Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones review
Originally released on other platforms in 2005, Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones has finally arrived for the Mac. While the release may have been a bit delayed, it's still an entertaining (but technically flawed) new chapter in a franchise as old as Mac gaming.
The original Prince of Persia debuted in 1989 for the Apple II. The swashbuckling and platform-jumping prince has been around for a while, and is one of the few monolithic gaming icons that can rightly claim Mac roots.
The Two Thrones is the third installment of the second Prince of Persia trilogy, or the third instalment of a reboot of a previously successfully series, or maybe its just a shiny new game I get to review three years after its initial release on other platforms. The Two Thrones is the sequel to 2004's Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, the dark, critically panned follow-up to Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (both games aren't available for the Mac).
The Two Thrones is a solid improvement on its predecessor. An improved combat system, more varied gameplay elements, and a nice new set of acrobatic maneuvers make this Prince better than the last. That said, Ubisoft has seemingly fired the writing team this time around. The plot is pretty tired, so I'll only give you a short recap here: After the prince escaped the Isle of Time with the Empress of Time in the Warrior Within game, he returns to find the city of Babylon in ruins. Through a series of unfortunate events, the Empress is killed, the prince gains a dark alter-ego called the Dark Prince and he once again gains the time-altering abilities of the Dagger of Time. The entirety of the game is spent trying to kill the villain that you already killed in a previous game. Players new to the series may find it confusing and old fans will find it stale.
But you don't play the series for the plot. At its core, Prince of Persia has always been about directing your character through elaborate obstacles, avoiding booby-traps, and navigating the precariously placed platforms. In this game, the prince has learned more acrobatic moves to travel through the world, like running along walls and jumping at 45-degree angles, sliding down chutes, and balancing on swinging poles. The game is never better than when you witness the prince fly around the room like some kind of Arabian Batman.