Two Thrones is the last game in the Prince of Persia trilogy. Since the destruction of the sands of time in game two, The Warrior Within, time has reverted to the days when the Prince's father, the evil Vizier, and Farah are still alive - a time period before the first game, Sands of Time. The premise is really a second chance for the Prince to change the outcomes of the previous games by reaching the Vizier and killing him before he can wreak havoc.
In the last game, there was a segment where the Prince was temporarily changed into the Sandman and that character returns in this game as an alter ego. Yes, our Prince has developed a multiple personality disorder. This character likes to suddenly dominate at inconvenient times, but while suppressed, his presence is continually manifested by an ongoing dialogue between the two. However, aside from this, there are no twists or turns or secondary villains and not really much addition to the overall story. The game's main concentration is on the platforming with a few boss fights in between. Unfortunately, these bosses are just suddenly introduced as ways to prevent the Prince's progress and don’t have any story of their own. Being heavily weighted in the platforming element and not as balanced with story and combat segments, the game is just not as engaging as its predecessors .
Two Thrones tries to bring back the romance factor, but the repartee with Farah is not nearly as clever as in The Sands of Time. Farah has no memory of their past relationship as time has reversed, so this was an opportunity to rewrite the romance. However, it's an opportunity gone missing as she plays a very minimal part in the game and only shows up occassionally for very short interactions. And for a battle hardened Prince who does remember and has experienced so many trials, the dialogue and voice acting is very immature.
The gameplay remains unchanged in many ways and uses the same tricks; a series of hard sequences without saves in between. However, this does not occur as often as in the other two games. Prince of Persia games have a nasty habit of locking in camera angles and some of these segments don't transfer well to the keyboard and mouse. It's either a case of the developer's being incompetent or just uncaring when porting the game to PC. Although I don't have a controller, I believe from reading user comments that the controls are more manageable with one. Although most of the game can be played easily enough with the keyboard and mouse, there are times when you will want to pull your hair out trying to make the prince go in the direction you want him to go. Having said that though, the retry points are usually not as far back in this game.
There are two distinctive changes in this sequel. One is a chained speed kill ability that requires rather precise timing. These events have visual cues, but are sometimes very hard to see. Another is the altar ego character which results in the Prince occasionally morphing into the Dark Prince. While in this form, staying alive relies on finding sources of the life-giving sands, which are constantly draining. This requires frequent replenishing, which means these segments are basically on a timer and quite challenging. In order to revert back to the Prince, you need to reach a pool of water. Although the Dark Prince adds a twist to this game, I can't say that I really enjoyed these portions as it meant rushing through areas of the game.
On the plus side, jumps are a little more intuitive. For instance, in many places the Prince will jump in the proper direction without using a directional key. Life upgrades also don't seem to be quite as important to winning as they were in The Warrior Within, although it's always better to have as much health as possible. However, obtaining these upgrades doesn't change the ending as it did in the previous game.
One might have expected some improvements in character renditions and movie scenes, but no. Although not awful, we still see a lot of weird pointy angles and hazy cut scenes. Given this was released two years after the first one, some improvements might have been expected, although some of that might be dependent on your machine's capability.
Truth be told, I was dragging my feet staying interested enough in this game to finish it, especially when the last boss fight using the keyboard and mouse was made incredibly difficult. Lining up the Prince to wall the pillars while dodging obstructions was a nightmare. The problem arises when two directional keys need to be pressed at the same time, but even that is no guarantee that he won't be twirling about in all the wrong directions.
I would have to concur with most users that this is probably the weakest link of the Sands trilogy. In my opinion, Pop Warrior is a better game, but some people prefer this one. It's all a matter of taste and personal experience, as usual. However, I for one, will be leaving this one in the dust as a "once is enough" game.
These games should be played in order if the story is important to you.