Review by dimitry_clover
"Very hard, but worthwhile if only for the ending"
First I make my point here that I HATE Warrior Within with a passion. Infinitely respawning enemies, repetitive combat, ridiculous combat voice-over, ear-piercing rock soundtrack, unlikable characters... and on top of that, I was unable to see the true ending due to the last time-portal glitch. WTF? (Throw POP:WW into trash can)
T2T tried very hard to correct some of the mistakes took place in WW. The music is now excellent, combat actually fun (I actually LIKED, no, LOVED the speed kill gameplay), and the story is much more coherent than the Island of Time, Empress of Time, Sands of Time, Kitchensink of time bullsh*t of WW.
However one thing that's sadly missing is BELIEVABLE and LOVELY interaction between the Prince and Farah. For example, take this exchange in the beginning:
Farah: Try pulling one of those levers.
The Prince: With my luck, it will probably trigger some terrible trap... Or summon sand-monsters... Or bring about the end of the world!
Farah: Can't you see we're in the middle of a conversation? If you really do desire death, kindly wait your turn!
Also, while Yuri Lowenthal returned as the voice-actor of Prince, I can't help but think he really just phoned it in this time. The bad, BAD dialogue didn't help.
Interaction-wise, the character that steals the whole show is the Dark Prince. The bickering between the two princes is actually funny and enjoyable.
However I loved how the ending tied together with the opening of Sands of Time. It gives the sense of completeness that makes it a worthy finale. It's funny that the best dialogue in this game is the one from Sands of Time. I think that the story is actually good this time, but the presentation itself (mainly the dialogues) have vast room of improvement.
Everyone talked about the gameplay, so there's little that I can add. However I think some of the segments (especially the Dark Prince's) are too difficult. Two new traps are added: the easily avoidable arrow trap, and a gigantic buzzsaw thing which is extremely difficult to time. While WW have the stupid Dahaka chase that requires a lot of trial-and-error, when you finally know the route it can actually be a flowing, enjoyable experience. Dark Prince segments on the other hand (especially near the end), requires Dahaka-chase level of precision and time limit (he dies WAY TOO FAST), the designer actually thrown in TRAPS in these rushing segments this time. Tons of them. Also the routes are much less obvious. Often I let my life drop to zero just because I spent too much time figuring out where the hell should I go. I also don't like the chariots sections, but you can RIDE a BOSS-MONSTER in one certain fight, so all is forgiven.
Graphically, while the game certainly looks good, I do think they are not as polished as the last two games. There's something incredibly blend in the environments, maybe it's the monochrome color, or the lighting. The palace looks very dull comparing to Azed in Sands of time. On the other hand, the sewers, dry well and underground labyrinth sections are too bright and colorful - this is the few time that I missed the gritty WW graphics. The absolute WORST is the Hanging Gardens - essentially a bunch of moving CUBES. Everything is square and flat. (What's this? Tomb Raider 2?) They proved that they can create organic looking garden levels in WW, so why not in the TRUE hanging gardens of Babylon?
Overall, this game is difficult, a little flawed, but enjoyable game. If you own the first two game, then this is a must. However if you never played this series before, I would recommend Sands of Time and Sands of Time ONLY. Since the destruction of the Prince character in WW is so unforgivable.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/13/09
Game Release: Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (US, 12/01/05)
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