Two Worlds II review

  • Huge world to explore
  • Hundreds of side quests
  • Gorgeous landscapes
  • Exhausting glitches
  • Terrible design choices
  • Takes about 8 hours to get fun

If you’re determined to enjoy Two Worlds II you’ll need superhuman pain tolerance and more free time than recess at Immortal Elementary. Like most RPGs released these days, TWII requires almost 50 hours to beat the campaign (there’s multiplayer too). But Two Worlds II isn’t just huge; it has a learning curve that’s more like a cliff, and a tendency to explain absolutely nothing to players.

In fact, it seems you can go through most the game without learning seemingly pivotal aspects of TWII, like the fact that there’s a stellar online mode, or how to use the ridiculously robust spell creation, or that “Soul Patchers” reallocate your skill points, or that the spiky dude you’re running away from is the evil emperor, or that the screaming chick in your brain is your sister, etc, etc, ad infinitum. In fact, this is the first game in recent memory where reading the game manual is absolutely necessary.

But complexity isn’t reason enough to thrash on a game. Horrendous glitches that plague the game, on the other hand… when you start the game and can’t read half the words onscreen, and have to fiddle with bewildering settings just to read what your armor does, that’s a problem. As for the unleveled dialogue audio, have a remote nearby for quick volume adjustments. When you run diagonally on a hill and randomly incur huge fall damage and instantly die, well, there’s not really a fix for that. Save lots, we guess.

There are also more than a few equally obnoxious design choices. Why, for instance, does your character’s voice sound like Christian Bale in Batman? Why is nearly everything marked by a blue pin on your map, be it NPC, a city, or a quest? Why does the inventory page not tell you what’s equipped in various weapon sets (making it ridiculously easy to accidentally disassemble important weapons for their elemental scraps)?

These are questions without answers, but if you’re still playing after about eight hours, you’ll probably be too busy racing horses, completing dozens of guild quests, or even sailing to care much about the problems. Oblivion-lovers take note: Two Worlds takes more than a few cards from Bethesda’s deck. In fact, the gorgeous and enormous world feels like it might have been pulled straight from Bethesda’s five-year old RPG. Two Worlds implements teleports instead of fast travel, so each of its islands feels absolutely enormous, but luckily your character runs fast, his horse runs even faster, and missions are designed to minimize too much running back and forth.

Combat, too, feels like it was pulled from Oblivion, but it feels soft and has some instances of awfully questionable hit detection. A long two-handed weapon alleviates the problem, but heavy fighting sections like the arena make mediocre combat seem especially painful. You can defeat vastly superior enemies by running around until they get stuck on something, where you can pick them off with a bow. Though this rarely works in open fields where you’ll encounter ridiculously powerful giant ants or baboons that throw their poop at you - combat is just one more thing that needed polish.

That seems to be the case with most parts of Two Worlds II. Though there’s a lot to love and a rich world to invest yourself in, it’ll require more than a little forgiving on your part. Unfortunately, TWII would have benefited hugely from a few more months of developing, and it might still just be a few updates away from becoming something worthy of a better score. Until then, we suspect Two Worlds will create two of its own, one of lovers and one of haters.

Feb 3, 2011

More Info

Release date: Jan 25 2011 - Xbox 360
Feb 08 2011 - PC
Jan 25 2011 - PS3 (US)
Feb 04 2011 - Xbox 360, PC, PS3 (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PC, PS3
Genre: Role Playing
Published by: SouthPeak Interactive
Developed by: Reality Pump Studios
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Violence

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  • simple - May 22, 2011 2:20 a.m.

    this is the absolute worst ps3 game i have ever played. period. there is no point in even elaborating. save your money and buy something else. there is no way this game should have even been released. horrendous! i am dumbfounded at how bad it is.
  • pots555 - February 9, 2011 10:22 p.m.

    From my point of view, Two Worlds II is an excellent gaming experience. First of all, the graphics are really good. I feel the desire to explore everything because the journey is worth while. It is also a thrill to find new areas and the amount of looting you can do is almost ridiculous. I admit I was overwhelmed, at first, by the inventory. But now that I got the hang of it, I enjoy going trough all of my stuff and sorting it out. I paid full price and I look forward to every playing session. And after 8 hours of playing time, I have just scratched the massive, massive world map. I would give this game an 8.5.
  • Dragon8992 - February 8, 2011 3:24 a.m.

