Note: This review is based on the PS3 version of the game.
In 2007 the original Two Worlds was released, and while it had some promising elements, it was generally seen as a disappointment. When I heard that Two Worlds II was on the way, I will admit that I wasn’t that excited. The game came out in Europe and initial feedback was promising, but I wanted to play it for myself. I finally got the chance to do that and I was happily surprised at the quality of some game elements and utterly disappointed with others.
The story in Two Worlds II picks up where the last game left off – with our hero trapped deep within the fortress of the evil Lord Gandohar. You are rescued by a force that is composed of enemies that only a few years before, would have been your mortal enemies. Guess a few years can change a lot right? You manage to escape and you begin your quest to save your sister, the orc race, and to once and for all rid the world of the evil that is Gandohar.
From a gameplay perspective, Two Worlds II is what we would call middle of the road. The hand-to-hand combat is clunky and your propensity to be killed quickly by certain enemies when you least expect it is frustrating. What augments this is your ability to access a ridiculous amount of weapons and to use the game’s CRAFT system to amplify those weapons, making them stronger and more deadly. I really liked the fact that since you will collect several of the same item, that you can combine those items to form stronger versions. With weapons you can combine them together to create something that can do even more damage, or you can break them down into their base elements to be used in other things. Everything in Two Worlds II is this way. In terms of combat, I also liked the ability to use a bit of stealth to sneak up on your enemies and take them down quietly. It’s no Assassin’s Creed, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. When it comes to creating new weapons and spells, the sheer amount of things a player can come up with is amazing, though with spells in particular, I wish it would have been as straight forward as weapons.
The major downfall of Two Worlds II is its graphics and controls. The graphics are not even par for what we should be seeing from RPG’s this generation. They definitely look a generation behind. Some people won’t agree with me on this because Two Worlds II uses a bit of smoke and mirrors when it comes to graphics that might make some people believe the graphics are better than they are. Two Worlds II has a lot of cut-scenes which look much better than the in-game graphics. These are used to really drive the core story moments home. It’s a commendable attempt to make up for subpar graphics, but it won’t convince the trained eye. As far as controls go, they don’t feel tight or responsive at all. When you move your character around, it always feels like you are having to compensate for some invisible force. This lack of solid controls also takes away from the game’s combat – as in most fights you will feel like if the controls were just a little bit better you wouldn’t get killed so much.
If you are a huge RPG fan and can get passed the graphics, I would definitely tell you to get Two Worlds II. It has a lot of things that you will like. Ultimately, Two Worlds II suffers from the same problem that a lot of games from smaller developers and publishers do and that is a lack of budget to deliver the kind of overall production value that consumer today demands. From what we hear, Two Worlds has done pretty well from a sales standpoint, especially in Europe and hopefully that will give TopWare access to the kind of funds to really deliver on the potential demonstrated in Two Worlds II if they decide to continue the franchise. We will admit that RPG’s just aren’t for everyone, but if you are into them, even with all the negatives I have mentioned, Two Worlds II still delivers on the most important element that any RPG should and that’s tons of customization and character development. For making major improvements from the first game and showing tons of potential for what they could do with the franchise with a few more resources, ZoKnowGaming gives Two Worlds II 6.5 out of 10.