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Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones Xbox

Published by Ubisoft
Developed by Ubisoft
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £39.99

Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, an introduction.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time saw the beginning of a whole new adventure for the Prince and it was a game that proved that a classic 2D series could be just as impressive in 3D. Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, the next chapter in the series continued the story but had a much darker feel to it that alienated some fans of The Sands of Time. Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones not only brings the trilogy to its conclusion but also manages to combine the best elements of both games, and throw in a substantial amount of new features, to give us another great Prince of Persia title.

What's the game about?

The game begins with the Prince returning to Babylon from the Island of Time. Accompanied by Kaileena he hopes it will be the beginning of a newfound peace. However it all goes horribly wrong as when they arrive in Babylon they come under attack, their boat is destroyed and Kaileena is taken. To make matter worse the Vizier has returned to make things even more troublesome for the Prince. Essentially though the game is the conclusion to the story that began with The Sands of Time and it's a very good one at that.

What's good about the game?

The Two Thrones is a good finish to what has been an enjoyable trilogy of Prince of Persia games. Rather than simply giving you more of the same to do in The Two Thrones the developers have added some interesting features that helps make The Two Thrones a fresh experience. The Prince can still do impressive leaps and perform acrobatic moves during combat (as well as use his impressive athleticism to tackle the platform elements in the game and use sand powers) but now he can also perform a speed kill (which is kind of a stealth kill) which allows you to sneak upon an enemy and take them out without getting himself hurt. As you creep towards an enemy you'll see a strange blurring effect appear around the edge of the screen. When this occurs you can press the Y button to enter speed kill mode. Whilst in speed kill mode you'll have to press the X button as the Prince's sword flashes. Some enemies require more button presses than others. If you don't time the button presses right the speed kill will fail and the Prince will be open to attack.

The most significant change in The Two Thrones is that the Prince will not only have to contend with his enemies but also his dark self. During the game the Prince will change periodically between his normal self and his dark self. When he's his normal self he plays exactly as he has done in the previous games. When the Prince is in his dark state he's much more combat orientated. The Dark Prince is far more effective in battle thanks to his Daggertail weapon, which is kind of like a cross between a heavy duty chain and a whip. The Dark Prince does lose health continuously though and must regain his health by collecting sand from his fallen enemies. Of course when the Dark Prince isn't involved in combat it can be a little tricky and you'll have to get a move on to put him in a position where he can regain his health.

What's not so good about the game?

Like The Sands of Time, The Two Thrones isn't exactly deaf gamer friendly which we'll get on to in a moment. If you found the platforming elements in The Sands of Time and Warrior Within irritating then The Two Thrones won't be a game you'll enjoy. It's still too easy to die from mistiming a jump or other acrobatic manoeuvre, at least it is until you're fully used to the controls and how to perform all the actions. To the game's credit though you're not simply put back to the last save point and there's usually a temporary checkpoint that you are taken back to if you die and this does usually involve too much backtracking.

How does it look?

Like the previous two games in the series, The Sands of Time and Warrior Within, The Two Thrones is very easy on the eyes and shows that consoles such as the PlayStation 2 and Xbox still have a lot to offer to gamers in terms of graphical quality. The games graphics haven't really changed since The Sands of Time but it's really a testament to the quality of them that The Two Thrones still looks impressive. The environments really look good and the lighting effects are superb. The game is quite gory but thankfully you can turn off the blood if you wish. The frame rate remained rock solid throughout and the load times were actually quite quick which is good to see.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

Unfortunately Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones isn't subtitled. This is very disappointing as it means you'll be completely unaware of how the Sands of Time trilogy story turns out. The cutscenes, narration comments (that actually fill in quite a bit of the story details) and the comments from the Prince and his enemies are not shown in text. Tutorial messages are in text but that's really as good as it gets. In fact it's been a disappointing series for deaf gamers with only Warrior Within being subtitled.

Final thoughts.

Whilst Warrior Within didn't quite live up to the standards set by The Sands of Time, The Two Thrones definitely does. Unfortunately it also has something else in common with The Sands of Time, no subtitles. This robs deaf gamers of seeing how the story finishes, although thanks to there being no subtitles in The Sands of Time, deaf gamers couldn't follow the first chapter in the story either, which is a huge disappointment. In terms of its quality as an action game though, The Two Thrones is certainly one of the best games to arrive on the Xbox and even without knowledge of the story, it still has some great moments to offer.

 

Overall Game Rating: 8.5/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:


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The conclusion to the story that began with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a very satisfying one that's great in all areas except for its suitability for deaf gamers.