Two Worlds 2 Preview
Many thanks to Infamous for correcting any spelling- and grammar mistakes I made during translation.
From Fabian Reiff (Syphedias) and Martin Wolf (UnKnOwN)
Can you think of something better than visiting ZuxxeZ and looking what the people are doing there? We from INSIDE Two Worlds curtly travelled to Ettlingen, near Karlsruhe, to take a look at the new RPG hit Two Worlds 2.
The ZuxxeZ building looked great. Left and right from the entrance you saw large palms, the employees seem to love doing overtime here. Excited we hit the doorbell and were we were greeted by Jan Heitzer (Support). He led us to the conference room where Jörg Schindler (PR Manager) waited for us. Everywhere around us were cool swords and axes and we would have loved to take a closer look at everything but we had a strict timetable to follow.
After a chilling travel to Ettlingen we finally sat with Jörg Schindler in the „conference room“. You won’t find windowless press/conference rooms here. You feel comfortable right from the beginning. For the thirsty ones there is a large bar with lots of alcohol, lemonade and coffee (for the caffeine junkies). We chose the coffee.
Next thing we saw was the huge television front consisting of 9 televisions. Also the remarkable media cabinet with a large LCD monitor where we saw the Two Worlds 2 the menu was an eye catcher. The “Teufel” sound system was massive and took care of the brilliant atmosphere.
Sometime after Martin Franger (Producer) joint our illustrious round and the presentation was finally about to start. Martin showed us the PC Version of Two Worlds 2 whilst Jörg explained the game in detail.
First steps in Two Worlds 2
Much has changed compared to its predecessor, because now you can change your alter ego as you please. Hair color, face, eye color, eye distance, nose, mouth, eyebrows and so on and so forth. If you like you can spend some time with your character creation. For the lazy ones there are some predefined characters to start with. Because of our strict timetable we made just a few changes and started to explore Antaloor.
First we watched the intro, thanks to the large LCD monitor and the “Teufel” sound system we felt like sitting in a cinema.
After the intro we were put directly into the action. Barely rescued we didn’t have much time to thank our rescuer, as we had to quickly flee out of the dungeon. Don’t worry there is no push for time now, even if our rescuer tells us to follow her quickly. If you like you can explore the area to find some loot. Also the guards who wanted to put you into a cell can have their weapons retrieved by the hero, as they don’t need them anymore. But you can’t use them straight away. After following our rescuer for a short time we met her companions who saved us with her. So we have a chat with them and thereafter they start to move out to open a locked door.
Now we come to a fresh new upgraded feature of Two Worlds 2. The NPC’s now have their own personal tasks. If you follow the companions instead of the rescuer they will lead us to a locked door. One of them tries to pick the lock, whilst the other one stands guard.
But we have to get back to the rescuer to find the “hidden” way into the library.
What we saw up until now was very impressive. The GRACE engine is able to make areas look as realistic as possible. The lights and shadows are calculated in real-time. So if you run into a rope tied to a source of light, it swings back and forth, creating realistic shadow projection on the floor and on the ceiling. Also you won’t find repetitive textures here. The old dungeon looks very plastic. The library looks great too with its large globe and thousands of books. And here we come to a new improvement. In Two Worlds 2 you are able to actually read books (remember Oblivion?). Books start with 15 pages and can go up to around 50-60 pages full of information. You can get information of people, of the land, of spells, of treasures and so on. Some books can give you new quests, some may lead you to old and hidden treasures, other books can grant you a new skill. So you should definitely read them. Quests found in books are possible to get from NPC’s too. But treasures, teleporter locations, skills or hidden locations can only be found in books. So read them to find out everything.
The storyline is carried on by spectacular ingame and rendered sequences.
New in Two Worlds 2 is the tutorial, the first chapter of the game. All important commands are given and learned here. First you need to jump, to pass a high step, next you have to sneak to get through a room, in the end you learn how to defend yourself. You get a relaxing introduction to the game controls without getting bored. If you like you can stack boxes to reach higher platforms and possible secret areas.
Don’t be afraid to get lost, the first 3 chapters play out on islands, which you can only leave after you finished the current chapter. At the end of chapter 3 you will learn the new sailing skill which lets you leave the island. After this point you decide which way to go. All areas are open now for exploration.
The battle system has completely been improved. You won’t last long by simply bashing the mouse against all enemies. They now have an AI that fits to their species. Zombies simply attack from the front. Human enemies are more strategic. The bowmen stay behind and the swordfighters try to get you into melee combat. You have the ability to block an enemy attack. If you are attacked from behind then your block does not help you. Alongside the standard attack you have the possibility to do a jump attack or a counter attack. Counter attacks can be done out of a block. You can also do mighty “finisher attacks” which cause extreme damage to an opponent.
