The 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo continues with more coverage of more games, like Reality Pump's Two Worlds II, the role-playing sequel that picks up after the events of the original game. While we've previously covered some of the game's basic details, this time around we took an updated look at some of the new features and tried out melee combat for ourselves.
Who's Making It: European studio Reality Pump, the creator of the original Two Worlds, as well as the Earth 2100 real-time strategy series.
What It Looks Like: Two Worlds II is a third-person role-playing game with real-time melee combat, so you could say that conceptually, it resembles The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, though the art style is completely different, and the color palette is a lot darker and more subdued.
What You Do: As the hero of Two Worlds II, you must thwart a tyrant bent on dominating the world and committing heinous acts of genocide. Of course, in order to become strong enough to succeed, you'll need to take on various quests and fight lots of monsters to earn experience levels that will net your character "parameter points," which you can use to increase your ability scores, and "skill points," which you can spend in the game's classless profession system of six different skill trees: sorcery, melee combat, archery, rogue skills, trade skills, and general skills.
Aside from having an open-ended character development system, Two Worlds II has many hidden combinatorial strategies to explore. The trade skill system not only lets you combine items to fashion new weapons, armor, and garments, but also lets you break down existing items and extract the core materials for use with other items, along with inserting magical items into various item slots to strengthen whichever weapon or armor you're working on. The same can be said of the magic system, which is keyed off of about a dozen playing cards attuned to a certain type of magic, such as elemental fire or kinetic force, and can be augmented with enchanted lockets that can combine up to three different spell cards at once to create all sorts of different, hidden combinatorial effects.
How It Plays: We were able to play only the console versions of the game. Two Worlds II controls much like a conventional third-person action game that uses the left thumbstick to move and the right thumbstick to adjust your camera. The right trigger is used to attack, and the left trigger is used to block while standing still (or to sprint while moving). The top three face buttons deliver different types of attacks depending on whether your character is currently blocking, and you can also press in the right thumbstick either to access your consumable items (like health potions) or, if you have a wizard's staff equipped, to access whichever magic spells you have queued up.
The melee combat plays much like a standard hack-and-slash game and requires you to briefly line up with your target (the game has an actual reticule to help you target) and then unleash whichever attacks you like, occasionally setting up for a dramatic kill, which you can trigger by pressing the A button on the Xbox 360 controller (or the X button on the PlayStation 3 controller) to start an especially gruesome cinematic sequence that shows your character dismembering his foe.
In addition to the single-player adventure, Two Worlds II will have numerous multiplayer modes for up to eight players at once, including head-to-head free-for-all deathmatch, team deathmatch, cooperative questing (which will offer about nine different missions on nine different, completely new maps), and an economy-based "village" mode that lets you and your buddies create your own villages to produce tradable goods.
What They Say: Reality Pump and Southpeak are working together to iron out all the problems from the first game while offering a solid RPG experience and interesting multiplayer.
What We Say: The game already shows improvement over the problematic original Two Worlds. The village multiplayer mode sounds especially interesting. In any case, Two Worlds II will ship this fall for the PC, the Xbox 360, and the PS3.