Just the name gives some gamers chills. Two Worlds was easily one of the worst games of this generation. Initially, it was not a very well received RPG and was frequently referred to as the “poor man’s Oblivion.” For many reasons it stands out to gamers as an all-around bad game. Let’s face it, the console ports were poorly developed and plagued with issues, and the PC version wasn’t exactly a dream either.
The majority of gamers probably didn’t sink many hours into the first game, but how could they? The game was–putting it nicely–a big mess. Due to this fact, it’s easy to see how someone would lose interest early on. But for those who were able to look past the technical issues, it wasn’t long before they were greeted by another of Two Worlds’ many problems — the terrible voice acting. The main character quite simply sounds like he’s reading from a script the entire time. You’d quickly find yourself muting dialogue and resorting to subtitles in order to end the tortuous monotone.
If you’re still looking at the original Two Worlds with any remaining shred of empathy, here’s yet another particularly below average aspect–the combat system. Quite frankly, it just seemed like there was nothing good about this game. Most players understandably gave up on it, but there were a select few that actually continued moving forward. While it was a grueling task, some of those who kept playing actually found some perverse spot in their hearts for the game. Despite its issues, it had a decent story and plenty of quests to keep anyone occupied for quite sometime. The further you ventured into the game, the more awesome enemies became. Antaloor had plenty to do and much to explore — if you had nerves of steel.
When it was first announced that there was going to be a sequel to Two Worlds, most simply asked why? The first game was enough to disinterest anyone in the series, and some would probably pay for them not to make a sequel. As time passed, the game began to show a lot more promise than the first, but would it eventually deliver? After 12 hours and 20 levels, we can tell you this game is a lot better than the first. It fixes much of what was wrong with the original game, and makes a lot of overall improvements.
It actually starts you off right
In the first Two Worlds, the player is haphazardly thrown into the game with essentially no direction of what to do, where to go, and not so much as a “real” tutorial. Two Worlds II doesn’t make this same mistake, and thankfully helps the player prepare for the upcoming game. You’ll find yourself discovering a bit of story before being introduced to the start of the game. Game mechanics will be no stranger to you at the end of the tutorial.
The first game just dropped you into the game and said have “fun”. The sequel not only teaches you how to do things, but also points you in the right direction when you start your quest. Overall, the beginning of the game is a much more pleasant experience.
Better voice acting and dialogue
The voice acting was one of the main components of the first game that was enough to make anyone not want to play it. Two Worlds II manages to surround itself with better voice acting, which significantly helps make the experience much more enjoyable. The dialogue between characters is a lot better, as it doesn’t sound extremely tacky or fake–like the majority of the first game did.
You’ll find yourself enjoying some of the witty quips from your character, and actually look forward to meeting and talking to different people. It’s a pleasant surprise if you actually played the first game. You’ll actually want to interact with the different characters you come across, as opposed to being forced to do so.
Quests and characters
We’ve played 12 hours of the game so far, and a lot of that time has been spent on both side quests and world exploration. We’ve just barely begun Chapter I, and already we’ve played through more content than most games have to offer. While some of the quests are admittedly basic, so far, each has offered it’s own appeal.
You’ll meet some interesting characters throughout your traversal of the land. Some you’ll like, some you’ll hate, but each character you’ll respond to in someway. In the first game, the majority of characters you encountered often seemed dull or uninteresting. With the sequel, character interactions related to quests are much more enjoyable.
You can actually play the game and it looks good too
No more freezing, crashing, bad framerate, or any other technical issues that the original game was plagued with. You’ll actually be able to swing your weapon, move, and do everything else necessary without all the hassle. The new engine makes this game increasingly more playable.
On top of the impressiveness of the game actually being playable this time around, it doesn’t look too bad either. The graphics have greatly improved from the first game. Two Worlds managed to look like a last generation title, comparable to either the Xbox or PS2. While graphics shouldn’t necessarily make a difference, Two Worlds II is a whole lot nicer to look at.
Improved online play
While the first game attempted to include online play, it was just not very much fun. It suffered from all of the same technical problems as the singleplayer, but amplified by poor connectivity and latency. It was, simply, a dismal online experience. Two Worlds II fixes these problems as well with its improvement of the online play.
You’ll not only find it more enjoyable to play, but you’ll actually find other people playing it. If you were at all interested in the online play in the first game, and actually wanted a working version — you’ll definitely want to give the online in Two Worlds II a chance.
While Two Worlds II may not be for everyone, it’s definitely a game that RPG lovers won’t want to miss when it releases stateside in 2011. For the most part, it fixes what was broken, improves what needed to be improved, and delivers an experience that is actually worth playing. If only the first game had been like this, more people would have actually played and enjoyed it.
If you somehow liked the first game, then you’re going to love the second. If you’re part of the majority of players who were disappointed by the first game and said you’d never touch anything associated with Two Worlds again, you may want to reconsider. The sequel is at least worth trying.
Editors Note: This game will not be released in North America until January 25th. A European version of the of the game for PC was acquired via GoGamer.com. Keep in mind, this is not a review.