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Default Two Hours With Two Worlds II

November 10th, 2010, 10:18
I didn't plan to pick up Two Worlds II early - in part because I expected the availability to be an issue but also because I've been a vocal critic of Two Worlds and I have plenty of other games to play. When it popped up unexpectedly at Gamersgate just as I had a day off…well, I guess my impulse control needs some work. At this point I've completed the tutorial and wandered a little of the starting savannah - not nearly enough to form any serious opinion but enough to get a general "feel" for the game. With that in mind, I'm not posting this as a formal article but rather some temporary commentary and whatever you do, go find some more informed opinions before making any purchase decisions.
Two Worlds II is at once much better than the original, slightly disappointing and full of potential. A litany of very minor things colour my experience at this stage but I can also see the potential for a very good - if predictably unpolished - action/RPG.
First off, the script hasn't tempted me to jump off a tall building to escape like the original almost did. The "prithee this" and "thoust that" are gone entirely and while the writing isn't exciting, it's not offensive. Likewise, the voice acting isn't great…but it isn't terrible. The whole cliché backstory of the kidnapped hot sister and the evil lord is still there but the game quickly gets on to a reasonable footing - travel to a major town and find a way to make contact with some resistance members with criminal connections that might have information on Gandohar's background. Investigation is a good premise for an open-world RPG.
The game has been stable and the performance is excellent but there's an obvious lack of detailed polish. The menus and inventory icons look "chunky", the animation lacks "weight", there's a lot of clipping and the in-engine cut-scenes are amateurish. Very early on there's a cut-scene where an ally is about to die but - in Rob Roy style - he grabs the sword of the enemy with one hand and lands a mortal blow with the other. At least, I think that's what happened. In my game, the ally vaguely waved his hand near the sword and suddenly killed the other. Later, a key cut-scene didn't trigger but left me with a black screen and a couple of warthogs on the savannah have promptly sunk beneath the earth and disappeared as my arrow struck.
In addition - for my taste - the potentially great graphics are smeared with too much vaseline from the excessive HDR lighting. And for some reason I can only select "none" or "1x" for antialiasing.
None of this is terribly important to me but it does take the sheen off. Just to be clear, everything works fine if you ignore the guy standing over there with his leg clipped up to the knee.
On the other hand, the first major quest has at least three ways of completion, which is very welcome. The solutions aren't greatly creative but they're solid enough. You can also sense the sheer breadth…horses, boats, crafting, a genuinely interesting magic card system, gambling — there's obviously a lot to do and I feel the developers genuinely tried to improve the formula.
The starting savannah area lacks the sense of reality you get from the original Gothics - cheetahs, warthogs, baboons, rhinos and ostriches are packed into close proximity - there's no sense of a genuine ecology. On the other hand, the combat is surprisingly fun and much better than the original. You can block and it feels more than just button-mashing.
So, at this stage, I miss the more sophisticated writing and characters I just left behind in Fallout: New Vegas and it certainly feels a little rough around the edges. But the combat is surprisingly addictive and the width of possibilities is enormous. I've seen one German review label it a "masterpiece", which seems ridiculous to me but if the idea of a better Two Worlds is attractive to you, this is worth a look. Just don't expect revolutionary changes to the core concept.
More information.
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November 10th, 2010, 10:18
I only want to add that I have not seen any clipping problems like the one you described and I actually found the cutscenes rather good so far (I really liked the fight between the Ork and the other guy - I don't remember his name right now). But since I've only played a few minutes (I'm just trough the teleporter) I really can't make more than an initial observation.
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November 10th, 2010, 11:12
I'm trying to get a feel for what sort of an RPG 'Two Worlds II' is. From the previews I've read, it's a sort of action-oriented game, right? Where you play a single(?) human(?) protagonist that slashes or scorches his(?) way through slews of enemies?

I'm quite curious about how character generation en levelling works and how the skill-system is put together.
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November 10th, 2010, 11:39
Maybe the lack of fine polish is the reason for SouthPeak's delay to Jan '11. IIRC they did promise that the January release would have the patches included which I presume means also some improvements to the game/UI. We'll see.

Here's a thread showing how to buy the digital download for those outside the current release areas:

http://board.zuxxez.com/showthread.php?t=35251&page=3
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November 10th, 2010, 12:25
Upon reading that I'm immediately wondering (very hopefully) if this could be something close to another Daggerfall…
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November 10th, 2010, 12:47
Hmm…I didn't mean to suggest it's anything like Daggerfall.

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November 10th, 2010, 14:23
Originally Posted by Daroou View Post
Maybe the lack of fine polish is the reason for SouthPeak's delay to Jan '11. IIRC they did promise that the January release would have the patches included which I presume means also some improvements to the game/UI. We'll see.]
I'm much more inclined to believe that SouthPeak's delay was made in an effort to release at a time that will be more profitable for them. Like most/all businesses, they are most concerned with their bottom line. The fact that their release will have a bit more polish, well that is just a natural side effect of releasing later.
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November 10th, 2010, 14:40
85% reviews are popping up everywhere in Germany.
GameStar, after mildy complaining that *they* did not get permission by Zuxxez to post a pre-release review based on the preview version, had a lot of good things to say. They call it "a colossus of an RPG", said the magic system is excellent and the crafting maybe the best ever in an RPG. The quests are a strength, the performance good and not many bugs left. The only thing they really criticze is the controls - on both PC and XBox, so no consolitis. Horses are impossible to use on PC because you can only navigate them in 90° steps. Having to manually arm/disarm your weapon seems to get highly annoying, especially in combat.

