The lights are on
I feel like I need to abdicate the playability of Two Worlds 2. So many gamers, after the aweful original, have completely given up on the series. Clearly, Reality Pump has not. The developers have tackled the issues of the first game and revamped it in this drastically improved (although admitedly lackluster) sequel.
What has improved:
Combat! Improvement to aiming and enhancing strategy has added a new level of fun to the typical hack'n'slash. Although if you're feeling lazy, you can still play that way. Also, the ease of choosing 3 custom layouts on the fly means easy exchange from Ranged, Melee, and Magic. Thus combat can be incredibly varied. Which is essential - since some monsters are more vulnerable to certain tactics
Voice Acting! Finally dropping the ridiculous "Foresooth" and "Mayhap" spoken in every line of the original. The voice actors have clearly spoken English before, and offer a more believable (although still tacky) voice overs. The main character does come off as personable as Michael Thornton (alpha protocol), but there are enough good characters to supplement his faults.
Crafting! This is by far my most favorite element to the game. Instead of defeating tons of bosses hoping to get epic loot, you can breakdown those 20 short swords into basic metals and forge your weapon into a better one using those raw materials. This can be done for every piece of equipment (jewelry aside) and has left me wondering... why hasn't this been done before!? (looking forward to a similar system in Diablo 3)
Sidequests! The sidequests in this game have got to be the most interesting I've ever done! What starts off as a simple job for the local sherriff turns into a huge multi-chain optional questline which can lead to a romance and showdown with the local crimelord. The way your actions tend to escalate the local plot adds a sense of accomplishment to your deeds.
The bad: The game isn't quite as polished as the great RPG's pumped out by Bethesda and Bioware. The Main Quest is forgettable, and the game can droll on for a while before picking back up again with an interesting side-quest. Clearly there is more work to be done before this series reaches a "must buy" status. However, the improvements and ingenuity not yet seen in popular RPG's have made this game a great rental and distraction till Skyrim, Mass Effect 3, and Dragon Age 2 come around.
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