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July 2, 2005
Prince of Persia 3 - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
8/12/2005UbisoftUbisoft Montreal1$99.95

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Attacking from above.
The current console generation has been good to Ubisoft with the company producing some remarkable titles - some of which failed to sell for who knows what reason. Titles such as Beyond Good & Evil and XIII were brilliant, but only managed to sell a handful of copies between them. Fortunately the company has produced two massive successes. The first is the brilliant Splinter Cell series which still leads the current stealth/action craze in the gaming industry with superb graphics and engrossing gameplay. The other is Prince of Persia.

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Sneaking up on the enemy.
When the original game was announced many didn't really take much notice - probably just a remake of an old side scrolling platform title many thought. How wrong we were. The final product, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, was a benchmark in platforming games although it certainly failed to sell in vast numbers at retail for some reason. Fortunately sales were helped along with bundles with the PS2 console and word of mouth kept the registers ticking over. A sequel was soon announced with promises of a much darker story. Indeed Prince of Persia: Warrior Within was much darker but sold much better. Sadly many, ourselves included, felt that the game lost much of the charisma of the original. So here were are. The third game in the series is upon us and Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones looks set to reclaim the glory of the first game as well concluding a three game storyline (although gamers need not have played previous titles to play this one).

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The Two Thrones has many puzzles.
The Prince of Persia, a seasoned warrior, returns from the Island of Time to Babylon with his love Kaileena. Instead of the peace that he longs for, he finds his homeland ravaged by war and the kingdom turned against him. The Prince is rapidly captured and Kaileena has no choice but to sacrifice herself and unleash the Sands of Time in order to save him. Now cast to the streets and hunted as a fugitive, the Prince soon discovers that past battles have given rise to a deadly Dark Prince, whose spirit gradually possesses him...

Yet again this is a third person action adventure title. During this game however you control two master warriors with different combat styles, attitudes, and histories. Two warriors you ask? Well yes, you see you now get to control a light prince and a dark prince. Combat comes in two differnet forms. The first is the Free-Form fighting system which was used in previous titles. The Dark Prince is able to use a dagger as well as a large weapon on a chain called the Daggertail, which is not too dissimlar from Kratos' weapon in God of War. This weapon can be used to strangle enemies from afar, or act as a shield. The Light Prince has his normal weapons including swords.

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Causing destruction.
The second form of combat is the all new Speed Kill system. This system sees gamers having to find a path which allows them to sneak up and surprise the enemies. When you have discovered this path you may then perform a quick kill and avoid a lengthy combat sequence. Time is of the essence however as attacking an enemy while another enemy soldier is looking at him will alert them to your presence.

Once again the key to success will be your ability to slow down or even rewind time - and the developers are promising some all new Sands of Time powers which will remain under wraps until closer to release. The game also introduces a few new surprises, one of which we can reveal is a chariot race for the Prince to participate in. It looks splendid and hopefully it will end up playing just as nicely.

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Just hanging around...
Speaking of graphics Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones looks set to exceed the previous titles yet again. Given that Sony believed Ubisoft had maxxed out the PS2's power with the first game this is a remarkable achievement. The animation, and there is plenty of new moves in this game, looks silky smooth and the Prince has even more moves then in previous titles. One more thing too. The music from the second game - remember that damn awful rock shit - it's gone. In its place are much more appropriate Arabian styled songs and from what we've heard they are sensational.

The developers at Ubisoft Montreal are promising a title with a game length about that of the second game - around 15 hours give or take a bit - which is good to hear. As a concluding game to the Prince of Persia trilogy everything seems to be shaping up perfectly - and the game looks like pushing the Playstation 2 further then ever before. Expect a release in America in early December and in Australia on December 8th.