Two Worlds Review
publisher: Southpeak Interactive
developer: Reality Pump
PIV 2000, 512MB RAM
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Aug 14, 07 (released)
|» All About Two Worlds on ActionTrip|
Well kids, the past month hasn't brought much. It's kind of weird, since this is usually the time for our traditional E3 coverage, when we are knee-deep in game media. We've been waiting patiently for something to turn up and I must say, this one arrived sooner than expected. The PC version of Reality Pump's open-ended RPG, Two Worlds, fell into our lap, just in time to enliven the notably dry gaming season.
As I've mentioned in our preview for the X360 edition, Two Worlds offers an unsurprisingly generic fantasy setting, putting players into the boots of a young wandering bounty hunter. To cut a long story short (for more plot details, check out the preview), you'll be roaming through a war-torn realm, crammed with various creatures, most of which will be after your blood. Your main goal is to somehow find and rescue your sister and at the same time deal with an evil force that's spreading throughout the land (sigh!).
The game kicks off by allowing you to modify the appearance of your character. You can customize everything from the shape and color of the avatar's eyes, to the outline of his eyebrows, length of limbs, wideness of the chest etc. Before you ask, the answers is no. No, you cannot choose a female character and then spend all day determining the size of her cleavage.
Anyway, there are no character classes or skills to fine-tune before the game. Most of that is handled as you play. As you level up, you get to unlock new combat and magic abilities. It's pretty standard, really.
From the moment you step into this unexplored new virtual world, you'll start to notice similarities with a number of industry classics. Comparisons to games like Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Gothic 3 and even the good old Diablo, are inevitable. The map used for pinpointing relevant spots, NPCs and quest-related locations, greatly resembles the ones from Bethesda's Oblivion. The interface, as well as the inventory, revolves around recognized standards, set long ago by Diablo - they even used fonts almost identical to those in Diablo. Yes, I realize this is not the first time a developer decided to mimic such a classic. Even so, they could've made a greater effort. Still, if nothing else, thanks to these "borrowed" design elements, the GUI is functional and straightforward.
Another Diablo-esque element is the ability to combine items to improve your weapons. In some cases, this can be crucial as you combat particular foes. For instance, your character won't be able to harm spirits at all, unless he wields a weapon with adequate spirit damage. Again, if your weapon doesn't have such characteristics, they can be enhanced with specific items, found scattered throughout the realm. They may also be bought from the right traders.
After the first few hours of play, it becomes obvious that Two Worlds is yet another victim of the somewhat dicey free-roam gameplay formula. In case you forgot how it works, let me refresh your memory. To begin with, there's a set of locations you need to visit in order to continue with the main story. The problem is, players are too easily swayed off course with numerous enemies to fight, random NPCs to chat with and dozens of unexciting side-quests to complete. Having plunged into a wave of tasks, it doesn't take you too long to realize you've seen it all before. And, the clich'd story surely won't be enough to intrigue you further.
Still, with the amount of content on offer, I suppose Two World could attract gamers who are after the common RPG routine. You know: get quest, kill enemies and return to collect your reward. If this is what you're after, I guess the game could keep you occupied for a time. The number of quests, side-quests and NPCs is considerable, so it's safe to say there's plenty to do as you wander through forests, across mountains and lakes. The game also includes a commendable variety of items, weapons and other things to utilize during your adventure.
Even with all the traditional elements there, however, Two Worlds still lacks spirit.
The combat, on the other hand, can be entertaining. There's a satisfying choice of spells for all those who prefer the way of magic. Melee fighting enthusiasts are offered a selection of cool moves - such as kicking up dust into your opponent's face. You can also damage multiple foes simultaneously with melee weapons, if you've leveled up the appropriate fighting skills, of course. To execute all this, players are left with the usual mouse/keyboard combo, which works well.
6.2 Above Average
Plenty of content may keep you occupied for a while, once you get the hang of it the combat can be fun, nice character models;
Feeble story, repetitive, technical errors, there's nothing to entangle players beyond the standard hack'n'slash routine and free-roam gameplay.