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A Game of Two Worlds: Gamebanshee Reviews Two Worlds II

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A Game of Two Worlds: Gamebanshee Reviews Two Worlds II

Review - posted by Crooked Bee on Fri 3 August 2012, 08:59:10

Tags: Eric Schwarz; Reality Pump Studios; Two Worlds II

Gamebanshee's Eric Schwarz, also known as sea, has penned a detailed 5-page review of Reality Pump's open world action RPG Two Worlds II. It has a lot of good points, and obviously I cannot quote them all for you, but here are a few snippets:

Two Worlds II is, in some respects, literally a game of two worlds. On the one hand, it has some of the best visuals I've seen in an open world RPG, it has a fantastic soundtrack, it's mechanically quite sound, and when the game tries for it, there are some surprisingly involving sub-plots and quests. On the other hand, the lack of polish becomes evident immediately and never lets up throughout the entire game. At its heart, Two Worlds II is an enjoyable open-world RPG that has several good ideas and entertaining sequences; whether it's worth putting up with the game's many shortcomings and frustrations, however, will come down to personal preference more than anything else.

[...] Two Worlds II's story is more a framing device for its huge selection of quests and content. The entertaining parts of the game come in the smaller moments, and much of the game's satirical bent comes out in these moments, ranging from simple tasks like saving a saleswoman's clients from killer umbrellas, to a full-on parody of Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade's final sequence (complete with arbitrary Monty Python references). At times, it breaks the fourth wall, but this is also when the game is at its most enjoyable.

[...] Unfortunately, the story highlights one of Two Worlds II's biggest internal contradictions: that while it's billed as an open-ended game with freedom to explore, the reality is that the game is actually quite linear. [...] Open-world games revolve around sandbox-type gameplay, exploration and a player-driven sort of experience. However, Two Worlds II doesn't really reward exploration. Almost every cave or dungeon to explore is locked until its associated quest is provided, and thanks to map markers, you'll rarely be lost on where to go or how to get there. This means that, rather than strike out on your own in search of adventure, you'll need to rigidly follow the quests provided.

[...] Fortunately, Two Worlds II has some surprisingly robust and enjoyable mechanics that flesh out its RPG feature set. For starters, it features a fully open, classless character system. This means that it's possible to make pretty much any character you like, at least within the confines of what the game offers, and it encourages mixing and matching rather than sticking to one specific role. The game also has just the right number of attributes - Strength, Willpower, Endurance and Accuracy - and pretty much every single skill you can pick up is useful, from various crafting skills, to pickpocketing and assassination, to elemental arrows. Leveling up is pretty quick early on, but late in the game you'll be getting most of your experience points from quests. There's some satisfying character progression on tap, although like a lot of other titles, Two Worlds II does have a strong inverse difficulty curve.

[...] Last, and most interesting (especially for Elder Scrolls fans), Two Worlds II has a pretty interesting and original magic system which revolves entirely around creating your own spells. By using magical cards with different properties, it's possible to summon various creatures, apply buffs, throw around elemental bolts, and just about anything else you'd expect from an RPG, but with the added flexibility of being able to choose how you use those base components to your advantage. While not as flexible as Morrowind's spell creation, it allows for a lot of experimentation, and lets you decide how to spec your spell list, unlike some RPGs, which saddle you with dozens of fixed spells that grow obsolete over time or are simply useless.​

Be sure to read the full review.

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