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I, for one, hated Two Worlds. It was just stale, bland, and so stiff that I was bored every second I played it. However, the features promoted in the sequel were just too much to turn down. The game turned out to be better then I expected, and is now one of my favorite games.

Two Worlds 2The premise is trite and the ‘escape from capture’ storyline has been done to death. I really wish fantasy game writers would give us some other excuse for having an item-less nobody to start the game with. It’s once you’re past that, however, that the game opens up. Once you’re free of the constant cut scenes and nonstop hand-holding, you find a massive world, just begging for exploration. Said world is gorgeous and just begs for you to see every inch of it.

Two Worlds 2

This picture to the left was from my first adventure on my own. I walked outside the city gates and was just enamored with the view. The vulture also captured my attention, just by being so believable.

The sound in the game isn’t bad, but also doesn’t stand out in any way. The only thing that stands out to me is how much I dislike the main character’s gruff, raspy tone. He needs a throat lozenge, I think.

The game’s combat usually devolves into chaos, but beneath the chaos there is an order. Using the proper weapon for your foe and crafting upgrades from the remains of items you’ve broken down into parts is an important part of the game. Magic involves making spell cards that combine a power (like force, fire or ice), a delivery (missile, trap and the like) and a modifier or two (like homing). I tried a force trap, and it produced – no lie – boxes and junk when it went off. It was funny but not very useful in combat.
The game’s minigames are some of the best in the genre. The lock picking one  may be the best I’ve ever seen, but it’s the gambling game that gets me.You’re looking into a bowl (using your mouse to change your view) and throwing dice in one of two games. One involves getting a higher combined score on two rolls of three dice then an NPC opponent, and the other is dice poker. The poker one is my favorite but I swear it’s rigged. Every time I’d get confident and up the ante (literally), the other player would start throwing a shutout. Full houses on first roll, three of a kind first roll, and just putting me to bed turn after turn. I blew a large sum of money there… I have a small gambling problem (meaning, I’m broke now and can’t gamble anymore).

My biggest complaint has to be the intro to the game. I have to boot it, shut it down via task manager, and start it again to skip this God-awful long intro cinema. It takes less time to start the game, open task manager, shut it down, and start it again then it does to sit through that stupid cinema. No button on my keyboard works to stop it until I shut it down and start it again. It’s a major headache for me. Other then that, sometimes the AI hits you from places you can’t hit them back (i.e. on a ridge, behind a fence, etc.), and the game has crashed on me. Other then that, though, it’s a solid experience.

If you’re looking for an open-world RPG to tide you over until The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim launches on 11/11/11, you could do far worse then to play this game. I don’t know how it will stack up against Dragon Age 2 (coming Tuesday, March 8th), but we’ll see. I think it will be different enough to remain relevant. In fact I hope so: this game deserves more recognition that it’s gotten. Two Worlds 2 is out of this world. Alphasim out.

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