Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones PC Games and Downloads
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Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones Product Details
The storyline is as follows - The Prince of Persia makes his way home to Babylon, along with Kaileena, the enigmatic Empress of Time, bearing unspeakable scars from the Island of Time. But instead of the peace he longs for, he finds his kingdom ravaged by war and Kaileena the target of a brutal plot. When she is kidnapped, the Prince tracks her to the Palace, only to see her murdered by a powerful enemy. Her death unleashes the Sands of Time, which strike the Prince and threaten to destroy everything he holds dear. Cast to the streets, hunted as a fugitive, the Prince soon discovers that the Sands have tainted him too. They have given rise to a deadly Dark Prince, whose spirit gradually possesses him ...
The Prince with the Chico-tastic moves does the Time Warp…Again.
The effortless grace, ethereal beauty and awe-inspiring scale of 2003's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was a triumphant return to form for one of gaming's oldest icons. Its far eastern setting radiated a fairytale glow that permeated the very fibre of the Prince's platforming antics, and for those that played it, transcended even some disappointing holiday period sales figures. The intuitive control, stylish slow-mo instances, fluid animation and epic environments exhibited in 'Sands became the genre standard bearer and gave rise to a host of imitators. Not least of these was the sequel, Warrior Within. The second game to follow the 'Sands narrative thread improved on the original with new free form combat, sharper visuals and lengthier play duration. Despite this though, it pitched for the mainstream more than needed, and seemed to lose something in the transition. Gone were the dreamy locales, focus on precision platforming and the thoughtful, approachable protagonist of the first title. In their place was a brutal, black-wearing, angst-ridden avenger designed for the emo teen generation, backed by a scathing soft rock soundtrack, crooning crass language and encumbered more with generic rage than ruthless aggression. Warrior Within sadly lacked the charm of Sands of Time, and with it went much of the majestic overall experience.
The Two Thrones is the last piece of the puzzle in the new Prince of Persia trilogy. It finally offers a balance between the wonderfully hazy aesthetic and exhilarating acrobatics from The Sands of Time, and the darker, testosterone-fuelled, bloodletting edginess of the lesser renowned second title - and in doing so, wraps up the series in impressive style.
Following on from the events of Warrior Within, Two Thrones opens as the Prince returns to his kingdom of Babylon with his new love, only to find the city besieged and his home in ruins. If that's not bad enough, his boat is burned apart, his woman taken, and his schizophrenic dark side tendencies begin to take on a life of their own. The ensuing adventure sees or hero battling a familiar foe, the ravages of time and his own demons in order to set rights the chain of events begun with the unleashing of the first game's time-effecting sands.
For gamers who favour the Sands-style likeable Prince, the darker part of the game will be a passable deviation.
The intrinsic hook of Two Thrones is, typically for the series, in its subtitle. Here, the Prince's split personality is seen in full conflict as his alter-ego seeps into his soul, dividing both the game's narrative and playing approaches between light and dark. What that means for the gameplay is a second skin for the protagonist that entails some more extreme abilities, and a game with punctuated progress divided between platforming set-pieces and some more combat-based, action oriented design.
We're pleased to say that from the game's beginning, the Prince is back to his original, agreeable self. The apathetic anger of Warrior Within has thankfully been disregarded in his starting form, and it's when playing as his more familiar self the game is at its finest.
The old-style Prince combines the series' signature mechanics with the exhilaration of new stealth kills, making demands on both your platforming prowess and button-bashing reactions. Those that elated in the elegance of Sands' will feel right at home in Two Thrones' dynamic design as they leap between buildings, vaulting towards guards to end their existence before they know what's hit them. On the other hand, fans of Warrior Within's crimson-shedding combat can obsess in the deadly delights of intense QTE-based killer blows, where one badly timed button press will leave the Prince one on one against an ominiously large and angry enemy. It's a perfect way to blend the free form fighting of the second 'Persia game while emphasizing the high-flying abilities that really give the Prince the edge in his powered-down state.
It's unfortunate then that this deft balancing act doesn't sustain itself throughout the entire adventure. Before long the mainstreaming ethos made famous by Warrior Within takes effect with the gimmicky form of the Dark Prince, and the game leans dramatically towards the series' less likeable, less cerebral side.
