Unlike Ubi Soft’s other game intended to be in a trilogy, we actually got our game to complete another. Beyond Good & Evil was rumored to be a one, but Prince of Persia was able to finish its off. It all started with The Sands of Time. It brought back the joys of platforming with an incredibly acrobatic prince of the Persian empire. It did well to make navigating the game’s levels intriguing, but failed miserably with combat. Warrior Within lent the prince a much darker attitude full of arrogance and pride. The story was fairly good with excellent combat and music that only some could appreciate. With Two Thrones, Ubi Soft took the best that both previous games had to offer and combined them into what this is. It offers a great narrated story, very good music, a satisfying battle system, and a nice looking city. Well, at least what’s left of it.
Those that haven’t played the predecessors of the trilogy may end up confused playing this game. The game focuses moreso on Warrior Within’s ending than it does the story of SoT, but it takes material from both. You once again control Prince, and he is returning to his home of Babylon with his new found love Kaileena. Kaileena was the Empress of Time in Warrior Within and if you get the best ending, you rescue her from the Island of Time. Unfortunately the Prince’s homecoming is bittersweet, as he returns to a city engulfed in fire and ruin. Someone has done something to turn the people of the city against each other, and it’s the Prince’s job to find out who. He eventually discovers the Vizier from SoT has returned with a vengeance, and he kidnaps Kaileena. When you reach her, the Prince is forced to witness her death as the Vizier uses the Dagger of Time to kill her. This causes the former Empress to release the Sands of Time throughout the entire city, infecting everyone including the Prince. This infection causes the Prince to have a new alter ego simply named the Dark Prince.
The Dark Prince is obviously his evil and arrogant other half. Playing through Two Thrones almost lends you to believe the Prince has become schizophrenic because of how his dark side speaks to him and vice versa. At times their conversations are rather humorous as the Dark Prince’s arrogance offers some witty remarks. At various points in the game this dark side will simply take over the Prince and you become him in body. The Dark Prince uses the Dagger Tail whip as his main weapon along with the Dagger of Time that you retrieved from the Vizier at the beginning. Although it’s tough to say the Dark Prince doesn’t look a little strange because he really looks like a freak. Nevertheless, it’s rather entertaining to play as him since his whip can do some major damage to multiple enemies at once. You can use it to sort of “grapple” various things while wall running or jumping from platform to platform. It can be a pain to play as him sometimes though, as you must keep him alive by continually obtaining sands to replenish his health.
Other than that, the only bad part about the Dark Prince is fighting with him isn’t exactly fresh. It’s fun to play as him no doubt, but he’s really no different than fighting as the actual Prince. He just has a whip, and you will end up seeing him doing a lot of the same attacks with it. It can almost turn into button mashing sometimes since you can pull off his best combos just doing that. Fighting as the Prince is better though, as the engine from Warrior Within makes a welcome return. The only bad thing about that is it’s nothing really new either. There are new weapons for you to utilize in the game’s dual weapon fighting system, but seeing them in action is the very same as it was in WW.
Two Thrones makes up for the lack of battle originality in the newly developed Speed Kill system. This is a totally new concept and one that really drives how fun the game can be. At any time during the game when you’re near an enemy, you have a chance to kill them with stealth. In other words, if you sneak up on an enemy without it detecting your presence, you can initiate a Speed Kill. This is displayed as a white haze on your screen, and when you see that, pressing Y at any time will start it. Once you start it, you must pay attention for additional white haze “prompts” that will alert you when to hit the B button. If you do it successfully, the Prince will attack. If you fail, your kill is interrupted and you finish with traditional combat. Some enemies only take one hit of the B button, while some can take as many as six. No matter what the number, it’s very satisfying to utilize it every time you can because it makes getting through the game a lot quicker and easier. Near the end of the game it can get a little repetitive seeing the same Speed Kill sequence so many times, but it generally doesn’t hurt the experience. It’s also entertaining as always to fight without using that tactic though, as using the Prince’s combos is always nice to see again.
Another new gameplay feature Ubi Soft developed for Two Thrones are the chariot races. Honestly, these weren’t too compelling, but they had their fun moments. There are only a couple in the game, and it’s simply the Prince riding a horse drawn chariot through a series of inner city paths. During such you must bash into enemies riding the same thing as well as take out single enemies that climb onto yours using the Dagger. It can be a pain to go through them since you have to start the whole thing over if you die. They are generally easy enough though so that you don’t have to do that. It wasn’t exactly the most exciting thing to do in the game, but like stated it has its moments.