Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (2005) [Retro] Review

I’ve always enjoyed the Prince of Persia games, even the 2008 release which was quite divisive among fans. Two Thrones (TT) is no different. With Sands of Time (SoT) being one of my all time favourite games I was disappointed with Warrior Within (WW) due to its simplistic story and boring set pieces. TT returns to its roots, both stylistically and literally, the game picks up right where WW left off with the Prince and Kaileena returning to Babylon. I won’t spoil anything but the return of the Vizier from the first game presents a nice full circle for this initial trilogy of games. The Prince must then travel throughout Persia to hunt down the Vizier and fix what he’s done.

The story is a good return to form for the franchise. This also accompanied by the return of Yuri Lowenthal voicing the Prince and Kaileena narrating the game as the Prince did in SoT as welcome additions to the game. Specifically Yuri, whose voice acting is perfect for this role. Yuri manages to epitomise the Prince’s calm and calculated approach with the perfect amount of frustration as opposed to the overly aggressive Prince from WW who sounded like he was angry at everything.

The setting of Babylon and other areas of Persia is a welcome return compared to the few dreary settings of WW that had to be constantly revisited to progress. The game is very nice looking and the HD remaster does wonders. Obviously by todays standards it doesn’t look too good but holds up surprisingly well considering its age. The areas are varied and rarely feel similar, this is also in addition to platforming sections that rarely repeat themselves with different combinations of platforming used for each section.

Gameplay wise this game was ahead of the curve in many ways with its free running and climbing being a clear precursor to Ubisofts other franchise: Assassin’s Creed. Unlike WW which didn’t introduce many, if any, new platforming abilities, TT gives the Prince many new abilities none more obvious than the Dark Prince. This alter ego presents many new platforming options to the Prince thanks to the chain that is wrapped around his arms. This accompanied with the ability to do stealth kills, something that was sorely absent from the previous game and another precursor for Assassin’s Creed, makes for more enjoyable gameplay and combat. Combat, although much more fun than previous entries is still very stiff compared to todays standards and relies heavily on the press of one or two buttons with a lack of variety.

Verdict

Two Thrones is the perfect conclusion to a franchise that I feel lost its way with its middle entry. It brings things full circle both with its story telling and gameplay improvements. The game looks and sounds good thanks to returning actors and aesthetics and although combat is still clunky it remains fun. Not only was the Prince trying to right his previous wrongs but I feel Ubisoft were trying and for the most part succeeded in righting the wrongs presented by Warrior Within.

+ Great voice acting

+ Diverse areas

+Unique and fun platforming

– Clunky combat

7/10 Great

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