    Personally I have no idea what this review is talking about bought the game for PS3 and I absolutely love it and I haven't noticed any real issues with it a bit of slow down when it's auto-saving or loading but other than that it's perfectly fine I mean there are a few wtf moments in the plot so far but nothing major and the combat isn't that hard to figure out just don't try to move while your fighting and your fine in terms of a learning curve it isn't that steep you just need to pay attention and none of that ruins the game but then again it is a reviewers job to find things wrong with a game. PS. this isn't a PS3 is better than 360 thing I just happen to only own a PS3 and found nothing wrong with the game.
  • Stabby_Joe - February 5, 2011 2:22 a.m.

    This is actually one of the more negative reviews. Given the dire response for the first (a game I found to be unintentionally hilarious), the overall "fair" reviews it has received thus far is somewhat surprising... ...but then again they must have listen to some of the criticisms.
  • Maxstats69 - February 4, 2011 8:54 p.m.

    I like the first one and it got terrible reviews. I'll probably get this one as well.
  • freakyfro99 - February 4, 2011 3:37 p.m.

    BobsYurUncle, I played it on PC actually. It really isn't much better. Controlling is better but the everything is still vastly unexplained. Things are explained but not in nearly as much detail as they should be. I didn't have any graphic glitches though, or any of those falling glitches they mentioned. It's just the everything about combat that didn't make too much sense for me.
  • Ultima - February 4, 2011 10:16 a.m.

    I'm noticing alot of derping around these parts lately. Must be the latest craze, like space hoppers or BMX's
  • BobsYurUncle - February 4, 2011 5:21 a.m.

    xbox 360 review ugh. Try playing it on PC derp.
  • Ultima - February 4, 2011 4:13 a.m.

    I have a feeling I will love this, I enjoy games that you have to figure out yourself. The Divinity Saga got a 6 and that was my favourite RPG of last year.
  • alphaman - February 4, 2011 1:35 a.m.

    Just wait till.... 11 11 11! My fellow Dovahkiin, join me in singing the chorus!
  • CancerMan - February 3, 2011 10:41 p.m.

    Its was painfully boring to watch my brother play the first game and it sounds like the sequel is only marginally better. At least the framerate isn't shit anymore.
  • Rattlehead - February 3, 2011 10:30 p.m.

    How did Two Worlds get a sequel?
  • IChooseUAntistaMON - February 3, 2011 10:06 p.m.

    I'm 11th in the world in the first game for tru skill and 1st in the game type assault
  • G0D - February 3, 2011 8:46 p.m.

    i love how jim sterling gave this an 8... i get its his "schtick" but personally, i find that he's just trying to be like kanye west- say crazy shit so people will pay attention to him
  • kyle94 - February 3, 2011 8:42 p.m.

    I probably wouldn't mind some of the things about the game. Hell, I'm a fan of Paradox games, which pretty much all come with huge learning curves, horrible tutorials, and tons of bugs. However, I don't think I'll get Two Worlds Two Worlds Two or whatever it's called. It's confusing. I tried the first game and just couldn't get into it. Though, in it's defense, I can never really get into RPGs quickly. Took me a while to enjoy Gothic 1 and 2. Shorter time to enjoy Gothic 3 but by the end I was burned out on the game. Took me a really long time to get into Oblivion. Etc. Really, the only RPGs I can think of that I didn't have trouble getting into are Dragon Age, Mass Effect 1 and 2, and Divinity 2. Now that I think about it, I might get it after a lot of price cuts and a lot of patches, but even then it's unlikely.
  • oryandymackie - February 3, 2011 8:42 p.m.

    Damn it! I was really rooting for Two Worlds II. I was hoping we'd have a sort of 'Ugly Duckling' scenario on our hands.
  • foxyexplosion - February 3, 2011 8:28 p.m.

    aw its not even a 7 yet? I like what theyre trying to do though so i may rent it
  • freakyfro99 - February 3, 2011 8:21 p.m.

    Pretty much how I felt. It was ok but I felt like there were things I wasn't being explained. I'd been defeating enemies pretty easily, then I enter a cave and a skeleton is there. I hit it with a sword, it does nothing. I hit it with a mace, nothing. I hit it with a bow, various spells, and still nothing. Hell I even decided to try and cheat to see what level I should be at to come back and attempt the cave. I gave up after buffing to level 20 and still not doing significant damage to a skeleton that's in the first town you actually get to. It was ridiculous.
  • JohnDagger - February 3, 2011 7:31 p.m.

    Hmmmmm, can't be any worse than the first one. I'll rent it.