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"ok YOU try having a fictional relationship with someone after they'd fictionally used you for marzipanning trepanning while they wore fictional upset toddlers as legs, and not be bitter"
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  Two Worlds Xbox 360 Review

Two Worlds. Where’s the other one then?

Two Worlds, otherwise known as Generic Fantasy RPG 213, is so hackneyed that it’d give Weiss and Hickman a run for their money. The game starts with a cutscene following your hero, Jed Tinsel. It’s raining and he leaves his sister propped up against a tree while he goes into a hut for some reason. She’s gone when he gets back out. 17 years later you’re in a temple and then some stuff happens and you have to go and do some stuff and for fucks sake stop reading the plot. It’d be fair to compare this game to Oblivion (*light shines from the heavens* AHHHHHH!), as it’s a fantasy open-world quest game. Though it’s as if the designers saw the cash that Morrowind and Oblivion raked in, thought “me too!” and then got their local special school to knock up a copy.

Before I get stuck in good and proper, I want to concentrate on the things Two Worlds does right. Number one: the combat is much more in depth than Oblivion. Instead of simply running up to an enemy and holding X until they fall over, you now can dodge duck and weave out of the way once you learn the enemy’s attack patterns. A simple improvement that makes fighting the higher level monsters a bit more bearable. Number two: If you get up somewhere high in the northern mountains and keep perfectly still, you get lovely views.

Right, that’s that over with. The things that Two Worlds gets wrong are too long to list completely. For a start, the voice acting. God’s cock I couldn’t bear listening to it after two minutes in the game world. Jed’s a gravelly voiced pleb, and no one seems capable of saying “yes” or “no” successfully. Everything’s “aye” or “nay” in stilted American accents. Recall the utter dregs of the fantasy genre and their occasional use of such terms, then make it all the frigging time. “Twither art thou going?” asks one character, “T’were good you came by!” says another. “Twithery twinky twoo twoo nay aye!” exclaims yet another. It’s unfathomably bad.

The world is very pretty from a distance. It has lovely sweeping views from up high, as mentioned before, but get close in and it’s as rough as Katy Price. Yet again we’re “treated” to a game world which has every type of terrain possible. Rolling countryside jarringly changes to snowy glacier, to boggy marsh and inexplicable desert. Climate effects mean nothing in this magical realm! There’s a desert there! Get over it! Different enemies populate each area. You get the pleasure of slaying untold billions of wolves who seemingly hang around the countryside just to bother people. You can’t move 10 steps without tripping over a pack of them. There’s fucking orcs as well, in several different flavours. Countryside orcs are different from glacier orcs, because glacier orcs have an extra adjective in their name. Exciting huh? Still, it doesn’t suffer from Oblivion syndrome of scaling enemies, which I suppose is a plus. It also doesn’t fall into the trap of populating the landscape with a myriad of ruins, caves and camps. Unfortunately their alternative is to randomly, and I mean randomly, plonk down health and magic regenerators and teleports around the place. There’s an especially evil achievement tied to discovering all of them. Yes, I did get it.

There’s alchemy to do, as well. The countryside is littered with ingredients for this, just like Oblivion (what a surprise) . Most have temporary effects of making you immune to poison damage and so forth, but some can have permanent effects boosting one or more of your core stats. So I went out and collected five sapphires, each supposedly giving me a delightful +1 on intelligence (or something, I can’t remember the actual stat it increased). Surely mixing five of these together would give me a +5 boost? No. I got a hot knives trap. And that’s the problem with the alchemy system in this game. It’s basically random to what you get out of the mixes you make. And isn’t it about time games like this have a separate inventory for alchemical ingredients? You know, instead of cluttering up the main inventory with esoteric flower pictures?

The quests! Yes, there’s plenty of quests to get done in the frankly hyowj world. Almost without exception they run along the lines of 1: Go there and kill this twitherytwoo, or 2: Go yonder and tell Tinky Winky his twea is ready aye. One had me ping-ponging between two NPCs no less than 7 times. Drudgery. Drudgery of the highest order. Drudgery compounded by the sheer amount of quests. Variation, please, I beg you. The main questline suffers in exactly the same way. The first five quests in it require you to traverse almost the entire world to talk to your incorporeal sister in stone circles. For no apparent reason. When the big reveal that, gasp!, the man who was helping you was an evil who wants Jed’s soul happens, then you have to kill some men and then confront him at his eeeevil fortress of doom. The developers even have the sheer gall to play rawkin guitar wankery over the end battle. Anybody who uses electric guitars in a fantasy game needs to be given two dead legs. It’s the new rules.

The biggest game knacker I’ve saved until last. The framerate. It’s so bad that it gave me motion sickness. This is the first console game where I’ve had to type in commands to turn off graphical effects to make it work properly. The pop-up of the grass, trees, enemies, NPCs, towns, everything is so jarring to remove any immersion it could have possibly gathered. The screen judders along whenever you move your view in a horrible sickening way. Removing the grass effects, dynamic shadows and ragdoll effects has an amazing effect on this, but at the cost of an even blander gaming experience.

So. Shit story. Shit world. Shit quests. Shit voice acting. Nauseating graphics.
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