Review: Two Worlds 2

Two Worlds 2 is the new RPG game from Reality Pump and is the second instalment of the Two Worlds saga which brings you new places to explore in the war torn world of Antaloor. Along with the new areas a streamlined combat and magic system have been introduced, but more importantly it offers a multi-player mode which brings more to the game, and with up to 8 new multi-player modes will keep a fair few adventurers happy. After a few delays in getting the game released, it was interesting to see whether or not the extra time had been worthwhile.

As you start the game you get the chance to adjust the look of your character, and let me tell you, you have a lot of options.  The normal stuff is there like hair colour and hair style but there are more intricate things like changing the width of the top of the nose. Once you have spent an hour or so getting the character just how you want it, you are ready to step into the world of Antaloor.

While completing your quest magic plays a large part in the success or failure of what you’re out to achieve. The spell system can, at first, be very difficult to get your head around, but after playing with for a while I began to understand how to make my own spells. The idea behind the spell system, which is called Dynamic Enchantment, Magic, Occultism & Necromancy System (DEMONS for short) basically works like a card game where you have a selection of cards which do certain things and you need at least one of each for the creation of your spell. It’s a bit like the way you create your own weapons in Fallout, and something that really interested me as a player, and again added another level of character development.

Magic won’t always cut the mustard though, and you’ll need to get physical from time to time. The combat system has been updated a lot since the first one but I still found it clunky at times.  I found myself using the bow a lot more than I really wanted to, which was OK, but what I found annoying was when using the bow from a distance at a target they would start running towards you. So what’s the problem I hear you ask? If said target has a friend they also start charging toward you! However, when you shoot at one, the other runs toward you and your weapon automatically targets the closer enemy, which can prove a little frustrating.  Something I did like however was having 3 different styles of play: melee, ranged and magical. You have full sets of armour for each class too, so for the magic class you can have robes and the like, and then when you change to your melee class your whole armour set will change along with your weapons to what you have selected for that class. It’s a great option and it can really mix things up when you’re in combat.

The crafting system is a very simple but great addition to the game it gives you another level of game play which I found a welcomed feature and is very simple to get used to. When you’re dispatching enemies you get to loot their bodies, as in most RPGs, but then you break down the sword that you have picked up into its core components.  So a sword would give you wood, iron and steel, this in turn will let you upgrade the weapon you have giving it more damage.  If you start disenchanting a magical weapon, for example a staff, you will also get stones from that school of magic, so disenchanting a staff of fire will get you a fire stone and some wood.

The other part of the crafting system is herbalism. All around the world of  Antaloor you will find many different plants which you can collect and make things from, like mana potions and healing potions.  You can also make potions to get you bonuses to your attributes such as strength and much much more, which for me really gave a link to the world and made me want to explore it more to see what else I could collect. You can also collect meat from animals and cook them up to see what you get or mix plants and meat together to see what you get. I did, at some points, forget the quests I was on to go and look for flowers to see what I could make. After every concoction you make, you get to name it and also get it on a scroll for future use which is a great option.

The music that is used inside the game really brings it to life in so many ways.  You could be walking along a desert pass and you really get the feel of the place with the style of music that plays.  The same can be said for the sound effects, they really do sound good like when you swing a sword around your head. Sadly though it’s not all good news. I found the voice acting terrible at some points and put that with out of sync mouth movements and really long pauses between people talking, it really hurt my sense of immersion and in this day and age where the console market is so competitive, things of this magnitude should not be happening in a simple RPG.

Graphically though the world of Antaloor is an amazing place, it seems to go on forever.  There are so many breath-taking views, which I found really brought the game to life. Sometimes the world was very hard to navigate due to the large amounts of vegetation that looks like it was put in the wrong place.  However, other than that I was blown away by the 3D engine and the realism of the places I went to. When you reach a town and you look at the buildings you really get a sense of it being real with the textures that have been used, but it’s not just the places that look really good, it’s also the Denizens that inhabit these locations.  The style of clothes really works well and you can tell there has been a lot of attention given to the look and style of this game.

But despite all of this working well (apart from the vocal work) it’s the core gameplay itself where I felt a bit let down. Some of the quests I came across are intended for exploration only which can be a bit of a bore when all you want to do is get on with the main quests and kill things. It also would have been nice to know who I could talk to in the towns instead of walking to everyone to see who says what. RPGs are hard to balance between adventure and action, but at times this feels like it leans too much on the side of searching for things. It’s a shame, because generally I enjoyed my time questing and also felt the layout of the controls on the 360 were very intuitive.

Multiplayer in Two Worlds 2 has taken a huge step forward with 8 multi-player modes, one of these being co-op which will allow you to team up with up to 7 of your friends. Also  available are the old favourites such as Death Match and Duel and many more. When you get online with Two Worlds 2 you will have to make a second character which will be your online character, a bit like the days of Diablo 2. Having spent a chunk of time developing your main character this is a bit of a pain, but it’s a good distraction from wandering alone even if it doesn’t engross you for all that long.

Whether or not you’re into RPGs Two Worlds 2 holds a cornucopia of things to keep anyone interested from combat to picking flowers. The main elements of an RPG are a little broken here, but if you can overlook some of the bad voice acting and occasional clunky game play, then what you have is an exciting adventure that will keep you coming back time and time again.

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