Two Worlds (Xbox 360) review
"In the single-player campaign, you play as a mercenary whose main goal is to save his sister. Early in the game, you're approached by a black-clad warrior and told to find the Goat's Cave south of the small village your quest begins in. I eventually hit near the southern edge of the massive world, where an Asian stereotyped culture lived, and managed to completely miss the Goat's Cave."
"Yo, Z, don't play Two Worlds man. That game's f-ckin' shit."
Such a harsh utterance was bestowed upon me by my rap-influenced, generically named Xbox Live buddy, SPAZ. A powerful statement, indeed, but in this day and age with multimillion dollar development costs, can a game truly be that bad?
Well, yes and no. You see, Two Worlds isn't a bad game, per se; it's just a generic one. The few original ideas that it pioneers are broken beyond all recognition. Throughout this admittedly huge adventure with a world that rivals the size of that other free-roaming 360 RPG you will fight wolves, boars, bears, bandits, orcs, dragons, and
goblins groms. You'll encounter caves, villlages, underground dungeons, huge castle towns, and forests. All of the locations, while meticulosly detailed, are the same you've been seeing in just about every single RPG for years.
The weapons and spells are also generic. Spells are made up of one of five elements--I bet you can guess at least four of them. By acquiring spell cards, you can cast the spell written on the card, provided your elemental skill level is high enough for that spell's particular element. Similar spell cards can be stacked on each other, increasing the power of the spell as well as its MP usage. Likewise, your weapons can be stacked too, so that even a common Short Sword can become more powerful than the much rarer, much more powerful Captain's Sabers. This stacking can be done indefinitely... and therein lies a major problem: playing online is a torturous experience, and it all stems from the weapon and spell's stacking system. You see, most RPGs store their online characters on a seperate server, with the data being saved when you log out.
Not Two Worlds.
Instead, Two Worlds saves your character data directly to your hard drive, saving only when you decide to quit from the game you're in. By giving weapons to a trusted friend and using the Return to Dashboard function on the Xbox 360, you can exit the game without saving... though your friend still has your weapon in game.
What this means is that playing online will pit you face-to-face with countless people who have Short Swords that deal damage in the millions. People will also disarm you, break your weapon, or freeze you, then break your weapon, and log out.
At least all it takes to negate anything they do to you is a trip to the dashboard.
Luckily though, single player mode is more enjoyable. Although the seizure-inducing framerate is slow and jerky and the loading times common and excruciating, it still manages to be a somewhat exciting experience thanks to its free-roaming aspect. Unlike the online mode where the world is divided into arenas separated by invisible walls, the single player campaign thrusts you into a seamless world packed with dungeons, villages, cities, bandits, and monsters. Granted, they're all the same generic monsters you've seen in generally every RPG ever made, but there's at least some variety. For example, you can fight wolves, gray wolves, or silver wolves. They all look exactly the same, but trust the game: they're different.
Almost as different as the storyline. In the single-player campaign, you play as a mercenary whose main goal is to save his sister. Early in the game, you're approached by a black-clad warrior and told to find the Goat's Cave south of the small village your quest begins in. I eventually hit near the southern edge of the massive world, where an Asian stereotyped culture lived, and managed to completely miss the Goat's Cave. Otherwise, there's loads of commonplace, generic fetchquests to complete, such as getting booze for some guards, finding a rope for a creepy necromancer, and retrieving poems for a man living in the Asian place.
Over time, though, the mediocrity of the game began to grate on me. I quickly grew tired of exploring the world, even if it was rather beautiful. The quests grew stale and boring, offering little to no reward. Instead, I went on a rampage, slaughtering the townspeople of every village unlucky enough to cross my path. The back of the Two Worlds box challenges me with a question:
Will you save the world... or destroy it?
I destroyed it, and I had a hell of a lot of fun doing so. Considering that in RPGs--even free roaming ones like Oblivion--I tend to be a good guy who stands up for great justice, the fact that Two Worlds drove me over the edge, making me want to slaughter everyone in its world is a huge statement.
Even that was deprived of me when I found out that NPCs come back to life over time.
Two Worlds isn't exactly a bad game; it's just a flawed one. It had a lot of potential to be something amazing, and considering the amount of hype it received, I was expecting something ball-bustingly epic. It was a letdown. Not even my generically-named Xbox Live buddy was impressed, and he likes just about everything.
And I never did find that damned Goat's Cave.
Staff review by Kyle Stepp (September 22, 2007)
Espiga likes big butts, and cannot lie.
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