Two Worlds 2 Review
Two Worlds 2 is a graphically beautiful game, with fairly deep character customisation and an interesting and varied leveling and class (if you could call it that) system. With one catch, there are no classes at all.
There are a total of 4 stats, Endurance, which determines your total health, Strength, which determines your melee damage and how much you can carry, Accuracy, which determines your damage with a bow and your aim with said bow and Willpower, which determines your mana/spell power.
Seems pretty simple at first, but what you find underneath all that, is one of the most enjoyable RPG leveling experiences you can find. Your leveling system is fairly standard RPG fare, kill monsters, complete quests, earn XP. Simple as that. Each level gains you several stat points to allocate as you choose, along side those stat points are skill points, which you may also allocate as you choose. How you play your class will affect where you will want to spend the points. For example, a mage/necro/spellcaster will want to spend alot of their stat points in Willpower, which is fairly normal, but the skill points is where it gets more interesting.
To learn different skills, you need to buy or find different skill books around the world. These books will teach you the skills, which then allow you to spend points in them, leveling them up. These are also fairly standard, but you won’t be getting enough points to max out everything. Casters may spend their points on anything they like, sword fighting abilities, trapper skills or magic skills. Its the same with any other class you choose to play, there is no limitation on what you can spend your points on (apart from needing stats leveled to a certain point to get past x amount of points). Want a few sword attacks thrown in so you can get down and dirty when your enemies are in your face? No problems.
You can do whatever you like.
Now onto the game-play, once again fairly standard hack and slash if you play a fighter class, you have several moves at your disposal, defensive and offensive and being able to use some of these moves depends on what weapons you have equipped. Some skills require you to have a sword equipped, others a sword and shield, some need a two handed pole-arm or two handed sword.
As I said, fairly standard hack and slash. That is not to say it isn’t fun, it just doesn’t break any new ground. Casters on the other hand, have a fairly comprehensive spell building system on their hands. You have amulets that you put spell cards in, some will be elements, some will be effects, others will be damage modifiers and so on. Want to summon a fire creature? No problems, just get a fire element card and a summon card, put them both in a locket and you have it. Want to make a devastating attack that will rain earth and fire on the land? No problems, just grab a fire spell card, an earth spell card and an area effect spell card. Its fairly simple, but the limits to what sort of spells you can make are endless.
The game also has alchemy, which is once again, very simple, but very handy. While traveling the world, you will come across herbs and loot organic matter from your enemies, combine these and you have potions, simple right? What makes this even better is, you don’t have any recipes. You have your herbs and organic matter, which tell you their effects, but you don’t know what putting 2 together will yield.
For example, kill some boars and use two of their intestines and you have a fairly weak (good at low level though) healing potion. Add a herb to the mix that makes the potions stronger and you gain an even better healing potion. Potions range from defensive effects (especially magic defense) to ones that will revive you if you die while the effects of the potion are active. Its simple and it works very well.
Two Worlds 2 also features a weapon/armour upgrade system. This one is very simple. While killing hordes of enemies, you will, along the way, pickup heaps of weapons, shields and armour. You have two choices, you may take these back to town and sell them, or you can disassemble them into their raw materials and use those materials to upgrade weapons.
The upgrade system is very linear, its simply a matter of leveling up your metallurgy skill, having the right pieces (things like wood, iron, steel and leather, among others) and clicking upgrade. Upgrading items allows you to socket gems into them. Gems can do a number of things. They can give you a few extra points in one of your skills, a few extra stat points, add damage to a weapon or add defense to your armour. You can also dye your armour, simple colours like grey, green and red, among others. This allows you to customise your characters appearance a fair bit. Armour pieces are basically legs, chest, arms, feet and helmet, you can find matching sets or you can mix and match depending on how you want to play.
Quests consist of the Main Quest (shown in chapters) and Side quests (shown in Areas) in your quest log. The quest log is nice and simple, you can expand individual chapters/towns to show what quests each one has and you can also hide any completed quests you have, so your quest log is never cluttered and you never lose a quest that you have put on hold for later. Tracking a quest is as simple as right clicking it in the log. Once tracking a quest, a flag will appear on your map. The map is quite comprehensive too, with markers for portals (we’ll get to those later), towns, people and areas of interest as well as your quests (even if you aren’t tracking them). The quests are pretty much your standard fare, go here, do that, go there, kill that. But they do it without it feeling monotonous, which is good.
As you travel around the world, you will discover portal gates, which are all linked. Fantastic if you feel your time is being wasted running back and forth across the same stretch of road when all you need to do is hand in a quest. You are also able to lay your own portals (using devices which you find around the game world) which you can use infinite times. The best part is, you have your own portable “portal device” (hehehe) which means you can teleport from anywhere outside.
Enemy types vary quite a lot in the different areas of the game, in the savannah you will see things like baboons (who throw something at you, I’m going to go with feces) and boars, as well as giant scorpions and other nasty creatures called Tailers, who stab you with their tails (Original right?). One very big positive with TW2 is that the enemies are not leveled. I first started in the savannah and was getting my ass kicked. But pretty soon I had leveled a bit and found some neat weapons and I was kicking ass. Its nice to come across something that doesn’t maintain the boring level of difficulty that other games have in the past. Some of them will kick your ass regardless, you just need to find their weakness and exploit it.
There is a fair amount of fighting in close quarters and this can be detrimental to the game-play. As hitting walls with your weapon often causes a bug that allows you to attack super fast (the game still seems to think that you completed your full swing, but allows you to start a new swing as soon as you hit the wall, resulting in you absolutely kicking the creatures ass) but its only a small problem.
There are several mini-games in Two Worlds 2. You have a lock picking game where you have a set amount of time to engage all the barrels, locks range from simple to master locks, the harder the lock, the more barrels to engage and the less time to do it in. These can be quite fun but get old after a while, especially when you break into a locked house with 20 different locked chests and cabinets inside. Turns out pulling your weapon out allows you to swing your weapon and break the lock. Which has a small chance (depending on your weapon) to break or damage the weapon but quite a high chance to break the lock, which is good. There are also many dice games, one very similar to Yahtzee, to bet your money in, but these often feel like the computer is cheating.
All in all, Two Worlds 2 is a pretty solid RPG with some nice graphics, above average voice acting (it did seem to get a bit worse for some characters as the game went on, though) and great game play features. These compound to make this one of the most enjoyable Medieval RPGs I have played in a very long time. Very much worth the investment. I have played roughly 20 hours or so according to Steam and I’m only just up to chapter 2, I think I’m looking at at least 40-50 hours of game-play (if not more) and that is without even mentioning the multiplayer (which I will review at a later time as I have barely touched it!).
Written and reviewed by Haydn ‘nukejockey’ Furneaux