SouthPeak is giving 'Two Worlds' another go in the sequel, simply titled 'II." With a new graphics engine and an emphasis on storytelling, we're heading back into the vast world of Antaloor to see if 'Two Worlds II' is any closer to becoming the "Oblivion Killer" it originally claimed to be.

'Two Worlds' is getting another shot to please the RPG adventurer who has anticipated one more journey into its fantasy based world. While it is unlikely that too many gamers are excited about 'Two Worlds II' judging from the response to the first title, you might be surprised how different this sequel feels compared to the original. And if you're not familiar with first 'Two Worlds,' we are simply dealing with another action-RPG based in a fantasy realm. You know... Orcs, Wizards, magic gems, evil lords, the whole deal wrapped up like PC title thrown into the pit for the console generation.

Starting up the single player campaign brings up a competent customization screen where you make your created character cosmetically acceptable before you head out on your adventure. Next you witness the narrative set-up, starting with a dramatic introduction featuring a demonic possession, evil lords, and unjust imprisonment. Then it's time for the action with a jailbreak scenario (just like Oblivion) where your player and a few Orcs allies (including on saucy one called "Dar Pha") aid you in your attempted jailbreak and agree to save your sister. The escape/prologue sequence takes a while (17 minutes in my game) to get going before the game world really opens up, but thankfully there are enough cut-scenes to keep you interested.

Into the populated world of Antaloor, you will start out on a quest to save the Orc race from eradication while destroying the evil of Gandohar for good. It's the typical twist of Tolkien, which isn't bad or too amazing. Playing through this journey, 'Two Worlds II' teeters on excitement and boredom. There is a bit of hand holding and a lot of cut-scenes. However, if you can last through the first few hours, you will likely be hooked. Even through all the A to B styled missions in linear fashion, 'Two Worlds II' streamlined approach tightens up the gameplay and makes this story oddly compelling.


'Two Worlds II' is still very much a PC styled game. Micromanagement, awkward menus, poor controls all come along with this, so be prepared for a little bit of forgiveness if you're going to give 'Two Worlds II' a shot. Combat is brutally simple with some nice innovations to aspects like the ranged bows and a nice close up stealth kill animation, although its not enough to bring the game to life. The animations are super stiff and this “stiffness” makes the whole experience of combating your enemies feel out of touch. Even up close and personal sword battles feel extremely dated and removed. There is no tension, no rush, no nothing. Sadly, its the same thing throughout the whole game making even simple tasks like walking and jumping feel removed. For a comparison I would have to point my finger at another small RPG that was released to little fanfare, Risen. Not completely identical, but both games carry the same feel when approaching their console adaptation.

If you're getting into it, 'Two Worlds II' has lots of options to adapt to magic via staffs and powers, simple melee weapons like swords or blunt maces, or the ranged approach of bows and arrows. It's not required to pick a certain profession, however, sticking to one particular style will make the game feel more focused. Either jack-of-all trades, master of none, or expert combat technician, 'Two Worlds II' really broadens your options. Now only if the combat mechanics complimented the ambition of the content.

Complimenting the combat is a new CRAFT tool used for upgrading your contents and a streamlined alchemy system. Breaking down your loot for raw material is done with a click of a button. This is used to upgrade your weapons and armour, which makes breaking down unwanted loot a better option then simply dropping it. Subsequently, this also helps to keep your inventory organized. The menu system is easy to navigate, although in a quick glance it feel overwhelming, but don't worry, it's not too bad and after a few minutes toiling around you will get the hand of it. Also, the alchemy system operates in a similar fashion making it easy to one-button new potions with ease.

The New - Improved? GRACE Graphics Engine
'Two Worlds II' seems to be stuck in a internal battle with its GRACE graphical engine. 'Two Worlds II' isn't the best looking game on the market, although it has its moments, it's simply filled with too many glitches and poor quality animations to be placed along side the current crop of titles (I just finished playing Dead Space 2.) Rounded out, 'Two Worlds II' is a mediocre looking title at best (trying not to use the word budget,) but that doesn't mean the game is a bust. It's obvious things haven't been streamlined for the console, or if it has, it doesn't show.

In a nod to the positive, the art direction steps out of mediocrity from time to time. Some of the costume designs are excellent, but nothing is overly original. The landscapes of Antaloor deserve some recognition its foliage and diverse terrain, from tropical jungles to desert sands. Again, in this type of settings it's hard not to be just like other media. The cut-scenes are visual strong at times, then weak in different spots. Lips are not synced to the audio, animations, which I touch on a little later are weak. It's just a mixed bag of tricks that are unevenly focused.


We Have Multiplayer
'Two Worlds II' also has a multiplayer portion, complete with deathmatches and other activities to participate in. But my experience online was unflattering and seemed like a bad detraction from the weighty single player campaign. The main issue, its based around the combat, which is one of the weaker elements in 'Two Worlds II.' I get this too a little later. The co-operative aspect is the most exciting with the ability to gather up to eight player to work through a seven different mini-missions. The narrative here isn't as strong as the single player game, however it's good for the co-op gathering. Just don't expect to hop online with your campaign character, you have to create a new fully customizable character for the multiplayer, complete with the ability to upgrade. All-in-all, it seems like 'Two Worlds II' is getting ahead of itself and could have used the extra development time to improve on some of the weaker elements of the game. I'm sure some of the fan-base will enjoy heading online for a few rounds of medieval mischief, but the common RPG fan will probably skip this mode altogether.

Treading into 'Two Worlds II' is a labour of love and you will have to look past all the mediocre aspects for the game within. You can't win them all and 'Two Worlds II' seems to raise the marker for the young series, but not enough that you should run out and buy this title. 'Two Worlds II' is for the die-hard RPG enthusiasts who loves their “middle earth” settings and a more PC centric experience. It's a deal in the bargain bin, but for now, I would hold off.

  • Story crafting isn't half bad
  • Some interesting choices in art direction
  • A PC styled RPG on the console
  • Lots of choices and diversity in the content
  • Lackluster combat with poor animations
  • Even when mastered, the controls feel awkward
  • Graphics and audio are all over the map
  • Not always filled with excitement
  • Grade school AI
Quote: "Two Worlds II is for the die-hard RPG enthusiasts who loves their “middle earth” settings and a more PC centric experience. It's a deal in the bargain bin, but for now, I would hold off."
Reviewed by DowntownJimmy | 01.28.11

Similar Games: Two Worlds (6.0) | Risen (6.0) | The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (8.5) | Dragon Age (9.5)


Two Worlds II

SouthPeak Games

Topware Interactive
Reality Pump


US Release
January '11


X360, PS3

Player 1
Multiplayer 2-8
HD 720-1080p
D/L Content