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Prince of Persia: Rival Swords

Preview: Hands-on impressions, exclusive screens

Prince of Persia: Rival Swords is a remake of Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones which was released in late 2005 on pretty much every format going.

But despite its age, Ubisoft hopes that the prospect of playing the game using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk will draw in a few more punters. We recently sped down to Ubisoft's Chertsey-based offices to get our hands on the single-player mode and take the Prince's acrobatic skills for a workout with the new controllers.

First thing to note is that, graphically, it looked identical to the GameCube version which, considering the similar architecture of both machines, was probably just ported directly to Wii.


Diving straight into the main quest, all the cutscenes, including dialogue and music, are the same too. So at the core, this is straight copy of The Two Thrones.

The controls are the main new attribute, and they work really well. You don't actually use the motion-sensing abilities of Wii for most of the basic controls. You move the Prince around in the conventional way - with the analogue stick on the Nunchuk. The A button on the Remote makes him jump, and when you're holding onto ledges you can either pull yourself up with A or let go with the Z trigger on the underside of the Nunchuk.

That's all pretty straight-forward. Motion controls come into play when you encounter an enemy. Your standard attacks are unleashed by waving the Wii Remote - any indistinct shaking motion seems to do the trick. This basically replaces the mashing of a face button, which is nothing too advanced.

If you played Two Thrones you will remember that some enemies, when defeated, will drop weapons that you can actually pick up and use in your other hand. When you're duel-wielding blades the Nunchuk can be wiggled along with the Remote to attack with both weapons.

The Prince's deadly Speed Kills also make use of the Nunchuk motion sensors. Just like before, if you manage to sneak up close to an enemy without being spotted, the screen will blur around the edges to indicate a Speed Kill opportunity. At that moment, shoving the Nunchuk downwards will activate the Speed Kill animation which sees the Prince grab his victim to deliver the fatal blow.

To succeed in your attack, you must wave the Remote at the right moments during the Speed Kill cutscene - usually just as the Prince draws back his knife - to initiate the blow. It's the same as before but, again, this version replaces the press of a button with the shake of the Remote.

Yes, you would be right in observing that the new control system does nothing in particular to improve the game. The implementation of indistinct shakes and waggles of the Remote doesn't really offer any added immersion, mainly because your movements don't feel in any way connected to those of the Prince. So if you've already played the game on another format you won't get much in the way of a new experience out of the Wii version.


Conversely, it's just as playable as it was with the normal control pad. That considered, The Two Thrones was a brilliant game and if you haven't played it, Rival Swords on Wii will be well worth a look.

Rival Swords is due out on March 30. Check out the CVG-exclusive screens below.