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Two Worlds Epic Edition

Two Worlds: EPIC edition is a repackaging of the original Two Worlds with the add-ons ‘Tainted Blood’ and ‘Curse of Souls’ included automatically.  Useful collation or shameless marketing trick?  I’ll let you decide.  As for the game, well like this review, you’re either gonna love it or hate it.  Let me tell you why….

It doesn’t take long for one of the more predictable features of the game to raise it’s head – silly made up names!  Hurrah for this staple of the RPG. I’m just watching the loading titles and I’ve already been subjected to a story about a god that is now dead whose name I will most certainly forget by – oops, see, gone already.

So no surprises so far, which means we can jump in and start the game.  Cue mysterious travellers and stormy weather – all good so far.  Then he talks.  Oh no!  It was all going so well until he opened his mouth (apparently what is true in life is also true in games).  I haven’t actually counted how many times they say ’tis or perchance but anything over zero spells disaster in my book.  No matter how swarthy and black your clothing, if just one mayhap escapes your lips you will forever be a happy little jester with bells on your hat in my head.  Just saying.

Although it doesn’t stop there, once you get into the game things are a bit more levelled out.  Yes the dialogue continues to be excruciating, but at least you can go around killing things to sublimate your rage.  Lots of things.  Including, but not limited to, a couple of species of wolf and bear, bandits, groms, odd little creatures of uncertain lineage and dodos.  You heard me.  How you kill them is less certain, and this is one where reading the manual is going to be a must.  Methodical button pressing is so not fun and results in lots of early deaths (no manual with my copy).  Don’t worry, you just get brought back to life at the nearest shrine – who needs a sense of investment in their character anyway?

This kind of game does require some time to really get into and build up your character but I’m a believer that a game is supposed to grab you from the off and this is where Two Worlds really let me down.  This game requires you to ‘pay your dues’ and work pretty much from nowhere.  Very realistic, but it’s all so boring.  Hello?!  This is a game, not real life.  How’s about a bit of artistic licence here?  Besides, aren’t we supposed to be a bad-ass already?  Geesh.

When you’ve earned yourself a horse you can explore this hilly landscape at a more reasonable pace (everyone round here must have calves of steel with these slopes).  There’s no end to the all too necessary mini-quests to build up points, items and skills, but at least you can have several quests on the go at the same time, meaning that if you get bored (i.e. stuck) with one you can work on another or perhaps even solve one by accident along the way.

With that in mind I did find the main plot too awkward to keep flowing.  I’d rather it be a case of being able to jump back into the story as and when I wanted to, but it seemed that to even make it to my second check point was going to require hours of levelling up.  I want the choice, not to be forced down either path.  That said, it was pretty easy to find out what my various goals were at any one point – if only the map had a legend I might have been able to work out where everything was a bit quicker.

The rest of the screens (e.g. the inventory) are fairly well laid out, clear navigation means that, thankfully, you can concentrate on being bored by the game rather than the gui.  The online experience was similarly straight forward – quick and easy to get up and running with a character and bad mouthing your opponents.  The question is, do you really want to spend even more hours building up another character from scratch?

Overall I can see potential in Two Worlds, but you have to be prepared to lay down some serious time before you’ll be able to feel like you’re getting much out of it – this is a game for the long haul and I for one shall not be hanging around to see if the investment pays off.

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