The lights are on
There are hardly any multiplayer RPGs on consoles, especially with more than 2 player co-op. Two Worlds II supports 8-player Co-Op & PvP, with several modes to choose from in multiplayer, and of course has an absolutely HUGE single-player map. I did not play the first Two Worlds much at all. I borrowed it from my brother and didn't really like it much. I didn't really know what to expect from Two Worlds II. I had seen some videos on YouTube of TW II that looked pretty good, so I was willing to take a chance and get it when it came out a few days ago. I'm extremely glad I did. The videos on YouTube don't compare to the real thing at all.
This review covers the multiplayer campaign only, I have been too addicted to it to do much in the single-player. No other game has been in my Xbox, and I've barely even watched any TV. I've been spending all my free time leveling up in Co-Op matches. I've already met a great group I quest with, and a good number of us are all near the same level. I spend about half my game time grinding for XP and loot with them, the other half I devote to helping some of my friends level and clear missions who have also just recently bought the game that are lower level than me. My main character is currently a Level 38 Mage, I have an alternate that's a Level 12 Warrior.
The level cap in TW II is 37,262; and no, you will never get that much XP. The highest level player I've ever seen was a level 225. I got to build my own village with It's own economy. I can use my chest in my house there to transfer good warrior gear I find with my mage to my other character, he has a lot of great items waiting to use when he becomes high enough level to equip them. The game plays great, lag is very low on Xbox. It does start to lag a bit more when all sorts of crazy action is happening (a bunch of mages casting the most powerful and flashy spells and summoning up to 11 creatures each being the usual time this happens) , but it is very manageable and is not nearly frequent enough to bother the players much or stop you from wanting to play. Network connections are usually quick and smooth, and all multiplayer lobbies show player's ping (connection speed) right next to their name when they try to join your lobby.
The structure of the game for Co-Op is very similar to Borderlands, NOT the gameplay, don't get confused, this is a third-person fantasy RPG. I am referring to the way the game unfolds, in that the multiplayer is not free-roaming, it is split into separate HUGE maps. These are not like the tiny maps in Fable III. You can get lost in them. All multiplayer maps have multiple teleporters which are absolutely necessary due the GIGANTIC size of most of the maps. Two maps that are smaller are underground dungeons, which are still quite large and maze-like, one is a mixture of indoor and outdoor, and then there are four sprawling outdoor maps, each of these complete with one or more towns and several shops. There are currently 7 multiplayer missions. The first two only take about 30 mins to an hour to complete, but after the second mission, they all take about two to three hours each (unless you're in a overpowered group and you all split up to different objectives and speed-run it, then you could probably do the later missions in about an hour. Each mission has multiple objectives and after completing them all you can move to the next map.
This is one of the best online experiences on consoles because it is unique. The co-op mode alone is worth the $60. Just try to name another great online multiplayer RPG on consoles in the last five years. If you say Fable, you're wrong because that's not a true RPG, and it only has 2 players, not eight. Borderlands is a shooter/RPG hybrid, so that doesn't count either. PvP and Village modes are huge bonuses. I give Two Worlds II's multiplayer portion a score of 9.5, which could possibly become a 10 once they sort out a few (very minor) bugs and release the DLC that adds more multiplayer maps that are for high-level characters, with super-hard enemies and better loot.
The game controls and interface are perfect to bring PC-style complexity to the console. The button mapping is a bit strange at first (sprint is on L-Trigger), but character control is generally very good, and five buttons are assignable to any skill/spell/item. There are three sets of these hotkeyed buttons, one set is when you have your weapon out, it automatically changes to another set when you put your weapon away, and there's one more when you're in sneak mode. That's 15 abilities/items available at any time, without having to stop and access the menus. The Single Player campaign would score a bit lower than the Co-Op because the in-game dialogue and cutscenes could have used some improvement. I haven't gotten far enough in to say much about the story, but it seems decent so far. But it's still got a HUGE free-roaming map, and the same awesome skills/magic system. To put it shortly, GET THE GAME NOW! Trade in some old games if you have to, sell something on eBay, do whatever you have to do, but if you like RPGs and you play online you should be rushing to the store right now, just like I'm about to rush back to my Xbox to go grind in Co-Op!
All i can say is beware of the single player campaign.
I've been trying to get into the multiplayer but I cannot find anyone to start with! I absolutely see the potential in it, and I wish I had a group of regulars to join. I can't convince my friends that it's worth it because they're on this "the original sucked" defense. I suppose I'm just wishing I could have access to more players online so I could get things rolling. But your review has resparked my interest!
I love TW2's multiplayer mode too especially when you find a great group to play all the maps with. I'm a level 40 mage and I gotta say the spell system in TW2 is one of the best.