Two Worlds II
Available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
(also available in limited Royal Edition)
Game Developer: Reality Pump and Topware Interactive
Publisher: SouthPeak Games
Release date: January 25, 2011
Official website: twoworldstwo.com
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Two Worlds II review summary:
Two Worlds II is a leap forward for the fantasy action-RPG series. Character customization and development is very deep, from designing your own character’s appearance to the exponential crafting of weapons, equipment and magic. Things only get better in Two Worlds II the more time that is invested in it, and there will be many hours to sink in (easily over 20 hours). The world of Antaloor is huge and rich with fantasy (orcs, demons, skeletons, and even the unexpected velociraptors). Some of Antaloor’s environments are particularly thick with rich textures and wildly varied with savannahs, jungles, swamps, and more. A few technical issues pop up very rarely, such as loading of objects and repeat cutscenes, but nothing to impede the overall fun. If you enjoy action fantasy role-playing games, you would do yourself an injustice to miss out on Two Worlds II.
Two Worlds II review
Two Worlds II takes place five years following the original game, with the protagonist locked deep within the Dark Lord Gandohar’s Castle Vahkmaar. The action begins when the former hero is briskly rescued by the hands of unlikely Orc liberators, Dar Pha and her orcish company. Unfortunately, the hero’s sister, Kyra, is not so lucky. Although the hero finds his way out of Gandohar’s grasp in the game’s prelude, from then on he must renew and reinvigorate his strength and wizardry to fight his way back in Gandohar’s castle and free Kyra. Joined by the mysterious prophet Cassara and the orcs, so the tale of Two Worlds II unfolds as the hero sets out in the open world of Antaloor.
Two Worlds II is a third-person action role-playing game set in a huge fantasy world. Antaloor is vast, across many landscapes like the savannah, jungles, swamps, scenic seaside towns and the obligatory dank dungeons. Alsorna, the Council Hall, is finely adorned and detailed with dragon sculptures and weathered stone walls. The lighting and textures are really a sight to behold, particularly the dungeon environments. There is quite a unique eastern feel to some parts of the game as well, so you really get a good variety of settings. The vast landscape, and what lies beneath it, will keep players busy for plenty of hours.
Character development in Two Worlds II is based on how you like to play. Mage, Warrior, Ranger or Assassin, these are the classes you grow into rather than simply selecting from a menu. Skill points can be distributed over many stats. When I started Two Worlds II, I assigned more of my Skill and Attribute points to benefit a Mage class. Soon I went more towards the Ranger route, looking for the distance attack and multiple targeting advantages. In the end, I heavily developed as a Warrior. Combat controls felt good, although the targeting took some get accustomed to.
Weapon sets can easily be swapped with a touch of the d-pad, which made it great to have a balanced character that could dispatch enemies through a combination of attacks. Slow an enemy with an ice arrow, while summoning a demon to cause a distraction and then go in swinging with an axe in each hand. There is a good share of looting players can choose do as well. Do the RPG obligatory lock picking of chests and doors or pickpocket unaware villagers.
Crafting is another skill to develop, which is an easy way to get lost in managing and shuffling your inventory. The developers call it “CRAFT” (Complete Reshaping and Forging Technology), allowing upgrading or disassembling of equipment for making even better gear or weapons. Skill crystals can be fused in equipment and weapons, further increasing the damage. The crafting system almost feels like a mini game in itself, allowing players to experiment with weapons, and even a combination of magic and summoning spells.
The main questline in Two Worlds II is freeing Kyra from Gandohar, but that feels like a grain in the tremendous amount of quests. Some of the most humors and unique little episodes are the gems of Two Worlds II. Some can be downright bizarre. In one of the many quests, you must break a curse of possessed umbrellas (see a clip of them here!). The game is divided into four main chapters, which progressively get shorter in length. As the hero finds different guilds (Brotherhood, Mage, Thief, Merchant), more quests are available on bulletin boards. Random encounters with villagers lead to even more stuff to do. Good thing the game remains open for play after completing the main questline.
Loading time in large open world action-RPGs can be an annoyance, but surprisingly Two Worlds II handles this great. There are a few minor blemishes the player may bump into. On a couple of occasions, I saw black squares pop up where objects should have been, for a quick couple of seconds but they were there nonetheless. During some enemy battles (including one boss battle, which thankfully made easier), enemies got stuck on objects. There was also an instance where a cutscene repeated twice. The good thing is, when you take into account the many hours of gameplay put into it, the glitches did not happen often. These issues are there, and you may or may not encounter them, but they really did not irk me so much to put a damper on the fun.
The sound production is a mixed bag. The soundtrack is excellent (available in the Two Worlds II Royal Edition). From subtle backdrops to thunderous marches, the soundtrack provides a great accompaniment to the fantasy visuals. Voice acting ranges wildly. Some character dialogue and accents are funny, others monotone, but for the most part serious. One thing for sure, there is a lot of voice dialogue packed in Two Worlds II.
Beyond Two Worlds II‘s single-player storyline are a couple of multiplayer games, even a seven chapter multiplayer Adventure campaign. Other modes include Deathmatch, Duel, Village Mode (a Real Time Strategy game hybrid) and Crystal Capture (players team up to score the most Azure Crystals). The Adventure multiplayer campaign allows the player to create a unique character to join up with friends online (but you cannot use your single-player character). For action-RPGs, I’m still mainly a solo-player type, but I did enjoy the multiplayer campaign. It played like a much quicker version of the single-player game, faster in leveling up and in length (could depend on who you are teamed up with). It is good to know there is even more gameplay beyond the many hours in the single-player story, adding even more legs and value to Two Worlds II.
I haven’t enjoyed an action-RPG like Two Worlds II in years. These kind of games come around only every so often. Reality Pump and Topware Interactive really came through with an enjoyable action-RPG this time, taking what they learned in the original Two Worlds and turning it into an RPG gem. Sure, there are some places that could have used a bit more technical polish, but the overall presentation and vast amount of things to do, from character progression to places to explore, make Two Worlds II worth the buy. There is still much I am looking forward to explore and do after over 30 hours of play. If you enjoy fantasy action-RPGs, Two Worlds II is an excellent adventure worth setting off to.
Thanks to SouthPeak Games for making this Two Worlds II review possible!