Release: January 25, 2011
Genre: Action RPG – Fantasy
Developer: Topware Interactive/Reality Pump
Available Platforms: 360 (Reviewed), PS3, PC
Players: 1 (offline), 1-8 (online)
MSRP: $59.99 (360, PS3); $49.99 (PC)
ESRB Rating: M (Mature): Blood, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Violence
Website: Two Worlds II
The following story was told by the Hero of Antaloor to Brian Heitzenrater, Scribe of Platform Nation, as they sat in a seedy alehouse in a small port town in Antaloor. All italicized text is from Brian’s opinions on the matter.
I tried to defeat Gandohar, but I failed. The bastard kidnapped my sister and shortly afterwards, he imprisoned me as well. I spent the good part of the last 5 years in his dank dungeons, watching as he slowly tortured my sister. Little did I know though that during those years of captivity, the world had changed. Imagine my surprise when a small band of Orcs, known only as enemies to me, broke into Gandohar’s fortress and rescued me. Sadly though, I had to leave my sister behind. Don’t worry sis, I WILL save you from your living hell, and I WILL end Gandohar’s life. This I promise!
Since I was imprisoned for so long, I had developed muscular atrophy and had forgotten all of my fighting skills from before. I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to relearn them along with building my body back up to full force. From this, I have built up my Endurance (hit points and carry load) and my Strength (melee damage), bettered my Accuracy (ranged damage), and increased my Wisdom (mana). As I gain more and more experience, I have been able to beef up my skills that I have acquired from reading different books that have been scattered across the land. Some of the skills I have learned so far are Death Strike (allows you to assassinate an enemy from behind), Air Mastery (able to use Air magic), and Resilience (enables HP to recover when weapons are sheathed). I am excited that there are many, many more skills for me to learn.
My main goal is to save my sister from Gandohar. Unfortunately, things are never as easy as they seem. I’ve traveled far and wide across the land building up my abilities to aid me with completing my goal. During my travels, I have come across many fellow Antaloorians in need. Some I have chosen to help, others I have not. Most though, I have helped out because I have been able to get something in return whether it be items, experience, or Auras (Antaloor’s curency). There are many guilds that I have joined as well. They offer fame and riches to those that have the courage to stand up and help out with the guild’s problems. Just to give you an idea of some of the things that I have done along my way, I found and delivered a decapitated head for a necromancer. I cleared the sewers of some nasty scorpions for the Thieves guild. I hunted runes for an Orc blacksmith, and I also invested my Auras to help out another blacksmith who was down on his luck. With my help, he now runs one of the most successful weapons and armor trade shops in the desert.
Doing other people’s dirty work can get tiring. Sometimes I’ll take a break to get away from all of the fighting. I have taken up playing music, throwing dice, and horse racing. There are a lot of Auras to be had for the adventurer that can master these games of chance. My problem was playing music was hard except when I played the drums (you can also play the violin, guitar, flute, and harp. You use the 2 trigger and 2 bumper buttons to hit the scrolling notes as they cross over the finish line ala Rock Band/Guitar Hero. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it just seems like this mini game missed the potential it could have had). Playing Dice almost always seemed to yield a loss for me (the A.I. more often than not, rolls a higher number than you), and Horse Racing just isn’t that much fun. The Antaloor horses are very hard to ride and don’t seem to move very fast either. I hear that there’s this cowboy by the name of Barston, or Larston? I don’t know. Either way, I hear tell that his horses are the way to go. They ride smooth as a baby Grom’s behind. Maybe if I ever have to go on another adventure, I will find some of these horses (yeah, the horses don’t control very well and they are way too sluggish. Reality Pump, learn how to control horses from Red Dead Redemption, please and thank you). It’s a pity that these forms of relaxation and entertainment are not as fun as I had hoped they would be. Maybe next time perhaps? Anyway, the point in all of my rambling is that there is a lot to do in the world. Some things may not be as good as others, but there has been plenty to keep me busy in my journey.
