From the publisher of Dementium II, Legendary and Raven Squad comes the next game in the Two Worlds series, Two Worlds II. Not to worry though as this time around they manage to make the game a better experience.
Two Worlds II returns players to the world of Antaloor and starts off with the game’s hero imprisoned within the castle of the tyrant Gandohar. It is here where the player is rescued from the enemies clutches by a group of orcs who managed to survive when it was believe they were all but extinct. With their help the hero makes his way to the orc camp where he learns of a way in which he can potentially stop Gandohar once and for all and also save the orcs from being wiped out for good.
While saving the orcs may not be what the hero had in mind he agrees to help as Gandohar still has the hero’s sister trapped within the castle where he is using her as the vessel to return a god to its former glory. This prompts the hero to once again set out into the world and search for a way back into the castle and uncover lost secrets from Gandohar’s past to use against him.
The player will journey from lush forests and castle towns to deserts and great towers as he pieces together the past and grows in strength for the coming battle.
For RPG fans that really prefer story Two Worlds II manages to offer a decent experience, while it will at times drag on and feel predictable there is enough going on between the optional quests and the main quest to keep the player entertained throughout the 20+ hour play through. One added benefit for those gamers that couldn’t finish Two Worlds is that while the story does continue on from the first game Two Worlds II can still be played as a separate story that doesn’t require too much knowledge of the first game.
Navigation is fairly easy to adjust to as markers for the highlighted quest are displayed on the mini map and the player can set separate markers as well. As the player explores more and more of the map becomes detailed and people or quests viewable. In the quest log each one is organized between locations or what group is requesting them making finding a specific quest and choosing it as the active one much easier to do. As the player comes across teleports throughout the world they will become available and the player can transport to any they have located either from another teleport or from a personal teleport that they can carry with them in their inventory.
The cut scenes and animation throughout are done well and while the game may not look jaw dropping it still is rather impressive. The voice acting is also done well with many of the actors and actresses matching up with their characters well with only a few sounding strange or bland. The option to skip through cut scenes or conversations is available which makes for a much easier time for those that would prefer not to sit through long moments of standing around.
The combat does suffer from a few problems though as it doesn’t always flow very well and it can seem a bit buggy at times. The controller will sometimes feel unresponsive which can cause problems for those that don’t like to heal until the last moment. Enemies though are fairly easy to defeat with the right amount of level grinding and the only time there is often a higher level of challenge is when the player is taking on a mob as opposed to a single opponent.
With players being able to make their character to their liking there are quite a few options when using the skill tree. The player can choose between strength, endurance, accuracy and willpower and spend their attribute points accordingly to create the type of fighter they want, warriors, mage or ranger or they can try and balance their fighter to do all three.
Skills offer the player plenty of options as they can spend skill points on a variety of moves and techniques ranging from defense and attack to a character’s resilience towards magic and even their skill as a crafter. While there are a lot of potential choices with skills it never really seems overwhelming once you know the kind of character you wish to make, and for those that don’t the option to have a soulpatcher reset your points is always there.
The one thing that Two Worlds II offers that gamers may enjoy is a much deeper crafting system than other games. Along with being able to mix potions from items collected from enemies or harvested players can also enhance their weapons and armor and even create their own unique spells.
With weapons and armor the player can breakdown other items found to their basic parts and then use those parts to increase the attack or defense of the item of their choosing. As the items are enhanced slots will open up allowing for crystals to be added on. The crystals can give various bonuses to the player when they wear the item, which includes things like added strength, poison resistance, an increased number of items in the inventory or even added elemental damage. The player can also create three different sets of armor and weapons which can be switch by simply pressing left, up or right on the d-pad. For those that don’t like having a basic look paint pigments can be added to the armor to customize the look a bit.
For magic users the DEMONS (Dynamic Enchantment, Magic, Occultism & Necromancy System) allows for the creation of many different and unique spells. Using a carrier card, which determines the spell’s function such as missiles, traps or summons and an effect card, which gives the spell its elemental property from one of the five schools of magic, air, earth, fire, water and verita players can create their own powerful spell. They can also add modifier cards to the spell which can add to the abilities of the spell, like making a missile a homing missile or adding a ricochet.
Two Worlds II also manages to give gamers a chance to play alongside or against friends using online multiplayer. From the menu they can create their own unique character and choose their primary weapon, though they don’t have to stick to it since when they level up they can choose to spend their points on whatever they wish.
Players can purchase their own village or choose to battle it out with other players in a duel (one on one) or group battles. There is also the option to play through an extra adventure with up to 8 players. The adventure is its own story in which the player is sent out to find a village by the emperor, they can join forces with other players to make it easier or they can complete the side story on their own. The option is given to only play with gamers close to the same level or they can choose to play against or with anyone, while adventuring with anyone is easier battling against those with higher levels isn’t advised.
While Two Worlds II doesn’t really break any new ground in terms of Western RPGs it does still manage to give the player a fun experience and entertains throughout the whole play through. The game’s length is surprising as it can easily take over twenty hours to complete and is only four chapters long. One problem this reviewer did come across was that the game froze towards the end once which resulted in me having to restart the final boss battle over, but that same issue came up with Dragon Age: Origins, Awakening, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and other games. The online is fun to an extent and the extra adventure does offer more value which is nice, but there was an issue finding players that were close to the same level for duels and death matches.
Overall Two Worlds II is a fun experience that fans of Western RPGs and action titles should enjoy and while many players may be turned off by the idea of playing it after the disaster that was Two Worlds it is easy to say that Two Worlds II is much improved over its predecessor and is definitely worth giving a shot even for the skeptics.
3.5 Out of 5
Two Worlds II
Publisher: SouthPeak Games
Developer: Topware Interactive/Reality Pump
Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC
Release Date: January 25th, 2011
(This review is based on a completion of the PlayStation 3 version of Two Worlds II in 21 hours and 31 minutes, a review copy was provided by SouthPeak Games.)
If you would like to purchase this game locally here are the listings for some of the game stores in the Las Cruces and Albuquerque areas.
Game Stop 2633
1455 HICKORY DR
Las Cruces, NM 88005
550 Walton Blvd.
Las Cruces, NM 88001
Game Stop 2294
4411 SAN MATEO BLVD NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Game Stop 1638
330 Eubank NE
Albuquerque, NM 87123