The game world:
Thanks to the ‘GRACE engine’ the landscapes look very realistic. If you walk through ‘New Ashos’ you would think you are in a medieval Japanese city. The people here have business to do and you can watch lessons in the University of New Ashos. If you stop walking you see people passing you by who all look different. According to ZuxxeZ you won’t find characters that look alike in the whole game. If you like to meditate why don’t you take a walk through the old Japanese convent garden?
If you walk through Cheznaddar, the neighbor town of Hatmandor, you will find yourself in a hot and dusty street. People seek cover and cooling in the shadows. You can also play some games here to challenge your luck and to fill your purse.
The “Swamp Island” is like its name swampy and muddy. The flora is rotting in the constant humidity. The vegetation is diversified and realistic, each tree looks different. Rotten and eroded tree trunks, zombies and other undead provide a coherent ambiance.
The dungeons were also completely remade. In the mines of Hatmandor human made passages and natural caverns take turns. Below the desert cities you will find dungeons that look like old Egyptian Tombs in which you are attacked by mummies and skeletons.
All dungeons are mostly illuminated by natural sources of light. So you won’t stumble through complete darkness, not knowing where you are. Fireflies light some of the natural caverns, their shimmery green fits perfectly to the maps. Reality Pump created realistic shining torches to illuminate other dungeons. The sparks, the heat and the smoke from a torch look realistic.
: The Oculus is a unique artifact, not only in the game itself but within the genre as a whole. It is the ethereal aura of a disembodied eye, invisible to anyone yet floating through the air, moving as the user commands it, able to enter any place through even the tiniest crack, transmitting everything in its line of sight straight into the owner’s cerebral cortex. However the oculus has not an infinite range of sight. Some lose their ability to transmit visual data after 70 meters from your character away. The normal oculus can be used an infinite amount of time. But there are other Oculus’s. The Oculus-Infernus however is a mean bastard to enemy’s. This thing can place a small bomb near an enemy army and then blast the hell out of them. Use this oculus wise as you can only use their special ability once.
: Like its predecessor Two Worlds 2 also has a day-night-change. However Nighttime only takes about 25% of the whole day.
Most Sense Motion Capturing System: The Most Sense motion capturing system is a revolutionary new way to make fights look more realistic. It works completely wireless and so the actors can record full choreographies with it without being tied to cables.
: Dismantle your old weapons to gain valuable components to upgrade or repair your precious armors and weapons. Be aware the more you upgrade your weapon, the more components you will need and the less it strengthens your armor/weapon. That means you cannot simply upgrade your equipment until it’s godlike. The more you upgrade your equipment the less it strengthens it per upgrade.
Coloring: Bring color in your life or on your armor. In Two Worlds 2 you can color your armor with found color flasks as you like. You will see the change in real time. If you are satisfied with how your armor is looking then confirm your changes. The color flasks you used are depleted. You have to find new ones to color other parts.
My home is my castle
: You ever wanted to own a house? Here you have the possibility to own one. If you have some things you don’t want to carry around with you all the time, you can store them in your home. Your back will thank you. Also you can chill out after a long and stressing quest. Have an ice cold beer if you like.
: Your inventory is not optically limited however your strength limits the amount of things you can carry around. So be sure to invest some of your experience points into your strength.
: Do you remember the Trading- or the Thieves Guild from Two Worlds 1? In Two Worlds 2 you can work for any existing guild. However at a certain point the player has to make a decision to proceed further in a guild. This decision is final. If you get the order to kill the deputy chief of the Trading Guild, then you cannot work for the Trading Guild anymore. So choose wisely!
: Don’t worry if you have put points into the wrong skill. You have the possibility to undo it, if you have made any mistakes. Also you can choose between many sub skills for each major skill to personalize your hero as you wish.
: Attention! This soundtrack will hit your ears. It’s composed by Boris “Glorian” Slavov and is bombastic. It fits to every situation. If you start a fight, the music smoothly changes into battle music. If you walk through New Ashos you will be accompanied by an Asian melody. The changes are not choppy they’re as smooth as silk.
