What can you say about a game that died?  A game so hilariously bad and widely ridiculed that it was clearly destined to be banished to the shores of the seventh circle of gaming hell.  A game so frought with bugs and issues it could not possibly get a sequel . . . yet somehow  it did.  That game was Two Worlds.  Why did Two Worlds get a sequel?  Because it had great potential.  However, if sheer potential was enough these days I’d be playing Alpha Protocol 2 as we speak.  Such is the curious case of Two Worlds II.  Or as I like to call it – the little sequel that could.

I’m not going to regale you with tales of the absurdity and horrible ridiculousness that was Two Worlds because frankly, the past is gone and we must move on. The year is now 2011 and Reality Pump, Topware and SouthPeak have let the naysayers know they’ve been damned and finally released Two Worlds II upon the North American public.  Yet, I was skeptical.  The first game sucked – we all know that.  Why on earth would they tempt fate and dare challenge the gaming gods by attempting the improbable.  Why not let sleeping dogs lie?  Why on earth would anyone make a sequel to Two Worlds!?  Well, in the words of the developers themselves – “Why the fuck not!?”

And why the fuck not indeed!  Two Worlds did have potential.  An overwhelming shit ton of potential to be precise.  If they could somehow manage to completely fix damn near everything that was wrong with the original game – they could produce an RPG the likes of no other.  An open, expansive, addicting and downright fun roleplaying experience for gamers young and old.  Have they managed to do so with Two Worlds II?  I suppose you’ll just have to read on to find out.

You Are Not Prepared.

Two Worlds II will set you on an epic journey the likes of which you have likely seen before.  It is a tale wrought with cliche and I will summarize it thusly:  You will begin as a lowly prisoner who must rise up and challenge the evil emperor of the land.  Such is your destiny… such is your fate.  Sound familiar?  Good.  It’s your basic RPG fare and quite frankly the story only exists to move you along from quest to quest and town to town as you decide the fate of every man, woman, child and Varn in Antaloor.  The story itself is a continuation of Two Worlds – but no experience with the original game is needed, trust me.  There is no real gravitas, no epic drama, and this certainly ain’t Shakespeare.

Added to this is the fact that the game’s voice acting – while a significant improvement over the first game – is still downright atrocious.  Not to mention that your main character storms around the countryside with the bravado of Commander Shepard and the voice of Solid Snake.  Not that I mind, but I’m sure not everyone wants their character to be that guy who everyone looks at and goes, “Who’s that asshole?”  Well, that asshole is the hero of Two Worlds II!!  Please show some respect – he just saved your mother.  Anyhow, the game also isn’t afraid to poke fun at it’s predecessor (known for it’s horrific voice work) as well as poke fun at gaming culture at large:

I've Been Waiting For This Dialogue Option My Entire Life . . .

This is a typical tale of fate, destiny and glory and it’s one you’re unfortunately soon to forget.  Yet it lies buried within a game that you will be hard pressed to stop playing.  That’s not to say the story is uninteresting – in fact at points it is quite interesting and many quests and dialogue choices are downright delightful (see above)  However, if you came to Two Worlds II looking for an epic tale filled with breathtaking narrative, you’ve come to the wrong place.

That being said – the presentation of the story has certainly been taken up a notch or two.  Take a look at how the developers blend in-game footage and HD cutscenes seamlessly in this next video featuring everyone’s favorite misanthropic second in command, Sordahon.  (Spoiler Alert)

Where Two Worlds II excels is where any good RPG truly should – in it’s addictive attention paid to swords, shields, dragons, demons,  guts and glory.  Unlike many other RPGs,  in Two Worlds II you can be a jack of all trades.  In fact, the game promotes such endeavors.  The skill trees for Mages, Warriors and Rangers are quite deep and by the end of the game you can be quite skilled as all three.  Not only that, but you can swap between armor and weapon sets at any time with the push of a single button.  Want to start out sniping your enemies from afar only to get up close and personal with your mace in their face shortly thereafter?  That’s not a problem in Two Worlds II and the combat itself is fun and rewarding. (Even at times when the hit detection can seem sub-par)  There’s an endless variety of baddies to kill and you will soon learn which of your skills and classes is right for each of them.

It is worth noting however that special attention was clearly paid to mages and the game’s magic system which currently holds the Guinness world record for most possible spells in a video game.  That’s not to say being a warrior or ranger isn’t fun – but you’d be doing yourself a disservice not to explore and utilize Two Worlds II incredibly deep and oft times hilariously good magic system.  What do I mean by hilariously good?  Well, what do you get when you combine a Conjure Random Junk spell with an Air Shield when you’re surrounded by enemies?  The answer is by far one of my favorite possible spells in Two Worlds II that I henceforth shall refer to as the, “Corpse Tornado!!”

SouthPeak actually refers to this spell combination as the “Shitstorm”

31 COMMENTS

    • Yes, but he kept screaming that he wanted to play as Sonic the Hedgehog. I have no idea what he was on about . . .

