Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
I had been following Two Worlds for months. I had read about it on some web site and downloaded the Xbox Marketplace video. A Polish company making a 3rd person, Oblivion style game (and let me specify I wasn’t one of the people who was looking for an Elder Scrolls clone, I was intrigued by the lone wolf element; I’m also a fan of the King’s Field games.) hit home for me and all of the information I could obtain on the game seemed positive. I’m reminded of my experience with Mass Effect but I’ll save that for another review.
I had reserved the collector’s edition month’s in advance, party because it came with a pen and paper RPG based on the world(s?) of Two Worlds. As soon as I got it into my car I unwrapped it and pulled out the RPG manual. I flipped through the pages. My heart sank. I swallowed and started actually reading it, hoping that first impressions really were wrong. They weren’t. This was worse than the games my friends and I would make up when we were eight because our parents wouldn’t let us buy Dungeons and Dragons. My first thought was, “If this is how the game works I already hate it!”, but then I told myself, “You shouldn’t bring any prejudice into this. Just go home and play the game. It’s gonna be awesome.”
I don’t think I’ve ever acted like this in any situation other than when I’ve purchased something. I’ve payed money for this. I’ve invested my optimism in this. No mater how it performs I’m gonna try to grok something good about it. You’re right Second Thought, let’s just go home and play it. It’ll be awesome!
It wasn’t awesome.
I played for two hours, telling myself the whole time that intros to these games are always horrible, that things were going to be amazing any second. I tried to make myself ignore the horrible script (it’s translated from Polish, right?), the “I took drama in high school, and learned to speak English phonetically" voice acting. I tried to tell myself that the horrible controls were to blame on my lack of experience with the game. That the spells I was finding were going to combine into something awesome if I just found one more card. I tried to like riding horses.
After 17 hours with the game I had to stop deluding myself. The dialog was painfully abrasive, both from the writing and the acting. The controls were floaty, clunky, slow, inaccurate, and poorly mapped; I can’t think of a game since Vampire Hunter D with such mangled controls (and I played that through to the horrible end). The skills I was leveling up, if they were making any difference at all, seemed to have no impact on my playing experience. The spells I had created were pathetic and mostly useless, even though I had tried to specialize in mage-like traits. Horses were retarded. I was under the impression that I would be able to ride into a mob of enemies on my horse and, at least, diminish their numbers considerably. Instead I could hardly even deal damage to a single enemy from horseback, it was a liability.
I tried to press on. Another reason I was so interested in the game in the first place was the supposed ability to actually have a noticeable effect on the game world. I didn’t see any of this. I admit that I didn’t get very far into the story (I’m pretty sure I peaked at 20 hrs.) but only because I couldn’t get past the mind-numbing awfulness of everything else involved. I know there are people who claim to be fans of the game. I don’t know if these people are corporate plants or folks who are just more determined to find something to appreciate in everything they buy than I am, but I do know that I have limits to how much garbage I’m willing to wade through to find a rhinestone.
Two Worlds is too big of a pile of garbage for me.
Game Traits applied to Two Worlds (X360) by TenSymbols