Respect is everything
: You want to enter Hatmandor? Forget it. You need respect to enter this city. They don’t let strangers enter their city. Be respectful to your environment and the merchants may drop their prices for you. Every NPC in Two Worlds 2, from normal inhabitants to pivotal quest-givers has a working memory. If a player insults an Orc, for example, that Orc will remember it and act accordingly the next time he meets the player. This can become a serious problem if the player happens to need valuable information from a certain NPC from whom he stole a horse in the past, or from an NPC whom he refused to help.
Keep your blade stuck
: Be careful when you draw your weapon and especially where you draw it. In a town people don’t like it if a “wannabe” hero appears in their town and swings his large toothpick. The inhabitants will back off and the guards circle around you and warn you to but your weapon back. If you obey the guard will watch you for some time and then return to duty, the inhabitants prefer to back off from you for a while. If you kill a villager for no reason at all, the rest of the community will ignore you, or even become aggressive. In larger settlements, the town guards keep the peace and can either arrest you or even bar you from entering the town ever again. So think twice before you slaughter a city.
Education rocks: Read the books or letters you find across your journey. They can come up with valuable information, quests, treasures or teleport locations or skills that you won’t learn the normal way.
PC or Console
: The Pc and the console version look identical. The graphics are smooth and there is no lag. The Xbox360 version has a special fast access menu to simplify access to certain things in your inventory.
: You can learn mighty finisher moves. But you cannot use them as often as you want. After you used a special attack it needs some time to regenerate. So you have to wait until the ability is available again.
: If you want to open locks there are 3 different methods to do it. First you need a lock pick and a calm hand. The lock picking process is a nice minigame to test your skill. Easy locks are easy to pick hard locks are harder to pick. The better you are in lock picking the more time you have to pick a lock. The second method is the auto lock picking. Depending on your skill level and the lock difficulty, you will be presented with a possibility of success. The third one is for the hard guys among us. You can draw your weapon and smash the damn lock out of its frame. But be careful. If you try to smash an iron barred door, your sword might break. So better think twice before smashing your weapons into a door.
Here is a small teaser for quests (Possible Spoiler Alert):
In Hatmandor the player has to stop a criminal syndicate and has to deal with the crime lord Mirage. The hero meets the cute waitress Reesa, who’s in fact the daughter of the ex crime lord of Hatmandor. Her family was brutally slaughtered by Mirage. If the hero decides to help Reesa to take revenge, you may find yourself in a romantic love story.
In New Ashos the hero is able to enter the death zone of the “Swallows”, he can bring down a popular professor who harasses and abuses his female students. Also you can start a scientific career at the University of New Ashos and hold a lecture over Werbeasts. Before you do that you actually have to do some research.
To continue with your main quest the hero has to cross a desert to get to Hatmandor. But to be able to cross it, he has to get himself a horse. Alima, head of the village Oros promises you a horse if you help them. They’re plagued by a drought and the inhabitants are starving to death. Alima asks you to visit the two neighbor villages Halhin and Jurban to ask the majors of the villages to trade with Oros to save Alima’s people.
Conclusion Fabian Reiff (Syphedias)
In my opinion Two Worlds 2 looks in every way better than its predecessor. The menu was redone, the inventory symbols have been increased, the landscape is coherent and the soundtrack is bombastic. The possibilities within the game sound great. I hope that ZuxxeZ and Reality Pump can put the shear amount of features in a convincingly frame. One of the biggest criticisms has been dealt with is the porting from PC to console. The Xbox360 version works just as smooth as the PC version. The game play does not suffer. Two Worlds 2 definitely has potential to become a RPG hit. The synchronization of the characters sounded good in my opinion, and the sometimes funny and ambiguous dialogues might conjure a smile on the players face. The ambition and the vigor ZuxxeZ and Reality Pump put into this game lets me hope that Two Worlds 2 can compete quite well with the great in its category.
My preliminary statement: Excellent
Conclusion Martin Wolf (UnKnOwN)
Two Worlds 2 fascinated me from the first minute. The different locations or the graphics which I haven’t seen in that quality before in any other RPG look great. The realistic shadow casting of a lantern, the sun beams and the light reflections of the sun, just to mention some of the great effects, all look great. Even on a middleclass PC the game ran fine and I wasn’t able to see any differences between the PC and the console version.
The graphics are not everything that I would like to talk about. The battle system is great. With each finishing move the camera changes it angle to give you the best possible shot of the fight. If Reality Pump puts as much effort in the multiplayer as they put in the single player, then I’m convinced that Two Worlds 2 will become a great game. The synchronization was very good for my ears and the bombastic soundtrack fitted to every situation. The only critique I had was that the icons in the inventory were a bit too large in my opinion.
My preliminary statement: Very Good