There are some other parts of my journey that haven’t been that good either. Some of the enemies that I have fought seem outright stupid. I know that Groms aren’t the sharpest arrow in the quiver, but still, I have encountered some that do the oddest things. Sometimes they will get stuck behind a rock or other solid object and just run in place (glitchy). I’ve even fought a few that just sort of stand there and don’t even try to fight back until it’s too late for them. I know, I know, I shouldn’t complain, but come on guys, give me some excitement. Another weird sight that I have laid my eyes on happens quite often when I come outside. Some of the buildings and other things in the environment will just appear out of nowhere. It’s as if some evil wizard is afoot causing mayhem on my vision. Then again, it could just be the sun in my eyes (or it could be slight loading hiccups and pop ins.. nothing too major though, I’ve seen way worse). One other problem that I ran across during my travels is sometimes I have a hard time focusing my attention on some of the items of interest. For example, I can come up to a chest and it might take a bit of maneuvering around for me to get in that sweet spot so I can proceed in lock picking it. I don’t know why this is, but it can be rather annoying.
Enough about the bad though, let me tell you some of the things that I have really enjoyed with the changing of the world. For one thing, Antaloor looks amazing! It’s almost like it was in a massive dark age, but not anymore. People don’t talk to goofy anymore either. While it didn’t bother me that much, in fact I thought it was downright hilarious listening to them prattle on “Forsooth” and “Mayhap” every other word, I know some people didn’t enjoy this form of vocabulary. Either way, people talk differently now and it’s all for the better.
I’ve found that I can handle my sword easier than before as well as my magic (the game controls pretty nice). I also really, really like that with the snap of my fingers (i.e. pressing left, up, or right on the d-pad), I can change my whole fighting technique from a warrior with heavy armor and a pole arm to a mage with silk threaded robes and a magical staff. This makes fighting enemies a whole lot easier for me as some are prone to magic attacks, while others may have a high defense to magic. This gives me a better chance of not being an underdog during a fight. It is also a lot easier for me to manage my inventory and keep track of the quests that I am on (the menu system is pretty slick and easy to understand). It got pretty chaotic at times doing this in the past.
Magic has improved as well over the last few years. With a bit of practice and a bunch of magic cards, I have become an adept mage! There are 5 magics that I can master; Air, Water, Earth, Fire, and Necromancy. As I level up my mastery of these magic classes, I can utilize more and more of the magic cards to create even more powerful spells. I’m not going to bore you with the details, but let’s just say that the magic in Antaloor is easy enough for the casual caster to spin out some spells, but it’s also deep enough that the most advanced wizard will be satisfied. I’ve discovered from my experience that there are literally thousands of spells that you can create using this card system. This is an A+ for the Mage’s Guild.
One last thing that I would like to touch on before I have to part ways and continue with my journey is the crafting skill that I have learned. No longer do I need to rely on shops and treasure chests as my only means to get an amazing weapon. With crafting, I can upgrade the weapon I have to greater proportions. I can add special gems that can make me stronger or more proficient with my magic as well as offering me protection from elemental magic, among other things. It took me awhile, but I was eventually able to build my very own weapons from scratch as well. Oh and just to let you know, crafting works both ways. Not only can I improve upon my items, I can also break them down to their core elements. A wooden shield will break down into pieces of wood, while a sword will yield iron and steel. I can then use these for my weapon’s improvement, and with that, we have come full circle. Now isn’t that rich? (Crafting in Two Worlds II is one of the nicer elements of the game. It works really well and adds a lot of depth.)
Hero’s Final Say: I am enjoying myself like I never had before during this outing. Despite some of the hitches that I have come across, my journey has been a solid tale of fortune and fame. If you are a fan of action and adventure, and don’t mind getting Grom blood on your blade, then I suggest you grab your sword, bow, or staff and jump into my story and help me end Gandohar’s evil tyranny. It will easily hold you over until the next epic journey arises (i.e. Dragon Age II, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim…).
Brian’s Final Say: WOW! What an epic journey our Hero is on. I’ve enjoyed playing this so far and can’t wait to play some more. I’m over 20 hours in and I am still on Chapter I. There is so much to do in this game, it will easily satisfy the gamer that enjoys exploring every nook and cranny in a game. Two Worlds II isn’t perfect by any means. It does have plenty of techy glitches (think Fallout but not as severe) that I came across while playing, but honestly, none of them were that bad. Nothing that will make the game suck. If you can overlook these minor problems, there is a truly epic world just waiting for the eager adventurer to discover.
+ Huge world with lot’s to discover
+ Magic system and crafting are very slick
+ Practically everything from the first game has been greatly improved
- Still some technical glitches despite the vast improvement
- Mini games are disappointing as is horse riding.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
*NOTE* Two Worlds II has a huge multiplayer online experience that gives up to 8 players, 5 different modes to choose from. Stay tuned for part 2 of my review as I touch on the online aspect of the game.