Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Two Worlds

Developer: TopWare Interactive
Publisher: SouthPeak Interactive
Release Date: Aug. 24, 2007
Systems: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PC
ESRB Rating: M
Official Web Site

In a nutshell: Oblivion without all the things that made Oblivion good.

0:01 Starting off in the character editor. I can choose from four whole hair styles! And one whole costume! And... one whole facial type. It makes the Mii Channel look expansive. And what the hell's with this Lorenna Mckennit cum hard rock guitar background music?
0:04 During the loading screen: "The stun skill is usable against a helmeted opponent." Good to know... I guess...
0:05 "Why did you not tell me. You will bleed to death." says my character. "'Tis just a flesh wound." says his female companion, without a trace of irony. or voice acting talent. This is the most stilted delivery I've heard this side of Resident Evil.
0:06 Kira goes missing, but my character seems unconcerned. Sure he cries "Kira!" but he sounds pretty bored when he says it.
0:07 "The village elder will be here directly. They have found another body." "I shall wait!" You really have to hear the delivery on these lines. It's classically bad.
0:08 These facial models are just ugly. Not uncanny valley ugly. Just ugly ugly. Misshapen.
0:09 "Since the dwarves went north, 'tis only Groms that visit this temple." Of course! That makes perfect sense! What's a Grom?
0:10 Hey, I'm finally playing! Anything's better than that horrid voice acting.
0:11 First battle consists of hitting RT a lot to attack a pair of Goblin-looking Groms. The dungeon environment is pretty detailed... the artists went a bit overboard.
0:12 Wait, that was it? I killed two enemies and now they're telling me to go back outside and find my employer. A stranger tells me that some warrior came to the village looking for me. He pays me. "Forsooth, twas generous... where I come from, no one pays unless forced too." This is hard to sit through.
0:14 I like how they let me choose my hair color when making a character, yet they keep my head covered with a hood at all times.
0:15 The stranger finishes with his expositional backstory. To tell you the truth I tuned most of it out. Lots of random fantasy-sounding names and places. Blah blah blah.
0:16 I love how the jump animation just kind of freezes at the peak of your jump. Not quite so-bad-it's-good, but definitely so-bad-it's-funny.
0:18 The detailed graphics are too much for the system -- bits of grass are popping into existence two feet from me. Kind of detracts from the world.
0:19 I try to attack a stray wolf, but my sword goes right through him on eight shots out of ten. Is this the ghost wolf of legend? Wait, what did I just say?
0:21 I stumble across a magic source. Only after fumbling with the buttons for a while do I realize that the L trigger shoots a magic flame. That... might have been nice to know earlier.
0:22 Upon being killed by two Groms and being resurrected nearby: "I'm alive again." Well goody. Apparently I've been resurrected right in a new village. A person there tells me about taxes in northeast Thalmont. Wow... gripping.
0:23 "Ah, you are the mercenary of whom I have heard." How's that for natural writing. This guy wants a moutain crystal as a gift for his wife. No thanks... I'm not an errand boy. He mentions that orcs are attacking a caravan. OK. That's at least potentially exciting later!
0:26 "Well met, stranger. Are you seeking some special wares, perchance." This line is spoken by a guy who sounds like he has the barest understanding of conversational English.
0:27 I open a door outward, and it GOES RIGHT THROUGH MY CHARACTER. Like completely. Not a good sign.
0:28 Someone sees me breaking into a cabinet and calls the guards. "Don't hurt me," he whimpers. Then I talk to him. "Good day to you." he says, cheerfully. Sigh.
0:30 The guard arrives in town. "You've been caught stealing. That is a crime here!" So... there are places where it isn't a crime? When I call him a cur, he responds "You're one dead stranger." My sides are starting to hurt from laughter.
0:31 So the guard who confronted me promptly runs off, but the angry citizens attack me with sticks. One hit and I'm down... the villagers are stronger than the enemy Groms! This would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.
0:34 Apparently wolves don't need to breathe in this universe. I'm up to my waist in ocean water but the wolf keeps following me, totally submerged. Too funny.
0:36 Someone sends me an Xbox Live message asking if Two Worlds is better than Oblivion. I almost fall out of my chair. Oh well... at least responding is more interesting than playing the game.
0:39 OK, response sent, back to the game. I admit I have no idea where I'm supposed to go. I remember them mentioning a hut south of the city, but I have no idea where the city is. Or where south is, for that matter.
0:40 Holy fuck, a black bear. It would be scary if I couldn't easily out run it. Seriously, I have yet to meat the enemy or beast I can't easily run circles around.
0:42 I somehow stumble upon Gandohar, the guy who was looking for me. The Groms that were chasing me wait patiently off to the side as I talk. Seriously, I can see them as behind me during the cut scene, just standing there grumbling!
0:43 For some reason, Gandohar kills the Groms that were following me once our conversation is done. Not that I mind, but... is he my friend now or something?
0:45 I just noticed there's absolutely no background music. After all that effort on the full vocal score during the intro screen, the world is completely silent. What gives?
0:46 I try going around the village I stole from, but some villagers follow me and take me about about 100 yards away. Holy hell, I'm sorry I stole from you, OK?! Just leave me alone already!
0:49 Some wizard guy is blathering on about teleporters activators.I fantasize about what I'll be doing in 11 minutes.
0:57 The most ridiculous battle I've ever taken part in just ended. I take out a group of 12(!) young Groms simply by throwing fireballs from afar and then retreating to a nearby magic restoring point. This whole process takes eight minutes, but isn't even remotely as dangerous as it should be.
1:01 I spend my last four minutes amusing myself by literally running and jumping circles around a pack of wolves. They just sit there growling and occasionally trying to lash out at me. I'm just skipping around them, la la la.

