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Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones

01 December 2005
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones - cover art
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302 Ratings / 1 Reviews
#1,779 All-time
#87 for 2005
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Title
The Weakest of the Trilogy
Two Thrones drops most of the edgyness from Warrior Within and goes back to the Persian fable vibes of Sands of Time. Except it does so in a pretty weak way.

I know this game was supposed to be a completely different experience, with new characters and open world design, but they scrapped most of their ideas and replaced them. And that rocky production shows.

To start, the amazing combat from Warrior Within has been made weaker by reducing enemy variety, secondary weapon variety, locking primary weapon to just the Dagger of Time, so there's no sense of progression from the past games. There's also no dismemberment so the flashy combat system isn't as impressive as it was in Warrior Within. In place of all of that, they added two things: dark prince and stealth.

The Dark Prince is probably the most memorable thing about this entire game, and his addition makes things a bit more interesting, at least with platforming, where using his chains is kinda new and cool. Combat-wise, he has his own combat style and combos, and swinging his chains makes you feel very strong, except... I found there to be no need for any strategy or combos. You can just spam the easiest chain combo by mashing the same button all the time, and that is enough to kill everything. It's even stronger when you mash both the main and secondary buttons at once, performing random combos which deal more damage I guess, but that doesn't amount to very challenging or exciting gameplay, unfortunately.

As for stealth, sneaking behind your opponents and setting up double insta-kills (which you can only do in specific places) can be cool, but they're just simple QTE sections which later in the game take more time than just killing your opponents. Also, it makes Prince look more like a weakling, why does he sneak behind his opponents, what is he scared of? It's like he didn't just return from the Island of Time where he fought hordes of enemies alone, but I diagress.

Combat also is pretty unresponsive and Prince often cancels his own combos. But we'll get to technical issues later.

Let's go to soundtrack. Sands of Time featured a unique blend of middle eastern music and singing with some rock elements. They flipped it in Warrior Within, where the soundtrack is mostly heavy rock guitars and bass, with a little bit of middle eastern sounds, mostly singing. This combination made Warrior Within have arguably the best and most memorable soundtrack in the whole series.

Two Thrones, however, decided to almost completely abandon those rock influences, which lead to the blandest, most forgettable soundtrack. Other than maybe the main menu music, not a single track engraved itself in my memory, which is a huge disappointment.

On the visual side, I would also say that Two Thrones has aged the worst of the three games. While the graphics themselves might be on the level of Warrior Within, world and level design has taken a massive hit. Other than very few notable sections in the game, Two Thrones has the least memorable locations in the trilogy. Compared to Warrior Within's amazing world and level design with memorable locations, as well the ones in Sands of Time (which has a similar setting to Two Thrones but executes it much better), Two Thrones feels like 90% of the game is just running around random streets in the city (which in fact is true).

Two Thrones also has the most visual and technical glitches, even more than Warrior Within which wasn't the most polished game on the block. I had to play around a lot with antialiasing and fog settings to get rid of massive glares obstructing the view.

Lastly, I'll talk about the story. Which, if good enough, could make up for all the issues I listed, except it's not good enough. Spoilers ahead.

When Prince returns from the Island of Time with Kaileena, she immediately gets captured and subsequently killed. Okay... I guess her story arc ended with Warrior Within, but the way her death was presented is very bad, and honestly kinda insulting to people who actually cared about her. Because it seems like Prince doesn't care at all.

At the same time she's killed, Prince immediately turns his attention away from her to the Dagger of Time, and also his new alter ego in the form of Dark Prince who corrupted him through the chains on his arm. So the Prince doesn't grieve Kaileena at all, and he doesn't talk about her at all, as if she didn't matter to him.

Farah makes a return and a big part of the game is Prince chasing after her and trying to get on her good side, even though his girlfriend was just killed in front of him. And the interactions between Prince and Farah are extremely awkward. Even for Prince of Persia standards, the dialogue is very campy and often cringe. I'll take my edgy, stand-offish Prince from Warrior Within over this one.

I know everything I said so far has been very negative, but there are some aspects of the game, or at least interesting.

Some of the new platforming ideas are cool, like the pieces of windows that launch you diagonally or the funny holes on walls to stick your dagger into. Dark Prince sections also feature a lot of platforming ideas unique to him and they're very fun.

