PAX East: Two Worlds II Preview

Posted On: 4/5/2010  Source: XXLGaming.com

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RPG’s are really popular right now on the Xbox 360 and we have our fair share of good and bad titles. A few years ago, Two Worlds made an appearance on the Xbox 360 and had the potential to be one of the great titles available. It could have even competed with the likes of Oblivion had it not so many bugs and issues. The inner core of the game was fantastic, but the problems associated with the game turned gamers away and actually made Two Worlds the laughing stock of the RPG world.  The game really was destined to fail as it truly was a PC title brought to the Xbox 360. The port obviously did not go over very well causing graphical hitches and gameplay flaws.

The most recent rumblings about Two Worlds were that we were going to get an expansion of the original game. This title would have been known as Two Worlds: Temptation. But thankfully Topware Interactive has come to the rescue and tore down everything we know from the original Two Worlds and built a completely brand new game. It now seems to be a game that we should have had the first time around but did not.

So what’s going to change to make this title better than the first? We had a chance to sit down with Topware Interactive at PAX East and got to take a look at the upcoming game. I can say after walking out of that session that I feel Two Worlds II will be a game folks will want to check out. Each platform the game is distributed on will have its own dedicated engine designed tweaked specifically for that console. The proprietory engine powering Two Worlds II is called the GRACE engine. No more porting from platform to platform. This alone makes for a better game experience on whatever platform you are playing on. They were giving us the preview using the Xbox 360 and it looked fantastic.

So the first thing you will notice in Two Worlds II is that the graphics have been upgraded completely. Now I am not saying the graphics were terrible in the first game because they were not, but Two Worlds II has stepped up to the plate for sure.The lighting affects complete with real time shadows looked absolutely amazing. One of the standout moments in the demo was when our hero was in a dungeon like area of the game and he lit his torch. The flickering light cast all sorts of awesome shadows and you could see your character’s own distorted shower on the wall away from the flame. He then proceeded to put the torch out and the real time environment lighting took effect and all I can say is wow. Not only the dungeon lighting was great but the lighting in just about every area we saw was simply jaw dropping.

Another highlight to the graphics was the environments as well. Every detail from wispy grass blowing in the wind to ripple effects on liquid surfaces looks great and really makes this a gem to look at and play. At one point the developer used a free roaming Seeing Eye device to zoom around the landscape.  This looks like an awesome feature in the game and can be used for scouting ahead and knowing what you are up against. Or maybe you just want to get a look at the beautiful and pristine landscapes that are before you. The draw distances, even in this early build, were impressive to say the least and truly showed off this expansive 60 square kilometer world. And everything you can see, you can travel to as well.

So the game picks up where the first one left off, for those of us that actually with stood the first game enough to finish it. We find ourselves back in the world of Antaloor again. Your character will have to refresh him memory if you will on skills he learned in the first game. I mean come on, he was a valiant hero and has an already established skill set. How could he forget all of that? I really like the fact that you will build upon an already capable hero.  Never fear, we asked if you had to play Two Worlds I to know what was going on in Two Worlds II and the answer was no. You will be fed information throughout the game on the back story and the characters involved. Now of course it would help to play the first game, but I will tell you right now that it may be a bit painful at times.

I want to discuss one of the new features in the game that really makes this game unique to other console RPG’s available on the Xbox 360. One of the most intriguing features is the fact that you can tear down and recycle parts from looted items. So before if you found a 2 handed sword of the same exact variety that you had equipped, you could just combine the two items to make the same sword with a +1 attribute. That is fine and dandy, but with the new system you can actually tear apart the new found weapon and use only the parts you want. Whether the parts are used for décor or to level up the weapon is up to you. This opens the game to an almost limitless variety of weapons in the game. You can custom fit everything to your own visual tastes and your own fighting style.

Multiplayer makes an appearance in Two Worlds II and it has plenty to offer all of your Xbox Live multiplayer junkies. You’ll will have your PVP arena but you will also have a Co-op campaign that is completely separate from the single player campaign experience. The co-op campaign storyline is set in the time period between Two Worlds I and Two Worlds II. When asked how long we can expect this campaign to be we got an answer of 5 to 8 hours. That is a substantial amount of time for a completely new game experience with a friend. You’ll also have an online village of your own where friends can visit, and you can even visit your friend’s villages. There was not a whole lot of detail revealed about this as it was still a work in progress, but from what we heard it sounds very cool. All of the characters you use online are online specific to online play only so you’ll have to do co-op and play PVP to build up your online persona.

Two Worlds II is a classless game meaning that you will not be required to pick the standard warrior, mage, etc. when initially creating your character.  Instead, you will build your character to the way your own style. Want a little brute force but also focus on magic abilities as well. Then do it. You’ll just load up your skill set the way you see fit. The customization of your character is highly in depth as well and you’ll truly be able to create a unique hero that is specific to your own tastes.

Between all the new enhancements to the magic system, the environments and the graphics themselves I have to say this game really looks to be on par to be a hit in the 2010 RPG category. There truly is a lot more details that we were treated to that I haven’t even touched. If I did then this preview would turn into a novel and I will spare you that. One thing I am sure of is that there will be so much more revealed at E3 and I truly am getting excited for this title as it approaches. When asked about the length of the game we got a response of around 50+ hours or so with the single player and co-op campaigns combined. Then pile on the PVP and you probably have a lot of replay value for this title. Currently its set for a fall release (late 3rd quarter). Make sure to stay tuned to XXLGaming for more updates, screenshots and more as details are released about the game in the coming months. We’ll also be sure to have a full review of the game when it releases.

You can view the latest screenshots we have plus an early video of the game by clicking the following link:

GAME DETAILS

 
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