For RPG-lovers, there's no more pleasant pastime than getting lost in a colossal, continent-spanning adventure, and if that floats your Elven barge, then Two Worlds II is definitely worth a look-in. Following on from the storyline of the original Two Worlds, it once again casts you in the role of the fantasy-world hero, battling and questing your way across the world to rescue your sister from the clutches of evil overlord Gandohar. It's an enormous, sprawling adventure, set to some of the most breathtaking scenery around, and featuring a musical score so good it puts most movies to shame.
One of the most absorbing activities the game offers is creating potions out of pretty much anything you pick up in the world. Kill an animal and loot its corpse, and whatever you find - be it a fang, an organ or a feather - can be blended into a potion that heals you, restores your mana or protects you from specific kinds of attack. And whether you choose to play as an archer, a spell-casting wizard, a close-combat specialist or any combination of the above, you can constantly upgrade your chosen weapons and armour by breaking down those you loot from dead foes, and using the leftover parts.
Quest foot forward
As you explore the enormous, beautiful landscapes, you'll find villages and towns packed with characters who'll offer you quests which you can complete for fun and profit. You can skip these if you just want to get cracking and follow the main storyline, but there's so much flavour and adventure in the side-quests, you'd be a fool to do so. These mini-adventures send you into unexplored areas which are packed with new enemies to pit your combat skills against, and magical items which you just won't find unless you go off the beaten track.
There simply isn't another game out there that does multiplayer like Two Worlds II. Not only is there a complete adventure mode which takes you - and pals, if you recruit them - through a completely new series of multiplayer missions, but the Village mode is a breath of fresh air. Using the same character you've created for Adventure mode, you can construct your own village from scratch, complete with shops, farms and barracks. FarmVille this ain't, but there's a big city-management element there which you'll love. And if you just want to go and lord it over other players, there are duel and capture-the-flag modes too.
Given its fantasy setting (and occasionally hammy dialogue), Two Worlds II won't be for everyone. But if you've a spirit for adventure, and love the constant process of character upgrades and increasingly powerful combat capabilities that only a good RPG can offer, then you'll find a lot to love.
- Enormous, detail-packed world.
- Fascinating multiplayer.
- Awesome quests.
- Ham-packed dialogue.
- Soft combat.
- Too big for the causal gamer.