|System: Xbox 360, PS3, PC|
|Dev: Reality Pump|
|Pub: Topware Interactive|
|Release: January 25, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
The central storyline offers enough impetus to continue through the game, but it's certainly not going to have you sitting on the edge of your seat. That said, it's briefly interesting at times and some of the characters are genuinely unique, which is more than you can say for most fantasy games.
Two Worlds 2's more important story elements are dynamic. It's about the player creating his/her own story during the play experience. It's hard not to craft your own tale automatically when romping through the forests and slaying wild beasts. Two Worlds 2 helps this idea along in some really neat, occasionally brilliant ways.
Early in the game I walked into a town I had to pass through to get to another city. The town was destitute and starving due to a recent drought. As I came to the gate to the next town I was told I'd need official papers to pass through. I left to try to figure out what that meant when a man approached me, telling me he could supply what I needed...for a hefty price tag. All of this seems completely ho-hum so far, but what happened next was legitimately brilliant open-world game design.
The son-of-a-gun made off with my money!
I was annoyed at first, and I vowed to hunt him down and put an arrow in his back. I continued walking around the town until I met another person offering a similar service. This time, I was at least a little less surprised when the guy made off with my money and locked himself inside his house. These weren't glitches in the game code though. They were storytelling moments meant to pull me into the world. You can tell the player fifty times that the town is starving and desperate, but it was far more effective to involve me in the town's struggles, making me a personally-affected victim of the town's desperation.
Two Worlds 2 has some amazing moments that I won't soon forget, but it's still such a mess in some ways. The online modes are also potentially cool and unique, however they're completely unbalanced. There's next to no matchmaking in the dueling mode and the match is an instant landslide if the players are more than one level apart. However, there is some fun to be had with the group quests. You can gather up to eight players online to run chains of quests together. This mode is fun, but to a limited degree. Plus, the small amount of players online right now makes it kind of hard to get good games going.
Two Worlds 2 is an improvement, but not a complete success. It still has many areas that need a lot of work, but if you can get over those parts then you'll have a good time exploring the rich, vibrant game world. Reality Pump has gone a long way since Two Worlds 1, and they've got a long way to go still. But Two Worlds 2 is a definite step in the right direction. Let's just hope that the original Two Worlds didn't damage the series' reputation to the point that people are wary to try Two Worlds 2.
CCC Freelance Writer