Would I play this game for more than an hour? Not on your life.
Why? It is one of the worst games I've ever played.

This review based on a retail copy provided by SouthPeak.


Anonymous said...

I heard it was bad, but sheesh.

"0:49 Some wizard guy is blathering on about teleporters activators.I fantasize about what I'll be doing in 11 minutes."

This is why I read this blog.

Nounet said...

Sounds great :-) Thanks for sparing me the trouble...

Anonymous said...

so, i see you've come to the same conclusion i have. you didn't mention how painful riding a horse is, so i can only assume you didn't try it; 'cause you *would have* mentioned it -- i don't think i've ever experienced anything more painful in a game...

now if i had only read this *before* i bought the thing. well, at least i didn't blow another $10 on the "special" edition. you know, the one with the rule book for playing "table top two worlds." or wait... maybe the table top one would've made the purchase worth while! at least my imagination has no pop-in and a steady frame rate.

Tim said...

Wow, I was thinking about trying this game, but based on this, I think I'll pass. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

briliant review, I was the guy that messaged kyle when he was playing, glad it gave him something better to do

Anonymous said...

A lot of people say that this game gets better the longer you play it.

Anonymous said...

"at least my imagination has no pop-in and a steady frame rate."

Oh yeah? It'd probably give you a seizure.

Unknown said...

"A lot of people say that this game gets better the longer you play it."

If a game isn't "good" in the first hour (or sooner), it's not worth your time.


Anonymous said...

This game is about the worst fit for your review format you could ever devise - it gives a very poor first impression and there's no getting around that. It takes a good 2-3 hours of play to really even start to get into the groove of the game, understand the menus, etc.

If you want to pop in a game and be entertained right away, no doubt this game is not for you. If however you can look past some of the issues the game has, there is a really fun, deep RPG to be found here with a ton of spells, weapons, armor and quests.

Anonymous said...

my god, people, play it for more than a few minutes. Yes the hair styles sucked and yes it is laggy some times. But this game is, in my opinion, as good as oblivion. After morrowind and oblivion, its time for something new and better. The spell selection is better, weapons are better, armor is much much better (something other than light and heavy >.>), the characters actually have more than 5 different voices so the npc chats don't get old. I swear, people need to learn patience sometimes.

Anonymous said...

i gotta admit the first hour on the ame is abysmal and it does have some major problems, but it has a hell of a lot more weapons and armour etc than oblivion

Agent Wade said...

This game is not oblivion, it lacks the true dedication to being realistic and attention to every detail. It does however give you a lot of things to work with, I think it's more fun than oblivion. I got so caught up trying to level my character correctly in oblivion that it sucked. All the quests are stupid, once you make 100% chameleon effects oblivion is no longer fun. The dremora are a waste of time and once you've leveled alchemy and add poison to arrows and such there is no challenge.

Anonymous said...

I have played this game for more than 7 hours and it is way maore fun once you get to level 10. also when you get tiered of the skills you selected you can reset them by talking to some random wizzard in a big city place. Riding horses is not as painfull if you level up your horse riding skill a few times. but i find that swimming is very annoying because you can only go 10% of your normal walking speed unless you pour skill points into it.

Anonymous said...

"If a game isn't "good" in the first hour (or sooner), it's not worth your time."

Final Fantasy VIII. Boring as hell for the first hour, then the action kicks off and never stops.

This game is fun if you're about running around, killing guys to level up in order to unlock new skills or make previous ones stronger, and that's it. If you like older PC RPG's, like Dungeon Seige, you'll like this.