February 4, 2011
Two Worlds II Review
The Two Worlds universe has been some what of a hot topic when it comes to RPG fans. You either absolutely love the game or you absolutely hate it. Many people compare it to the likes of Oblivion and some tout it as the Oblivion killer.
I’ve had Two Worlds II for almost a month now and I purposefully waited to do my review until now because I wanted to see what the major game sites out there such as IGN, Gamespot, and so forth would say about it. The original Two Worlds got a bad rap because of alot of bugs, poor graphics, etc. Two Worlds II seems to be getting similar flak from those game sites. IGN giving it a 6.0 and Gamespot a 7.5.
On a side note I’ve been under the impression for years that money buys you the best reviews and IGN and Gamespot seem to do this alot. I cannot prove that they are paid to say good things about games. However I find it strange that when a no name company releases a game they will constantly tag the title for being unoriginal, poor graphics, bad acting, etc if it is in competition with a game such as Call of Duty and give them a bad score. However, when a new COD game comes out and it’s an exact clone of it’s predecessor like COD: BO they give it high praise while it’s competitor such Medal of Honor gets a bad score for the exact same reasons. That being said lets get on with the review.
Let me start by saying that when I started Two Worlds II I had very low expectations for the exact reasons listed above. Reviews from popular game sites had given it bad marks and thus set my expectations extremely low. However, and thankfully, my expectations have been blown away.
I want to start off with talking about the graphics in this game and I’m going to have to bash Oblivion here. The graphics in Two Worlds II are amazing. There are some stunning “set pieces” within the game. Everything from the wide open fields of anteloor too the bustling cities of Hatmandor and New Ashos have been well done and it appears that a great amount of time has gone into making them feel like real cities and the buildings inside of them all feel unique. One of the biggest complaints I had about Oblivion was how empty the game felt. You would walk into a city with huge cathedrals, massive homes, towers etc and you would only see 10 people in the entire city. Two Worlds II has dozens if not hundreds of people walking the streets, hanging out at shops, living in homes, and it helps add to the atmosphere of the game. The only complaint I really have about the overall look of the game is at times the glare from the sun can blind you and make it really hard to see where your going or the landscape looks so bright it can hurt your eyes and when fighting you can occasionally get caught in a spot where you can’t see yourself and your weapons stop dealing damage… this can be frustrating but aside from that I was quite impressed with the game.
Character models and animations are another standout against Oblivion. The movement, fighting and facial expressions are far better in Two Worlds II. I enjoyed the battles in the game and when you landed a hit on your target it actually felt like you were hitting them.
The sounds and voice acting are a bit of a mix. There are times when the sound quality of the game is fantastic such as with ambient noises, fighting and the talking of vendors on the street. However, with voice acting, there are times when the story’s protagonist is talking that it is extremely monotone but then at other times he’s completely bad ass and then goes entirely emotional. It would of been nice if they would of just given it one personality and not made his voice acting so… schizophrenic.
Many reviews of the game tag the games story as being dull and unoriginal. I found that I rather enjoy the story and I like the pace at which the story progresses. I’m a fan of RPG’s such as KOTOR, KOTOR II and Mass Effect that follow the man quest takes you to location A and at point a you do tons of side quests and when you finish you move to location B and do the same and Two Worlds II does just this. I think this model of game play you can play though the main quest at a balanced pace AND it allows you to complete alot of the game at the same time and not just blast through it and miss 3/4 of what the game has to offer. I was quite disappointed with Oblivion when I beat the game in under 10 hours and had done only a couple of side quests. The side quests within Two Worlds II are enjoyable and refreshing. Aside from having to go kill “killer beavers” that didn’t even fight back I found that I enjoyed every side quest so far.
The leveling and potion systems are fantastic and the ability to create potions of almost any use is extremely useful. We’ve all been there… we are low on health, stranded with now way to restore it. Normally you would be dead right? In Two Worlds II you just hop into your potions tab and sift through the ingredients you have collected throughout the game and construct a health potion. You can even make variants of the same potion that have different levels of potency and then save them to create them again at a later date. I found throughout the entire game I was constantly changing the way I made potions and as I leveled up and my overall amount of health increased I found it easier just to make potions on the fly instead of just creating a standard potion that I used all the time.
In Two Worlds II you aren’t stuck with the character attributes you have chosen. If you progress through the game and decide that you no longer wish to be a Mage and wish to go slaughter the landscape with an axe you can do something called “regression” which will allow you to reassign your attribute points to another class. This can allow you to mix things up if you are getting bored with your current skill set.
Overall Two Worlds II is a great game… it isn’t a Dragon Age: Origins or Witcher slayer but it is a great game none the less. Again I’m going to state that Two Worlds II is one of those games that you will either love or you will hate. Two Worlds II has it’s flaws and if you can overlook those you are in for a fun and exciting RPG adventure. If you can’t deal with those then I suggest waiting for The Witcher II.