A Two Worlds 2 Review-ish Thing

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I did something I probably shouldn’t have the other day, and that thing was purchasing a game called Two Worlds 2. I want to give all of you a little rundown on what my first few hours playing Two Worlds 2 was like. This is by no means a review, as I doubt I played a substantial enough portion of the game to even have something that resembles a proper opinion for a review. I just want to inform you about a few things just in case you are actually considering picking this game up. These are just my humble impressions of the small chunk of time I spent with the PS3 version of the game.

The game starts out with a lot of promise. You are placed right into the character editor from the get go and the visuals during that part of the game would have you believe you’re in for something pretty cool. That’s not exactly the case. There are a good number of sliders, the standard things such as brow height, eye color and spacing, hair styles, etc. I was able to craft a fairly cool looking character that started to bother me a bit because he resembled my crazy Uncle Tom. I know none of you know him, but if you did, you wouldn’t want to be running around in an RPG as him. It was unsettling, to say the least, but I went with it. The main character’s arms are also kind of stubby and there was no way to adjust the length. It’s a minor quibble, but still kind off-putting.

After you get out of the character editor, you are thrust into some kind of wacky prison break scenario and you are treated to some of the fugliest orc characters you’ve seen in a game. I’m not talking about them being bad looking in a good way. I’m talking about them looking like models from a PS2 game. There is some dreadful dialog you sit through from the orcs, some evil dude, and your sister, and then you make a run for it and eventually get out of the fortress you were imprisoned in. None of this intro scene made me interested in what was going on in the slightest. I realized how little I cared when I caught myself watching my son play FFIV on his DS instead of actually giving a crap about what was happening in the game. It was all pretty standard RPG fare we’ve all seen a million times. As a matter of fact, it was a pretty lame version of what happens during the intro of Oblivion, but with an orc kicking some dude in the head, which added a little extra pizzazz.

After all of that is over, you are treated to the real game. I think perhaps the word “treated” is an overstatement. “You get to play the other part of the game that is different from the beginning”, would be a better way of putting it. This is when I started learning the basic mechanics of the combat system. You learn melee combat, ranged combat with a bow, stealth attacks, and magic. Out of all of these, the stealth combat performed the best because your character actually goes into a canned animation where he kills the enemy from behind. At least in this case it actually looks like you are making contact with the enemy.

The regular melee combat was pretty dreadful, with spotty collision detection and clunky animation. The fights just weren’t satisfying at all. Mashing the R2 button and spinning around like an idiot with trees and bushes obstructing my view of the combat, isn’t really my idea of a good time. You can perform a counter attack move where you block an enemy’s attack and quickly respond with one of your own. This usually resulted in the enemy being thrust into a violent rag-doll seizure and flying 20 feet away into the bushes. This is amusing in its own way and sad in another. The ranged combat had potential, but your arrows fly at the speed of an overweight seagull in the rain and targeting is kind of a chore. Magic… ah the magic. It was decent enough. You aim a reticule and shoot magic. The horrible thing about it is every time you use magic, your character decides to say something—every time. The worst part of this was when he would just spout pure gibberish that, I think, was supposed to sound like he was chanting a magic spell. It really just came off as some dude trying to talk backwards or like someone making those sounds you make as a kid when you’re being an ass and mimicking a foreign language you don’t speak. While I’m on the subject of talking after doing something every time, I’ll have you know your character also likes to rattle off one-liners after every kill. Lovely things like, “HAH! HA…HA!” or “Bet you’re not so glad you met me” or other garbage like that. Why some developers think things like this are ok and then don’t include an option to turn off the speech in the game, is beyond me.

Speaking of sound and all of that business, the dialog is pretty painful to sit through, but the voice actors do a pretty decent job of delivering their lines. Too bad the guy who was in charge of placing the voice clips in the game didn’t do as good of a job. Spoken dialog is often cut short leaving the last few letters of the last word in a line out of the sound clip completely. While this isn’t a huge deal if you turn the subtitles on, it is extremely irritating and just totally unnecessary. If I pay $60 for a game, at the very least, I expect the audio to not irritate the hell out of me. Since your character does shoot off one-liners after every successful kill and every time he casts a spell, if someone else talks or any other scene cues while he is rambling, it will just completely cut him off, further taking you out of the game. If the developers had included the option to turn off the speech in the game, I think I might have been able to play it a little longer.

On the other side of the sound, the good side, we have the music. The score for Two Worlds 2 is excellent. It’s not head and shoulders above any other RPG, but it definitely fits the mood of the game and is appropriate overall. There are no out of place metal guitar riffs (at least as far as I was into the game) and it was great music to accompany my wandering.

However, the wandering itself was quite unfulfilling and I eventually found myself walking around on cliffs looking for a cave that I had apparently discovered on my map, yet it wasn’t visible anywhere in the game world. I stopped looking for it and decided to take a swim in the ocean below. This turned out to be a rather poor choice, as it led to me swimming for a good 10 minutes or so before I actually found a place I could get back up onto land from. I did discover some fish though. They swam around in the water. Once I got back onto dry land, I ran into a bunch of Groms and proceeded to fight by flailing about wildly with my sword and blocking with my weird, stilted blocking animation. I may not have played for long, but I could already see where this game was taking me and I didn’t like it.

I do need to mention the crafting system though. It’s unique and it definitely has a lot of potential, but the game isn’t good enough to actually make me want to find things to craft with the crafting system.

Overall, Two Worlds 2 is not my cup of tea, but if any of you are just so desperate that you can’t wait for Dragon Age 2, rent Two Worlds 2 and just know you have been warned. I doubt I’ll try to play this game again in the future, even when it’s swimming around in the bargain bins, which it will be soon I’m sure. Maybe I just have ridiculously high standards for the games I play, maybe I’m just a jerk, but whatever the case is, my opinion on the matter is this: Don’t waste your time or money. I just can’t get the thoughts about this year’s biggest RPGs out of my head long enough to care about this half-baked offering from Reality Pump. Dragon Age 2 is coming soon and I’d honestly just rather sit on a curb outside of Gamestop and wait for that than play Two Worlds 2.

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