I would also say that the riding sections, while clunky, are fun, and mix up the pacing pretty well.

The boss fights in this game are kinda cool, but the arenas for some of them are very narrow.

Overall, there are some cool new additions, but also a bunch of issues that unfortunately render this game to be my least favorite of the trilogy, and one that, if ever remade, I would advocate for remaking absolutely everything about, not just graphics.
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Kream45 2022-06-26T14:23:00Z
2022-06-26T14:23:00Z
2.5
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The Warrior Within had a secret ending where the Prince defeats the Dahaka and the Empress survives. This game continues that version of events, and so the Prince returns to his home of Babylon with the Empress. They find it under attack by the Vizier who was defeated in the Sands of Time game. He is alive in this timeline because the Prince never defeated him and the Sands of Time weren't created. The Vizier has a plan to finish creating them by capturing the Empress. History repeats itself in some ways.


Even Farah is back and you run into her throughout the story. Instead of Farah going through cracks and you have to find a different path, now she just randomly runs through doors that always magically close. You never get to fight alongside Farah (when The Prince does, he only joins her in short cutscenes).


The Warrior Within had a very gritty approach to the aesthetics but now they have basically compromised on the style. The graphics are brighter, but yet it looks a bit washed out, but somehow a bit dark in places. I think there's some bugs with the lighting because some light sources are a mess, and it also has a weird bug where the screen goes white unless you tinker with some of the graphics settings. I encountered a few other glitches, mainly enemies falling through scenery.


The Prince looks fairly similar to his angsty Warrior Within style, but his original voice actor is back, so has a calmer demeanour and will talk to himself like he did in the first game. He also has a schizophrenic conversation with the "Dark Prince".


Near the end of the first game, the Prince became a Sand Wraith whose health depleted over time but was restored by sand. Once you were down to the last bit of health, the depletion stopped so you could only be killed in combat or traps. This game has the Dark Prince who you transform into at certain parts of the story. The Dark Prince's health depletes over time but does deplete fully so his sections play out like time trials. You need to look out for vases to smash which contain sand, or defeat enemies who will drop sand - this will restore your health. These sections end when you find a source of water, which is a similar idea to what stops the Dahaka. The Dark Prince has a whip which means in combat you have different moves. Navigation is different too where he uses his whip to extend wall runs, and pull out platforms.


The Prince has his usual parkour abilities, but now has some other moves. There's some spring mechanisms on the walls that allow diagonal jumps. There's dagger grip points to allow you to cling to walls. Chains and narrow walls to move up and down.


The game design is linear like The Sands of Time. You spend a long time in city areas and city buildings. I think the level design is the least organic out of the 3 games. In the previous games, there were definitely plenty of coincidences which allowed you to navigate the areas, but this seems even more blatant. For example, there's a corridor in a zigzag with a completely broken floor, but along the walls have the dagger grapple points.


The combat is similar to Warrior Within so you have a primary weapon and a temporary secondary weapon. The primary weapon is now your dagger. The weapons are temporary because they break quickly. This can make combat difficult since the dagger is very weak and stops you doing the high damage combos. So you will be scrambling to find a weapon rack or a fallen-enemies weapon. Most combat situations encourage you to avoid them completely with stealth-kills. These are triggered by Quick Time events. If there are clusters of enemies, you can take them all out with carefully chosen timing if you watch their patrol routes. There are some sections where enemies can spawn in if the alarm is triggered. Failing to take all enemies out in the stealthy way greatly increases the difficulty as you then need to take down several enemies in direct combat.


The Prince automatically moves in and out of stealth mode. When enemies can't see him, then he crouches. When he is detected, then he stands up. You can move fast in stealth mode anyway, it's more of a visual cue that you can stealth kill, or will fight normally.


You only need one button for the QTE's since Prince only uses his dagger. The dagger will flash and the action will slow down. I thought some of the timings of the QTE's were really short and some enemies take up to 5 button presses to successfully take-down. I was convinced that some flashes didn't appear. Many of the bosses rely on this mechanic and if you fail, you often need to repeat some tedious platforming or dodge attacks. I wasn't a fan of this at all.


There's a couple of Chariot Chases and one where you are riding a large beast. These involve moving left and right to dodge obstacles/walls whilst finding off enemies. The speed, and the narrow corridors often make this feel like trial-and-error rather than testing your reactions.


