The day has finally come and RPG fans everywhere can now get their hands on Two Worlds II in North America. The game is developed by Reality Pump and the team boasts an all new game engine known as GRACE. We all know that the first game, while it had potential, just did not satisfy even the most casual gamer. There were issues throughout that resulted in a poor port from the PC version to the console. Well, Reality Pump has assured that the new GRACE engine with each platform having its own form of the engine, will change our opinions of the franchise. Do they succeed? Well read on and find out. I avoided going into every detail of the game due to the vast amount of options at your fingertips, but youíll still find quite a bit of information in the paragraphs ahead and I hope you find it helpful in deciding if Two Worlds II is right for you.
Letís just get one thing out of the way immediately. I am not sure who the numbskull is that decided it was good idea to run the game off the edges of your television screen. My apologies for the numbskull comment but come on. When you fire up the game I will assure you that itís not your television thatís acting up so do not adjust your TV settings. Itís impossible to see the menu actions on the left hand side of the screen or even part of the map for that matter when playing on the default visuals. No fear though, you can fix this with a simple tweak of the gameís visual options. Press Start and head into the Graphics Setting and turn ON the option that reads, ďUse safe area in interfaceĒ. Seriously guys, why is this option set to off as a default? Most people play on normal television and not a PC monitor, if that would even solve the issue. This just makes no sense to have the game screen edges run off the sides of the television as a default option. I was completely frustrated until a buddy of mine doing a review also brought it up, and here I thought it was my television. I am still a bit miffed about the whole ordeal. Please send out and update and fix this asap.
Visually the game has its ups and downs. The cut scenes can look great, but then other times the out of sync mouth movements with the voiceover work gets irritating. At least for me it does because if the game is going to tell a story with cinematics then it should look good during those cut scenes. The dynamic lighting and the environments are superb and where the game really shines. Youíll quickly notice the shadows and lighting effects, especially in dark dungeon areas where only the flicker of fire and torches light the way. The camera can get a little clunky at times as you battle it out with your foes and this can tend to make you completely miss your mark during tight melee battles.
In the sound department, the game is not perfect but it definitely gets the job done. Youíll find environmental ambience throughout the game and the voiceover work is decent. Again, is it perfect? No, but I definitely have heard worse. And there is some decent one liner comedy found throughout the world of Antaloor. Some of the dialogue is a little drawn out, and it is a little annoying to have to go through the same conversation again and again if you forget to save right after.
So we all know the issues that the original Two Worlds had and I can assure you that this game definitely goes in the right direction and all those issues have been addressed. Youíll play the role of the hero whom has been imprisoned with his sister within the confines of Gandoharís lair. Youíll escape the confines of you prison with the help of some unlikely friends. The Prologue of the game is very similar to that of Oblivion. Itís a bit long and drawn out at times and really is just a series of tutorials. It definitely helps you understand the game, but again it can be a little slow when it comes to action. Just be patient. The game opens up a lot more once you get into the outside world.
Youíll roam the countryside of Antaloor completing quests, leveling up, among all other things that you find in an in depth RPG. One of the coolest features I thought in the game is the ability to upgrade your weapons but not through the old style of combining two of the same weapon. No, now you can tear down existing inventory items such as weapons, armor, etc. and youíll have raw materials such as wood, steel, iron, and more. These raw materials are then used to upgrade the statistics for your weapon of choice. Youíll even have the ability to throw gemstones into the mix that will increase attributes and more. I really like tinkering with this option and youíll have a host of weapon attributes and stats to check out as well. The stats that show on the screen as red or green numbers when you have a better or worse attribute definitely helps in constructing or picking the perfect weapon. This is something that all RPGís should consider as a default feature.
Another option that the game really does well is the spell creation. Now you can create customized spells using cards and applying multipliers and create your own custom magic attacks. There are three types of cards used in creating a spell. The Carrier Card determines the type of spell at its very core. You can then apply the Effect Cards which come in Fire, Water, Air and Earth varieties. Youíll be able to use your spell with just these two cards applied, but using the Modifier card and stacking Carrier and Effect cards will make spells even stronger. The combinations you can come up with seem limitless and youíll find what works best for you with some tinkering. Now you have to be aware that youíll have to maintain a balance in order for spells to be cast. Youíll know by on screen indications when a spell is at its primary balance. But feel free to experiment.
When you press the Back button at anytime during the game youíll have access to a host of options. The skills tab is where you will find a variety of attributes to be adjusted for your character. This is the heart of creating the type of character you want. You can mix and match all sorts of skills and attributes that included ranged skills, general skills, crafting skills, assassin, ranger mage and warrior skills. There are 4 main attributes for you to adjust as well: Endurance, Strength, Accuracy and Willpower. Youíll earn attribute and skill points as you play the game and level up. There is also an Equipment Tab and Craft System, an Items Tab, an Alchemy Tab, and a Magic Tab. Youíll spend a lot of time in this menu screen customizing everything to your gameplay style and techniques.
The rest of the game is full of your typical RPG style stuff like looting, lockpicking, customized weapon sets, and more. If I was to go into every detail that this game holds then I would be better off writing a book rather than an online review. Anyone that really wanted to enjoy the original Two Worlds but just couldnít due to the technical issues will be ecstatic with Two World II and all it has to offer. Not only do you have the full single player campaign that will encompass hours upon hours of your time but you have a complete online plethora of options as well. These options include a separate online 7 chapter campaign as well as many multiplayer modes that include: Team Deathmatch, Duel, Village and Crystal Capture. Youíll definitely want to check out the online modes after some play time in the single player campaign. You will have to create a new character for online play though.
Two Worlds II is not without issues as has been mentioned in this review. The visual issue with the screen extending past your televisionís screen edges is annoying and frankly a huge oversight but unfortunately itís not the only glaring issue the game suffers from. Hit detection when in hand to hand with enemies can be a bit sporadic and iffy for the lack of better terms. Now understand that you have to build your skills up in order to be more and more successful, but many times I would just completely swing and miss with my sword when the enemy was right in front of me. Iíd expect at least a deflection by the enemy, but alas you just swing and hit nothing but air. The camera angle can be quite frustrating as well as some of the normal mechanics such as riding a horse. Letís just chalk up the horse thing to being spoiled by Red Dead Redemption. Two Worlds II definitely has its share of mechanical and technical issues but overall in the end itís not a catastrophe by any means.
Two Worlds II offers up an engrossing experience with many hours of gameplay both online and offline as well as plenty of depth to the game throughout. While it may not stand up to the likes of an RPG such as Oblivion or Dragon Age in some folks eyes, Two Worlds II definitely holds its own and should not be ignored by any fans of the genre. When compared to the first iteration of the franchise this game seems perfect in many ways and shines with greatness. Without that comparison the game does have somewhat of an unfinished feel to it at times with the graphics and gameplay mechanics. The storyline is up and down but overall a good story and the game is full of quests and plenty of blood to spill. Two worlds II has plenty of variety to satisfy any RPG fanís needs. Iíll spend many hours with this game and there is no doubt in my mind that I will finish this to 100% completion. I would definitely recommend this game to anyone out there that is a fan of the genre. There are many things in this game that I just donít have the time and space to go into without boring you to death. Just go play it and experience it for yourself.