Review by TheMadcapLaughs

Reviewed: 05/05/08

Both the combat and platforming aspects are carried out brilliantly, meanwhile the graphics amaze.

The story continues on from the previous 2 games. The Prince returns home to Babylon only to find out that in his absence war has unleashed itself upon his land. I really can’t tell you anymore than that as there are a couple very welcome surprises early on in the game but what I can tell you is that the story is far less dark than Warrior Within and at times gains the charm of The Sands of Time.

The gameplay consists of two main elements – combat and platforming. The combat is free flowing and is very fun. A lot of the cheap kills from previous games have been removed which makes combat far more significant. The combat flows well, and forces you to think on your feet when you’re outnumbered 4 on 1. However two new features to the combat work particularly well. First of all is the speed kills. A speed kill can be initiated by sneaking up on an enemy without them seeing you. The speedkill involves between 1 and 5 quicktime actions, and unlike most quicktime actions (which usually suck) these speed kills are intense and fair. The other addition is the Dark Prince which disposes of some of the freedom of the normal combat for a more rigid, but just as freeflowing, combat mode where you can easily take on 4 enemies at a time. The Dark Prince uses a chain whip and though at first this controls horribly it feels great once you’ve got used to it.

The platforming involves running along and up walls, jumping from platform to platform, stabbing holes in the walls to grab on to it, creeping along thin and often crumbling ledges, avoiding multiple dangerous traps, swinging on beams and lamps, climbing poles and several other things. This is very fun, and when you’re travelling up massive structures it can be quite exhilarating as they manage to make it feel very high up when you look down.

One of the main features of the Prince of Persia series is the Sands of Time. These allow you to various different abilities throughout the game as you unlock them. The primary ability is that you can rewind time by about 5 seconds allowing you to avert death and heavy damage – this is brilliant as it allows the game designers to create some very difficult rooms without frustrating you, and when the sands run out the game becomes all the more exhilarating.

The bosses are amazing. Some of them are epic, and the difficulty level is comfortably nice. Many of the bosses take advantage of the speed kills for truly epic attacks, and the final boss is, quite simply, perfect.

The game looks fantastic. The character models and structures are very good, but the superb thing is the good usage of bloom lighting (unrealistically intense sunlight affects). This makes the game vivid, colourful and highly atmospheric – and generally beautiful. Another huge pro are the few cutscenes in the game which are stunningly beautiful at times.

The music is very good. It helps create a lovely Persian feel and emphasises some of the action. The sound is brilliant. Attacks sound great, footsteps are made as you run along walls and you can hear old beams creak. The voice acting is superb as is the script, and the game is presented as a story with a woman speaking about the prince and saying things such as “I will continue the story when you are ready” when you pause &c.

The game is about 6-8 hours long and feels like the perfect length – you finish the game just as it starts to feel slightly bland. I doubt you’ll return to this game, but it is a fantastic game to return to.

Gameplay (Combat) = 8.5/10
Gameplay (Platforming) = 9/10
Gameplay (Bosses) = 10/10
Graphics = 9.5/10
Music/Sound = 9/10

Final Score = 9.5/10 (rounded to 10/10)

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Product Release: Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (EU, 12/02/05)

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