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Two Worlds Preview

publisher: Southpeak Interactive
developer: Reality Pump
genre: RPG

ESRB rating: M

release date: Aug 14, 07
» All About Two Worlds on ActionTrip

SouthPeak Interactive and Reality Pump are collaborating on a new RPG, entitled Two Worlds. Reality Pump, a developer credited for titles like the RTS, Earth 2160, may not be broadly recognized as much as other more accomplished developers out there, but it appears they do know what they're doing.

Apart from the inevitable comparison to Bethesda's Oblivion, we noticed that Two Worlds strives to reach fresh and higher grounds by putting together a bunch of innovative elements and combining them with traditional RPG gameplay mechanics.

Two Worlds takes place in a more or less usual fantasy setting. Many years ago, Aziraal, the god of war, has been slain. Scattered and leaderless, the hordes of Orcs were forced to withdraw to the southlands. Many centuries later, a dwarven mining expedition came across an odd ancient temple dedicated to an unknown deity. This discovery triggered a chain of events, engulfing the land in a great conflict. Most of the factions throughout the realm now believe that this revelation could indicate the location of the Tomb of Aziraal. The Orcs may soon embark on a holy crusade, thus becoming a serious danger to other races. However, there's a far greater evil laying in wait, weaving a secret plot against the land.

The game starts when the world is ripped apart by war. The forces of the Orcs are advancing and have arrived to the river Gon, where they threaten to conquer the Kingdom of Cathalon. In the midst of all this chaos, a wandering bounty hunter is on a quest to find his long-lost sister. After receiving an important clue from a mysterious stranger, our hero joins the Dark Brotherhood. As the tale unfolds, players set out on a journey to uncover the secret of the Tomb of Aziraal. At the same time, while struggling to find out what happened to his sister, the hero attempts to find out what role did the unexpectedly helpful stranger have to play in all this...

As you'd expect, the initial part of the game allows the player to modify the appearance of his character. Although Two Worlds limits the choice to the human race (to correspond with the storyline), you will be able to select between male and femal characters. On top of that, it's possible to adjust various parameters like the face, hair, torso, legs and arms.

As I've mentioned earlier, the developers are taking a crack at a few interesting new elements to increase the immersion and spice-up the gameplay altogether. It's commendable to see the designers' effort to throw in the rudiments of a persistent world - torched grass and trees remain burnt until they grow back after rainfall. Sounds pretty cool. It's also good to know that Two Worlds offers players the freedom to pick from a variety of skills they wish to advance in. After selecting a particular class at the beginning of the game, you'll be able to determine the character's progress, choosing a preferable line of skills. As it is common in any RPG fantasy setting, you should never set out on an adventure without mastering a few useful thieving skills, not the least of which is the knack for picking locks. Of course, next to fiddling around with locks, using weapons and wielding powerful spells is one your priorities in the game. Naturally, some skills are used in practice as you advance, while others remain passive; such as certain block moves and so on.

Speaking of spells, Two Worlds features five different schools of magic, all of which draw their powers from one of the basic sources: fire, water, earth, air and necromancy. We were also pleased to learn that the inclusion of necromancy has a special twist. Using powers like raising the dead and controlling their spirits is an entirely optional feature in the game. At the outset, necromancy won't exist, that is not until you complete a particular quest, after which you can make a decision not to restore necromancy. If you do this, then necromancy won't be available throughout the course of the whole game. If players follow this path, they can forget about fighting zombies or skeletons as they continue the journey. Quite an unusual, but original trait wouldn't you say? There's also a handy "skill trainer" included in the game, to disregard certain skills you've chosen to develop, but have changed your mind along the way.

In terms of character development, the game is somewhat similar to what we've witnessed in Gothic 3. In Two Worlds it's always useful to chat with NPCs because you can gain knowledge from them. For example, a character might offer to teach you a few things about riding mounts - once you've finished talking to him on the subject, your skill in horseback riding will go up a notch. The game also gives you the opportunity to try out different mounts, next to a standard horsy. For good measure, giant lizards were also thrown in as a means of transport (I could use one of those myself... in real life I mean).

Another cool addition is that you are permitted to toy around with various items and come up with assorted weapon combos. This feature makes the most out of each weapon, particularly rusty swords or older items you no longer see as useful. So, instead of throwing them away, you may upgrade them to create a more expensive and powerful weapon. It's even possible to mix two weapons or items of the same type to increase their damage and effectiveness in battle. Alchemy also plays an important role in the game, as players get to mix different herbs and reagents to come up with unique potions (again, another element we've witnessed in Gothic and in other RPGs for that matter).

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