Brutal Gamer’s preview of Two Worlds II and a lovely gallery of images!
The exclusive images can be found at the bottom of the article in thumbnail form. Simply click on the image and it’ll open up another page in full, original size.
It’s been well over 2 years since the first Two Worlds was released by TopWare Interactive. The first title was criticised heavily by the press, claiming the game to be an unstable and buggy mess, not something which you’d like to hear about one of your first attempts at a console game – I guess that means the sequel has a lot to make up for, but has it delivered? You’ll have to read on to find out.
Two Worlds II is set 5 years after the point where its predecessor tragically ended, with the world on the brink of the abyss and the hero of little use because of his failed, yet valiant attempt beforehand to save the world. In the past we saw an undying war between the Orc and Human races, but things have changed in those 5 years and the Orcs have now came to the rescue to free our hero who has been locked away within the dungeons of Gandohar’s Castle. So time is a healer.
You’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to have finished the first game in the series to understand what is happening in Two Worlds II, at the beginning of the game you’ll be able to sit through a short cut scene which sums up the events of the past game. Handy!
So this is where our preview properly begins. This is where we were walked through the game and were able to play it. Excited yet? We start off in the eerie dungeons of Gandohar’s Castle which works as a tutorial-like area for the player. It shows the basic mechanics of the game such as sprinting and jumping, as well as the new addition of physics-based puzzles, like moving objects to climb to higher places – simple yet effective. As we continued through the dark dungeons, we started to notice how fantastic the game looked already, even with months more extra time of polishing ahead of it. As far as multiplatform titles go: this was stacking up to be one to look out for, even after playing the game for such a short time.
After the short section of dungeon crawling following a member of the Orc race, you learn another new skill which has yet to be seen in the series- sneaking. As with any game, it’s used to sneak around areas where you don’t want to be seen as well as for spying on enemies and to listen in on their conversations The exact scenario in which it is first shown off is watching that evil bastard Gandohar and his right hand man plot their next terrible move. After watching the short cinematic, we’re given the chance to have a quick wander around the very impressive, mainly-marble, throne room to see all the different pieces of attention to detail, like the heat waves distorting through vials of liquid and the reflections of the character in both the marble floors and the mirrors.
Shortly after drooling all over the endless mountains of shiny marble, it’s time to make a quick escape with the games sprint ability, otherwise you’re going to be getting very friendly with plenty of archers and an army of soldiers which are right up your backside trying to turn you into freshly cut sausage.
Immediately after we were shown another new area within the game, the swampy area in which plenty of zombies and beasts are lurking amongst the dirty waters. This is the first time the game’s GRACE engine truly shows its power, even though it’s 2 years old it’s still looking bloody brilliant with a tremendous frame rate (no hiccups whatsoever, unlike its predecessor) Considering the game’s draw distance in the open areas is literally for miles I did expect the occasional bit of pop in, but for the half hour or so of playing around within the area, not the slightest bit was to be seen.
Luckily, we were able to play both the Xbox 360 and PC versions of the game and you’ll be pleased to know there is very little graphical difference between the two platforms, so you should be pleased regardless of which one you pick up. The only major difference was the way the game is controlled, due to the PC having many more buttons for shortcuts to be placed on, it was easier to control. Nevertheless, the 360 version was still excellent with the newly added radial menu, allowing the player to switch between armour sets, skills and other items in a split second.
Over the whole preview event; both played and shown, easily the most notable (and honestly, best) feature about Two Worlds II was the improvements. Seemingly completely remade, the combat system within the game is much better. Instead of pretty much one animation of a sword swing being repeated hundreds of times, it has a whole new combat system where attacks are turned into combinations and will vary depending on the weapon you’re using, there’s guaranteed to be something different each time. And with the incredibly nifty armour set shortcut keys and the massive amount of variation which is available with the 200 weapons and god-only knows how many armour pieces, there is another variation for anyone who is into the whole ‘decking your character out’.
As with any RPG title, you’d expect there to be a massive area for you to explore, right? Again, Two Worlds II doesn’t let you down. In total, there is around 60km x 60km of land mass for you to wonder around aimlessly, and if you find something interesting enough, the game will award you with anything from experience to new skills to books full of information that adds to the back-story of the game. If you’re not digging the idea of only be able to explore one major island, a small surprise is coming your way with the new addition of being able to sail the high seas (which is a separate skill) so you can go out and see the other small lumps of land, which you never know, may house some impressive treasures.
Unfortunately, Two Worlds II doesn’t offer a straight up co-op/jump in, jump outfeature like its predecessor did – instead offering a complete overhaul with its multiplayer features. There will be 3 new options for you to pick from: Adventure, where you and other players are set scenarios and objectives that in addition will entail being able to trade items etc, straight up Player vs. Player mode, and Village mode, which is similar to a small economy manager where you can create your own village and have people visit it.
I very rarely say that a games sequel is a stellar improvement on the original, but this is the easiest time I’ll ever say it. Before playing Two Worlds II, I wasn’t in all honesty, that bothered about the game being released due to how much of a disaster Two Worlds (1) was, but Two Worlds II is now two hundred percent (sorry) on my radar and I’ll be watching everything that is released about the game like a hawk. If you played the first one, please don’t instantly ignore Two Worlds II because you know what the first one was like, it’s hard to believe it’s even the same game – you’re going to be shocked with what TopWare Interactive have managed to pull out of their magical little hat.