Two Worlds II Xbox 360 Review

August 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Features, Reviews, Xbox 360

Publisher – TopWare Interactive – Developer – Reality Pump – Genre – Action RPG – Players – 1-8 – Age Rating – 16+ – Other console/handheld formats – PS3

Two Worlds was widely regarded as an ugly and awful game, with laughable voice acting and a myriad of flaws both minor and deep. With all its problems in mind, it would be easy to expect the worst from its sequel, though it turns out that developer Reality Pump should be commended for making a sequel that is improved in every way imaginable.

Aesthetically, Antaloor is a rather unique fantasy world and, refreshingly, fantasy tropes such as elves and dwarves are  rarely used, it’s also vast, with plenty of scope for exploration and many of the areas are inspired by real world locations. The desert location, with its rhinos, cheetah’s, baboon’s and such is Africa in all but name, whilst New Ashos has a Japanese vibe. Unfortunately when it comes to lore, though, Two Worlds II doesn’t have the richness of some similar games, leaving it as a world that may be distinct and looks and sounds nice, but could have done with more back-story and such to grant depth to it.

The quest design has few real surprises to offer and are all the usual fetch this or kill that tasks, and like many similar games with the volume of sidequests on offer, it relies on these simplistic diversions far too often, though for many the rewards will be enough to hold their interest in spite of how banal the actual quests are. There’s also a sense of humour permeating through a lot of the quests, of which livens them up somewhat.

The mainline narrative suffers from being generic and rarely terribly interesting until the latter stages of the game. The dialogue is far better written than its predecessor, whilst the voice acting is largely half decent at the very least, though some are sure to miss the awful but hilarious acting in the original game.

Two Worlds II doesn’t have classes and it’s left entirely up to you of how you mould your character, as he grows. Every level up will grant you skill points, of which can be spent on stat increases and, unlike many others in the genre, spent skill points can be regained by visiting a soulpatcher, allowing you the chance to completely change the build of your character and giving you the opportunity for experimentation, without ever having to feel that you’re stuck.

The melee combat, whilst far from being unique, works and is enjoyable. Archery on the other hand is for those that like to keep a distance, perhaps favoured by those that don’t want their gleaming armour covered in blood.

Magic is one of Two World II’s more distinct elements. Spells can be crafted by combining cards together, each of which have various effects. There are many possible combinations allowing  a fireball spell,  for instance, to not only inflict damage on your enemies but also to heal you at the same time.

Loot is constantly useful for one thing or another. You’re nearly always picking up some new weapons and armour, of which aren’t always better than your existing stuff, though can be broken down to upgrade your current kit. There’s all sorts of hearts, brains and appendages to find, of which serve a purpose above morbid fascination, and in combination with other items can be brewed to create portions of varying effects, such as traditional healing or mana portions, to more outlandish concoctions that allow for you to walk across water or jump significantly higher.

If the lengthy single player offering isn’t enough for you, Two Worlds II also offers multiplayer support. There’s death match’s and duels, though more interesting is the adventure mode that allows up to eight players to team up and quest together. On the downside though, it’s difficult to find other players, of which is unfortunate as I’d imagine the game would be enjoyable to play alongside others.

But regardless if anyone is able to be found in the multiplayer component or not, Two Worlds II has a sizable single player mode that may not always do things as well as its contenders, though has a lovely world to explore and has some proficient mechanics that seasoned RPG fans will enjoy exploring, and it would take an odd person indeed to say that this isn’t an immense improvement over the original game, in a way that few sequels are.

It certainly couldn’t have been much worse than the first game, anyway.

8/10

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