GameStar explicitly mentions that the XBox conversion is very good. A different league than the other Euro RPGs.
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November 10th, 2010, 14:42
Originally Posted by Kardiophylax View Post
I'm much more inclined to believe that SouthPeak's delay was made in an effort to release at a time that will be more profitable for them. Like most/all businesses, they are most concerned with their bottom line. The fact that their release will have a bit more polish, well that is just a natural side effect of releasing later.
Seeing yesterday's news that their conflicts with CDV are now settled, I believe Southpeak delayed TW2 (a) because they were afraid the copies would be confiscated before they reach retail and (b) because they knew that going against F:NV would be utterly stupid.
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November 10th, 2010, 14:47
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Having to manually arm/disarm your weapon seems to get highly annoying, especially in combat.
Reminds me of Drakensang - and of Two Worlds I.


On the other hand I find it interesting - because it puts back the "gemetzel" of Action-RPGS (where you do NOTHING but hacking and slashing !) back into consciousness.

This rather irritating thing makes the person consciously decide between a) combat b) non-combat.

This is in a way the direct opposite to Action-RPGS, where the combat as such doesn't even go into the realm of conscious decisions.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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November 10th, 2010, 14:48
I played for about 1 hour and I didn't see that much clipping issues but I ignore them most of the time. They are unavoidable with 3D, "fancy" models and animations. I had one problem with a cinematic that didn't start up, kind of froze the game (not sure if the freezing was my doing or not). I restarted and reloaded a save and it worked fine. Also, I'm not a fan of the "console UI", those inventory icons could be smaller.

I also liked the fight between Sandohon (sp?) and that Orc guy, it was so "theater drama" cliché that it was good. As for the voice acting, I like the Orcs, but the Prophet is rather bad.
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November 10th, 2010, 14:49
I don't recall you had to put away your weapon in Drakensange so that your characters can regenerate.
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November 10th, 2010, 14:51
Was wasn't talking about regeneration.

You talked about manually arming/disarming, nothing about regeneration.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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November 10th, 2010, 15:25
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Having to manually arm/disarm your weapon seems to get highly annoying, especially in combat.
I actually love games where I have to manually arm/disarm. It's sort of like what Alrik said, it makes combat feel more like a conscious decision I think. Plus, it's always nice if people would react to having your weapon drawn (which I assume is not the case in Two Worlds II).
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November 10th, 2010, 15:31
Interesting infos from Zuxxez on why a couple of TW2 versions are late:
XBox Royal and Premium Editions: Zuxxez underestimated the effort for packaging, plus one component wasn't delivered in time. They've got additional people from the dev studio now, and things are in the works. The CEO also mentioned that a Euro-palette only has space for 128 Royal Edition - but they have to ship 36.000.

PS3 version:
Both XBox and PS3 versions went into replication on the same day. Sony hasn't delivered yet, despite being paid in advance. He is not amused (no, he is almost fuming at the mouth). He can't even give an updated release date. All he can say is it will be in the stores when Sony delivers, plus 24 hours.

http://www.gamersglobal.de/news/2938…are-chef-sauer
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November 10th, 2010, 16:01
My impressions are very similar to Dhruin's… but you really can't judge whether this kind of game will be any good after an hour of two IMO. We need to see how we feel about this world when we're 20 hours in… I don't think 'Masterpiece' is out of the question yet

I'm not sure why sheathing your weapon would be a problem? All RPGs do this, no? In TW II, as Gorath says, your health regenerates when the weapon is not drawn and you do an unarmed attack if you attack with no weapon out I think. There is an extra layer of complexity with 'weapon sets' I haven't looked at so maybe something else happens there.

So far it looks like the game-'systems' (weapons, magic, crafting, archery and their skills) have a had a lot of work put into them, and the plot is fine so far. It has a bit of a console feel, with inv icons that are about 5cm per side and a world that while open, is not dense with detail objects and huge vistas. It also follows the apparent new trend of starting on an island, but I was pleased the first 'real' area was a terrain type we haven't seen 100 times before in RPGs.

Disappointed to hear that horses aren't working properly - my own bugbear is that on aiming with a bow, the mouse inversion setting is promptly forgotten.

I had to manually uninstall PhysX and install the version it came with before it would run, but otherwise there have been no bugs. HDR and AA are the same for me as Dhruin said - and I also wondered exactly what that guy was doing with that sword in the intro

So, cautiously optimistic at the range of situations the designers arranged for the early stages… waiting to see if it's maintained
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November 10th, 2010, 16:04
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Hmm…I didn't mean to suggest it's anything like Daggerfall.
Don't worry, I don't mean in all aspects, but two things in particular tweak my Daggerfall senses - large scope/open world - you mentioned horses, ships etc., and clipping. If the scope is large enough and the game fun enough to forgive the bugginess then I might like it.
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November 10th, 2010, 17:13
I think it's wrong to start talking about 'bugginess' - there is more or less none as far as I can see. Compared to G3 or New Vegas, I think it would be silly to give an impression that this is somehow unstable. This, Flames of Vengeance and Arcania have all been remarkably bug free in my experience.
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November 10th, 2010, 17:19
Does anyone know if the import version is the same as us version (gogamer has the import version next week). Also does the game run ok under xp or should I wait for windows 7 upgrade. So far the reviews sound decent (i coudln't stand the original which I only played a demo). This year new pc games have been a bit sparse so this is looking interesting (i passed on sc2; and kb after 2.5 years is getting a little old).
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November 10th, 2010, 17:25
Oh god, I'm going to have to get this now aren't I? Damn! I was hoping to be able to save some money by skipping on this one, but from what everyone is saying it sounds good enough to be enjoyable this time around. I'm not expecting Fallout:New Vegas type of content, but if what you guys are saying is true then they made it good enough and that is grounds for immediate purchase

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