PS3 Review – Two Worlds II

The original Two Worlds game had some nice ideas, but the overall game was buggy and lacking in execution. After three and a half years, the sequel Two Worlds II has finally been released. But has enough been done to turn the series’ level of quality around, or is this more of the same glitchy, contrived mess that was so long ago? Find out in our review.

The game starts out with a decent cinematic beginning with a bird soaring high over a vast landscape. Thrust into the midst of a story where the lead protagonist is a known hero trapped in the evil lord Gandohar’s fortress, you are saved by, of all beings, Orcs, while your sister is left behind. One important thing to note is that you are not able to pick your hero’s gender or race – you are a male human, and have only a few choices when it comes to face, skin and hair color and style.

The story is definitely not too compelling – you have to save your sister as well as the world from the evil Gandohar’s grasp. Along the way you’ll meet various characters, many of whom are not integral to the main plot. Then again, with this being an open-world RPG, side quests are most welcome and numerous. Some of the sub-plots do seem a bit unbelievable, such as your character willing to part with a large sum of Auras, the world’s currency, after listening to only a few sentences from a complete stranger.

The voice acting in the original Two Worlds was notoriously horrible, to the point that it was so bad it was funny. Thankfully, the voice acting is tolerable in this sequel, though it is not one of the strong points of the game. In particular, the lead character is essentially monotone in his delivery. He sounds like an extremely jaded person, even despite his extraordinary circumstances in which he finds himself.

Bad voice acting aside, the rest of the audio work is well done. When out in the desert, you can hear the high-pitched warning signs of predators nearby, or the ominous crow of vultures waiting for something to die. Villages and settlements contain the sounds of people going about their business such as sweeping their patio or selling wares, though the latter occasionally have peddlers acting like modern-day salespeople, which is completely off-putting given the setting.

Graphically, the game is utterly average, though the world of Antaloor does have its moments of beauty, such as on the top of a seaside cliff or in the wilds of the savannah. The world is also absolutely massive – you will travel via horseback or teleportation a lot. But rough textures always seem to crop up to ruin the party and, at least on this reviewer’s PlayStation 3, graphical artifacts crop up to an often insane degree after staying in an area for too long. Going inside a house and coming back out seems to alleviate the problem for a while, but seeing a tree’s branch stretch out into the ground as a one long triangle that you can walk through is a rather glaring issue.

Beyond the graphical issues, the GRACE rendering engine that SouthPeak Games used is serviceable for most of your adventures, however the framerate often stutters when in settlements. Thankfully, this issue does not seem to present itself very often when in combat, so it is not a huge detractor from enjoying the game. Once you leave settlements and enter the wild, the engine’s depth of field, or rather the overuse of the effect, becomes very noticeable. You can only see clearly for approximately 40 or 50 feet before everything is blurry. Yet while running around with a ranged weapon such as a bow and arrow, your character will often spot an enemy clear across a valley, and if you do decide to target it you are shooting rather accurately at a blob. Of course, once you hit that enemy it will usually run towards you, so your vision will not suffer too much from this effect. continue reading >>