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Saying that Two Worlds 2 is a vast improvement over the first game is like saying that you like being able to breathe over having your head caught in a complete vacuum that pulls the precious oxygen out of your lungs as you try to breathe it. Even though the game is indeed vastly better than the first, its still only a mediocre title. Bugs, poor voice acting, and a useless hand to hand combat system plague what could have been a decent game. That is not to say that game is with out merit, just that it fails to reach high marks because of its issues.
The story picks up at the end of the original game. I don’t know a single person that played that game to completion, so I was amazed to find that people online actually had. Your unnamed protagonist is broken out of prison by a rebellion trying to depose the current monarch by any means. Your sister is still held captive, due to her being the vessel for an other worldly entity. You make your way through a castle basement to find the sweet sunshine on the other side. Once free, you begin to unravel the mystery of how the guy on the throne got there.
Within minutes of booting up the game, I realized that conversations between yourself and NPC’s resembled early animatronics. The people you speak to kind of potty dance in front of you while they talk, and the fidgeting really got on my nerves. Also, is infuriating that the entire escape out of the castle, I was picking up weapons and armor, and the game refused to tell me how to open my bloody inventory. I was at least 45 minutes into the game before someone mentioned what button I needed to hit to open my inventory.
The game starts slow, but does pick up after the first few hours. You’ll need to talk to a whole lot of people to get things moving. Two Worlds 2 delights itself in side quests. You will explore caves and dungeons and islands for usually totally trivial quests. The game also doesn’t ever find a nice balance between leading you by the hand, and letting you flounder in its vast world. The first world space you’ll find is absolutely massive and encompasses a vast savannah. That was one of the things that did really impress me, when I say vast, I mean VAST. The first place you explore has got to be at least a few hundred miles of in game space. The designers did a good job of giving each area its own atmosphere, and it feels really natural. Other than the water being kind of flat, I really appreciated the lush and expansive zones.
The magic system in the game is very well done. It uses a series of collectable cards to comprise spells. The cards come in several types and each type augments the spell in a certain way. I liked how by just collecting cards over time, and building up my magic, I became a potent spell slinger and few things were tough enough to put up a fight against it. I didn’t much appreciate that the game stuck by the old cliche that I had to be holding a staff to spell cast. It auto maps your spells to left and right mouse clicks, and in the default combat engine, those are your attack buttons. It took me a while to realize that my staves had attacks that could be accessed by pressing the spacebar.
The vanilla combat engine in TW2 is a very mixed bag. I liked the diversity of the weapons I could use, and how much leeway I had in customizing them. That didn’t save it from being the focal point of my ire though. Each weapon has only three attacks. Period. That means that if you decide to be a warrior class, your going to be doing the same three attacks for the entire game. Especially if you focus on just one class of weapons. The enemies have certain resistances, so focusing on just one weapon class will make fighting resistant variety of enemies very difficult. Honestly, this is one game where it pays to multi class.
I also didn’t like that while the magic system was very cool looking, it suffered from being very over powered. If you build your spells right, even early in the game, you will never have a reason not to be a mage. I don’t think I ever pulled out a bow. I’m sure that I could have, I just never needed to. Also, while the game allows you to execute stealth kills, it gives you very little opportunity to do so. As such, my assassin’s skills went woefully unappreciated. With so much variety of how to handle things, it was very disappointing that the only really effective way was often to annihilate things with a big spell.
I got very little out of the story. It explains itself through conversations and cut scenes quite well, but with the voice acting being as low quality as it was, I just didn’t care. The conversations got really tedious after a while, because for the most part, it sounded as if the dialogue was being delivered with the same tenacity as I would read my shopping list. Not the good “chocolate pudding and sex toys” shopping list either. The tooth paste and tax returns supplies list. The faces of the people were also often very unemotional, so it lent no personality to the people I was talking to. I might as well have been talking to stoic portraits of the person I was in front of.
The inventory and menu systems were cool, I’ll give it that. You have options to do a lot of personalization to the armor and weapons through upgrades available to you on the fly. I liked how when I found a cool abilities or attributes crystal, I could often immediately turn around and sock it into my item of choice. I also really liked that I could change my armor colors, so that if I got two pieces of armor that didn’t match, I could dye them and change that. It made it easyer that I could break down most of the chaff stuff that wasn’t worth selling for materials to improve the items I had equipped. Even though a few of the weapon and armor requirement levels were a bit extreme at times, I still found it to be one of the best parts of the game.
Leveling and stats felt off. You level very fast, but have to be careful about how to stat things out. Putting lots of points into your magic is what I did most of the time, as it gave the most back. One of the nifty things is that you get skill points for doing certain amounts of menial tasks. Beast hunting, and lock picking, etc. Those random stat points come in awful handy, especially when going into the longer dungeons. They will help you survive the many hardships between you and your goals.
Overall, what I liked about Two Worlds 2 outweighed what I disliked about it. Its not a great game, but it provides
enough to do and see that it is worth playing. It will get really annoying at times, and it likes to spring overpowered monsters that you’ve never seen at the drop of a hat, but if you play as a mage, you’ll be able to offset that with summoning a small army of your own troops, and making fire rain from the sky. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the spells either, I found my winning combo completely accidentally. You might too.
I personally would wait for this one to hit bargain bins. I don’t think its honestly worth 50 bucks at this stage. If the mutli player was better, and didn’t sock you into a prequel style set of missions, it might be worth 30. Like it is now, My advice would be to wait for this one to hit around 25 or so. To me, that seems like a good deal as far as content and gameplay is concerned. It bothers me that game companies are really ignoring co-op gameplay. Two Worlds 2 settles for a series of missions that play in the same areas, but don’t ever address the main story, and that is a cop out in my opinion. Reality Pump has come far from the first game, but shows in this one they still have miles to go before they reach a place where the quality has reached the hype.
Two Worlds 2 is available on PC, Ps3, and Xbox 360. It was developed by Reality Pump, and published by TopWare Interactive.
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