The main drawback with the Dark Prince is that, unlike his more humane half, his side of things constantly necessitates gameplay of the attack first, ask questions later mentality. To remedy his continuously diminishing health you'll be having to off enemies at a somewhat alarming rate by comparison to the more partisan standard Prince, which can see the game's already linear stream of arenas become little more than a combat-fuelled rush of rooms and corridors.
A new dimension
The Dark Prince does, however, offer up some interesting variation on the standard theme. His wraith-like Daggertail weapon, for instance, adds a new dimension to his few platforming challenges, functioning as a grappling hook of sorts that lets him swing across chasms with ease. It also cuts swathes through hordes of enemies as he whirls it around his head, lasso style, and packs more of a punch than the normal Prince's standard armoury. Moreover, the Dark Prince is around for a comparatively short span of the game, so for gamers who favour the traditional Sands-style athleticism of the likeable Prince, the darker part of the game will be a passable deviation.
And Two Thrones' more shadowy side is definitely worth bearing with for some of the most awe-inspiring set pieces in the genre. Bosses are huge with varied attack patterns, and each has its own weak spot requiring attacks using the full array of abilities from both light and Dark Princes. Chariot races also break up the play, offering a challenging, high-speed thrill as you steer between city streets on some increasingly difficult and perilous terrain. Meanwhile, Sand Powers are once again back in stylish fashion, and lovers of the first Prince title will be buoyed by the knowledge that the time rewinding mechanic so seamlessly integrated into the series' platforming is once again an essential element here.
On top of this, the game is a glorious advert for current console gaming; without the same charm as Sands of Time, for sure, but also with sharper characters, more imposing enemies and a thankful lack of Warrior Within's neo-gothic architecture. The music also maintains the medium between the two titles, erring more towards an appropriately Persian soundscape than the out-of-place raucous faux-rock from Warrior Within, and plays out alongside a tightly scripted, well-acted screenplay driven along by some compelling narration.
Ultimately, The Two Thrones is a gripping and at-times great conclusion to a franchise featuring one of gaming's true cult heroes. It befits the series' original outing while managing to retain the plus points of the sequel, and mostly ignores the mainstreaming that made Warrior Within a less palatable delight than it could have been. Though the Dark Prince sections may grate, their brevity quickly gives way to the high-flying delights on which the main character first made his name, and allow the integrity of the series' story to shine. In short then, third time lucky: the Prince may have lost his way for a while, but his final adventure crowns him once again the platform king.
- A fine middle ground between Sands of Time and Warrior Within.
- New stealth kills combine with effortless acrobatics to deadly effect.
- Better looking, less dark and more aurally impressive than Warrior Within.
- Gameplay degenerates somewhat in the Dark Prince sections.
- Lacks the charm, mystery and far eastern flavour of the first game's aesthetic.
- Level design not as inspired as in Sands of Time.
Review by: Mark Scott
Review Published: 13.12.05
It made some seriously cinematic games over the years, but now the French publisher Ubisoft is taking the plunge and opening up a movie division with the ultimate aim of creating films and TV shows based around its video games.
That according to the Hollywood newspaper Variety, anyway thanks for the spot, Eurogamer who announced last week that Ubisoft Motion Pictures is being formed, headed by Jean-Julien Baronnet, who already worked with famous directors like Luc Besson, the man behind Leon and The Fifth Element.
It early days, so wee not sure yet which Ubisoft games will be getting the big screen treatment, but Ubisoft already been sending out questionnaires asking gamers if they want to go to the cinema to see movies based on Ghost Recon or Assassin Creed.
We reckon that Ezio Auditore renaissance adventures would be particularly well-suited for a life on the silver screen: Assassin Creed has action, adventure, and a weird sci-fi twist that should ensure blockbuster dominance.
As Eurogamer points out, though, Ubisoft already had a bit of a run-up at Hollywood, in the form of last year Prince of Persia movie, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. What did you make of that one?
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (13/12/2005)
The Prince with the Chico-tastic moves does the Time Warp…Again.
The effortless grace, ethereal …
It made some seriously cinematic games over the years, but now the French publisher Ubisoft is taking the plunge and opening up a movie division with the ultimate aim of creating films and TV shows ba…
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