Saturday, January 15, 2011

Two Worlds II Review

Two Worlds II has not been released in the US yet, but I finished playing the game yesterday. I'm going to talk in depth about the game, specifically what I did and didn't like about it. *SPOILER WARNING!*

The Bad:

You can't customize a character to play (i.e. male or female, mage or warrior.)

There are numerous bugs in the game, but the worst of them had to do with Cassara. On several occasions the voice over did not match the captioning on the screen, and more often than not the captioning went by too quickly to read. It was so badly mismatched and fast at the end of Chapter 3 that I had no clue what I needed to do at the start of Chapter 4.

Cassara is a major character in the storyline of the game, yet your only interactions with her (until the end) are just simple conversations that move you from one chapter to the next. I think she needed to have more of a presence in the game. Similiarly, the story hints at Dar Pha being an important character as well, but you actually interact with her less than any other character in the game. Why is she there? Why does she join you at the end? What is up with this air of mystery around her that is never resolved? I just don't get it.

There were other parts of the story that were never resolved either. The orcs were preparing to attack Gandohar, but you never see that happen. You help to create an army of Verita which is also to attack Gandohar, but you don't see that happen either. The storyline was basically building up to what could have been an epic little battle scene, like you have in Dragon Age at Ostagar, but nothing ever happens.

I felt Chapter 3 was the worst of all of them - it had a nice side story to it, and the plot twist with Gandohar was important when you take the end of the game into consideration, but it just felt really shortchanged. It was nowhere near as long as the first two chapters, and there were very few side quests to take. I saw hints that there were potential quests there that I was never able to get. I think another opportunity was missed with the reunion between Nalia and Aiden. There are all these great little side stories that could have been played up more than they were. It also annoyed me that after the wall came down, you still couldn't use your personal teleport stone.

Surprisingly, I didn't have too many problems with the end of the game. I did run into an issue where I kept getting killed because when trying to escape out of the ballista, I kept ending up in what I can only guess is a mode where you can enter cheat commands (if there are any) or programming commands. I'm not sure which key it was, but it had bad placement.

The Good:

Although you can't customize your initial character, you can customize his attributes going forward, as in most games. In this case though, you have the ability to be not just a mage, warrior or archer, you can be all three! There is even a setting in inventory to quickly switch between armor sets, even during battle. It really came in handy to have built up a variety of skills, especially at the end of the game.

There are a lot of side quests in this game, and the maps are good size. I like to be thorough and play every bit of a game, so I literally spent hours just exploring the maps. I also liked the Savannah and jungle themes. I like that there are islands just for multiplayer mode, and that multiplayer mode is more than just PVP (although I have not yet tried multiplayer.)

The various enemies are difficult, but not impossibly so. One thing I hate with a game is when you are close to the end and you just can't finish it because the enemies or final boss are just too difficult. This is something Two Worlds II does right.

The scenery and graphics in this game are awesome. I loved the details when standing in a meadow of flowers, or standing on a plateau watching a full moon. It was just breathtaking. Swimming was amazing too. I really commend the creators of the game for the level of detail that they have.

With the exception of the problems with Cassara, the voice work was really good, and I also enjoyed the music throughout the game. The story is good, and the ending sets you up for a 3rd game, which I hope they do.

Overall, this game wasn't the fantastic hit for me that Dragon Age was, but it is definitely one of the better games that I have played. It was very enjoyable. Well worth playing.

Check out my gallery of in-game pictures here.

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