: "The nice thing about sequels to successful games is that all the rough edges are buffed out, and The Two Thrones honors its graceful hero with impeccable controls and design."[49] Maxim gave it a score of eight out of ten and said that the game "gets points for cribbing Sam Fisher's stealth skills and using a whip-like weapon that will send "God of War" fans scurrying to gaming chat rooms to voice their displeasure with the similarities. Thankfully, the controversy is worth it for this energetic adventure."[54] The Times gave it a favorable review and said, "The graphics are superb, especially on the Xbox, and if you can cope with the frustration of replaying tricky scenes again and again, this could be the game for you."[55] The Sydney Morning Herald also gave it four stars out of five and stated that "One of the best new features is the Speed Kill, a stealth attack that requires timed button presses for successful take-downs - a brilliant addition to the already exhilarating game play."[56] Detroit Free Press gave the PS2 version three stars out of four and said, "The fighting in The Two Thrones is superb. The prince has a nice array of combination moves that accompany his acrobatic skills. But the signature part of combat is the speed kill, which allows you some nifty and gruesome stealth kills."[50] However, Charles Herold of The New York Times gave it an average review and stated that "I felt all the considerable pleasure the game had given me had been taken back."[57]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]