      Also, thanks. \m/_((><))_\m/

  1. Love the review :), iv heard that the armour and weapons system allows you to break them down and take individual parts out to combine them with separate weapons essentialist making your own unique weapons and armour, is this just a rumour or have they actually put this into the game??
    thanks for the review :P

    • Well, you CAN break down weapons and armor into materials like steel and wood and then use that to make your current items better. You can’t make completely unique weapons and armor but you can enchant and improve upon the items you find if you have the materials and the skills.

      For instance, if you have a bow – you can upgrade it by crafting to do more damage and then perhaps add a gem to it that will increase your accuracy. Breaking down and crafting is one of the things you will find yourself doing constantly in the game. However, you must balance this with the desire to sell these items for Aura$. Personally, I’d say break everything down for crafting and go play dice poker to make some Auras to buy new gear which is constantly appearing in shops. :-)

      Thanks for the feedback.

  2. Let’s get the good out of the way first: This is absolutely the best Two Worlds II review on the web. Most reviewers seem to have given it 4 hours before writing a review, because everyone wants their review out first. I wish it was like the 90’s when magazines didn’t worry how long it took, they finished every game before reviewing it!

    Right now the bad: Why does no one add two words to their two Worlds 1 diatribes – those words are “on console”. It is self centered of console gamers and unprofessional of reviewers like you, who should surely know that the PC version was much better than the console conversion, to just talk down Two Worlds generally like you did. This spoiled the review for me, as PC gaming has a big enough problem without reviewers like you intimating that Two Worlds was bad on all formats when it patently wasn’t!

    • Hey John. I recall you also commented on my Two Worlds II preview article. First of all, thank you for the praise of this review – I worked hard on it.

      However, while I will admit that Two Worlds was easily a better game on PC, it was still not a great or even a good game. Perhaps my words were a bit harsh, but as a PC RPG gamer at heart I simply did not have much fun with or interest in Two Worlds. Quite frankly, had I reviewed it back then I don’t believe I would have scored it higher than a 6 at best. It was a ‘passable’ effort on PC that showed potential. Fortunately, that potential has been realized with Two Worlds II.

      I understand that you are passionate about Two Worlds as a franchise, but understand that I aim to be as objective as possible in my criticism.

      • Objectivity does not translate into fact. Your opinion is that TW 1 was not a good game, my opinion is that it far outshines the sequel in many ways, not the least of which is true free-roaming and much more robust, satisfying game world to explore. The Savannah alone in TW 2 is a vast, empty plain with some scattered animals, Varns, and caverns full of NOTHING REWARDING. Reality Pump delivered on so few of their promises with the game it’s not even funny, but then you’d have to have kept up with the Antaloor Post to know that the game was supposed to:

        1. Have hirelings
        2. Allow you to buy and manage a shop in SINGLE PLAYER
        3. Allow you to steal weapons/armor/items REALTIME from shop stalls.
        4. Be considerably longer than 35 hours, which checking the zuxxez forums seems to be about average for completing the game and most quests.
        5. Read the Antaloor Post issues about Two Worlds II for more.

        I wanted to like the game, and it and the Witcher 2 were my anticipated games of this year, but in the end it was just so disappointing on so many fronts that it collapsed under the net weight of poor design and ambition.

  3. Amazing Review, very detailed one which has now made me want to get it. Do you know anything about the village mode is it any good? as it is one of the things that stood out to me and i cant find anything online about it?

    • Thank you.

      I’m actually playing village mode now. It’s very similar to games like Sim City, Black & White, Tropico etc. However it more closely resembles a 3D version of the iOAS game ‘GodFinger’. You start with 10,000 auras and start to build a village. The village will become self sustaining and you will have to grow it and make sure the people are happy and defend them from invading skeletons and such. The time progression is slow so you only really have to come check on it every few days. You can invite other people to your village but I’m not quite sure what the point is – I think once it’s well built up you will be able to get great weapons and items there that perhaps you can’t find in town. It’s a very interesting concept but so far it’s pretty boring. I’ll be sure to talk more about it in future articles.

  4. This is a great review. Finally somebody nailed it. I’ve been loving this game but haven’t had any luck convincing any of my friends to pick it up to get in on some multiplayer with me. I’m gonna start directing them here.

    Awesome videos too.

  5. This is such a great review! Thanks for all the detail. I’m a bit disappointed that I can’t play as a girl, but that’s understandable since this game’s main story is a bit too linear to allow for a choice in gender… a girl saving her brother would be a bit odd. The game looks beautiful! I’m one of the people who likes to stop and stare at the view :) How is the sailing? I’m REALLY looking forward to that.

  6. I had a really bad experience with the first Two Worlds, but your review made me want to check out Two Worlds 2.
    Really good review and quite fun and entertaining to read.

    And i can relate to your “Throw a bunch of shit in the cauldron and see what pops out” approach.” You may want to try the Mana Khemia ps2 games for that.

    Keep up the good work!

  7. Job well done on the review. I was wondering if you could tell me about the system requirements for PC? I have both a PS3 and a goodish gaming desktop. I guess I don’t need a point for point rundown of each setting…just a general your computer better be damn good or a mediocre computer will suffice. Thanks for the help…

    • Any decent computer can run it on mid level DX9 settings. DX10 takes a bit more muscle, but nothing extraordinary. Trust me, you can run this game.

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