Two worlds too many.
“Huzzah! Two Worlds, an open world RPG within which I might test my mettle, fighting as a character of my own design! This is reason to rejoice. Bring forth the pizza and beer!
[image1]Nay, gentle gamer, hold back your enthusiasm just one moment, for it is a weakened beast, plagued by unfortunate technical maladies, aye, and laughable voice acting as well… Mine eyes grow accustomed to the oft crappy framerate. I am confounded by cramped menus, and unwieldy horses."
The thing is, you have to give Two Worlds more than a fair shake before you decide if you can continue. At first glance (and second, and until you forget it, really) this game is not very good. In theory, it could’ve been awesome. It could’ve been something like Oblivion Jr. maybe, but as much as it pains me to say it, it’s turned out more like a half-addled cousin.
When you walk up to a guy who greets you in a deep voice, but then once you A button him, he starts talking like a true tenor, that takes you out of the game. On the same topic, let’s talk for a moment about that obnoxious spinning disk icon. If I were nice I would posit that the world is broken up into arbitrary zones that require a brief moment of spin time before entering, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the case. It just seems like every minute or two, the game can’t handle itself and has to retreat for a couple seconds to figure out what’s going on. Once it was such a gigantic stutter that it sent me to an actual loading screen. For a game that is supposed to be free-roaming, that, in my book, counts as broken.
[image2]Taking a step back, however, you play a fellow whose sister has been kidnapped. In fact, you can even play as a girl, but the point is your twin (which becomes important) is gone, and you need to seek her out. Along the way you get wrapped up in regional and personal affairs, but also the tall tale of a cursed family heirloom. None of this is really so bad at all, until you try to figure out your map.
The menus are ok for the most part. You’ll need an HDTV to read the font without squinting for twenty years, but other than being a bit cluttered, they’ll do. The map, however, is a huge pain. After a while you’ll figure out which icon is a teleporter, which icon is a fountain of magic, etc. but it’s still pretty hard to know where you’re going. Sometimes you can’t even be sure whether it’s centered on you or something else. Zooming in helps a bit, but you’ll often have to go back to your mini-map to check if you’re walking in the right direction.
Quests are listed on the same screen as the map, which is convenient in a way, because you can see immediately where the action will take place (that is, if you can figure out where the quest markers are) without flipping back and forth between screens. That said, there are already separate screens for equipment, magic, stats, factions, yadda, so why not just give the quests their own? It’d be easier to find the one you’re looking for if they weren’t so scrunched.
[image3]One thing I do like is using skill points to choose the abilities I want to power up (Dual wielding crit hit with fire!) You have to level to do that, though, and earning xp can be a tricky proposition when starting out. Remember how in most games boars are the first thing you can kill? Don’t even think about it in this one. They nudge you a bit with their nose and you fall down crying. What you literally are required to do is lure enemies to a respawn point (which spews health continuously) and stand on that to fight. Clever gamer, or crummy balancing?
I’ve just given this game a lot of grief, but it’s possible to get used to the random hardships and persevere, so it’s not a complete failure. The disk spins, but you can zen it away. Why they couldn’t have stolen horse mechanics from a Zelda game, I don’t know, but if your mount is too stupid to bother with, there are enough teleporters around, and you do have feet. The problem is, if you are that desperate for a looting RPG, there are free MMOs you could play with fewer troubles. The two person online multiplayer felt a lot more promising before I realized that.
"Yea verily, we doth come to the end of ye olde review. Fun we hath had in the writing, less so with the playing thereof. If I hath given offense, fair warning has also been the product, and these Two Worlds are best left unexplored."