I criticised Warrior Within for not being obvious where to go sometimes. I felt Sands of Time did a great job at panning the camera to the next section but it wasn't as good in Warrior Within. Two Thrones does have the same problem which is frustrating when you are the Dark Prince and you are tested on time.


There were plenty of moments where I struggled to see where to go then noticed a switch on the wall. Often this seemed unnecessary to have the switch when it is right next to the door. These parts just seem like basic busywork and it doesn't help if it's placed slightly out of your eyeline or placed in the dark.


I wasn't impressed with the puzzle design either. Many I didn't understand the overall objective but since there is a crank, you may as well turn it. There was that statue puzzle which I assumed you had to get to the door to somehow smash the door, which was correct, but it was hard to see how to do that. You had one crank to rotate, and another to move forward, but it was hard to see why you wouldn't be able to move the statue forward due to the camera angles. Even when you get the prompt which allows you to zoom out the camera, you can't clearly see how much space you have and what would prevent the statue from turning, or moving forward. It mainly seemed trial-and-error but then was maddening that you had to cross over to the over side to get to the other crank. Why couldn't they just put the cranks right next to each other?


Some of the bosses had sections that were unclear like when you are battling the troll boss and he seems to stamp his feet which made me keep my distance, but he then has a one-hit KO move. You are supposed to get right into his stamping feet because it doesn't seem to damage you. The final boss had some inconsistencies where the first few attempts, I never saw him block and he didn't attack as frequently. Then there were moments where he would knock me down, I charge at him, he knocks me down, I charge at him, he knocks me down. But yet I could always attack him in previous attempts!? The final part of the final boss involves climbing up platforms and falling would mean instant death (unless you have sand tanks to rewind). But then he periodically hits you with a undodgeable projectile. If he hits you while jumping then there's nothing you can do. It just felt 100% trial and error.


I think you can draw some comparisons with the recent Star Wars trilogy. It almost seems like the 2nd game had new writers that took the Prince in a new direction then the 3rd game tries to undo part of the direction whilst introducing its own ideas. I actually thought the story was fine though. It was mainly the Quick Time Events and puzzles that could do with more thought.
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CaptainClam 2017-09-29T23:00:29Z
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Catalog

Bubu66 Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones 2024-05-12T03:50:14Z
2024-05-12T03:50:14Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
LanI Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones 2024-04-13T22:17:08Z
2024-04-13T22:17:08Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
blacktomatoemperor Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones 2024-04-10T10:55:20Z
2024-04-10T10:55:20Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
tmaroga10 Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones 2024-03-31T19:09:17Z
2024-03-31T19:09:17Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
anncian Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones 2024-03-24T21:40:13Z
2024-03-24T21:40:13Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Durles Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones 2024-03-21T18:31:52Z
2024-03-21T18:31:52Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ArpeggiDivision Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones 2024-03-20T17:31:53Z
2024-03-20T17:31:53Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
eliottstaten Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones 2024-03-15T05:03:05Z
2024-03-15T05:03:05Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Langer09 Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones 2024-03-11T19:48:49Z
PS2 • XNA
2024-03-11T19:48:49Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
youngzoomer777 Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones 2024-03-06T19:32:20Z
2024-03-06T19:32:20Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Peppone550 Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones 2024-02-27T11:25:23Z
2024-02-27T11:25:23Z
1
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Childhood
Yorios Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones 2024-02-26T15:15:17Z
2024-02-26T15:15:17Z
1.0
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Content rating
ESRB: M
Player modes
Single-player
Media
3x CD-ROM
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Also known as
  • Prince of Persia: Rival Swords
  • Prince of Persia: Las dos coronas
  • Prince of Persia: Les deux royaumes
  • Prince of Persia: I due troni
  • プリンス・オブ・ペルシャ 二つの魂
  • View all [5] Hide

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  • fellebanan_ygsr 2024-01-25 12:46:58.734317+00
    Weakest in the trilogy
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  • youngzoomer777 2024-03-06 19:33:48.924936+00
    Its cool, great scenes but the mechanics can be stupid makes the game take a lot longer than it would. Spend a lot less time figuring out what to do versus just trying to get the controls to work for that moment because messing those moments up will set you back to doing the same tedious tasks
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