After getting my fill of the Bioshock universe, I needed a new game to play, so I thought I might give Two Worlds II a try, since I picked it up from a Steam sale a while back. If only I had read the IGN review, I could have saved myself some time, but after an hour or so I decided to abandon the game based on my own experience.
I knew there were going to be problems within two minutes of opening the game for the first time. When you purchase a game on Steam, you are often given a game key—sometimes you need to enter it into the game and sometimes you don’t.
Two Worlds II makes you enter it, but it breaks the key into four separate input fields so you can’t copy and paste. This should be just a minor annoyance, but while entering the key for the DLC that came with my purchase, one of the fields bugged out and I couldn’t activate the expansion.
The third block of my DLC’s key was something like
2VRH, but every time I typed the
V the field would autofill to
2V22. I tried deleting and retyping, but nothing I did resulted in the correct code being entered. Whatever, I had the main game’s key entered, so time to play, right? Wrong.
For some reason, Two Worlds II makes you register your copy of the game. I’ve registered normal software before, but a game? Why?
I didn’t want to register, but if you try to skip it you are told that the game will only run in demo mode. With the only alternative being not to play, I started to register only to find that the required fields include my address and my gender. What possible reason does the developer have to ask for these items before allowing me to play their game? Fake address? Check. Gender? Male, fine, whatever.
I hadn’t even started playing yet and I was aleady annoyed.
There’s this cool Orc ranger, though.
My next problem was actually figuring out how to control my character once I got into the game. I immediately realized that I didn’t even know how to interact with anything in the world, and had to resort several times to referring to the key bindings list in the games control options menu.
At one point the hero’s rescuer tells you to sneak up on some enemies and stab them with the dagger she gives you. I had beat on some other enemies with a stick earlier, and I knew that pressing
F draws that weapon. I couldn’t figure out how to draw the dagger, though. After a couple of clumsy, unstealthly enemy encounters where I bashed them noisily over the head with a stick from behind, I finally realized that your dagger is drawn already when you sneak. You just have to hit the left mouse button to use it.
Maybe my anger at the controls is me just acting like a grumpy old man, but I was starting to hate this game more already.
Two Worlds II didn’t stop annoying me there. During the beginning sequences, which act as a tutorial to expose you to various game mechanics, they want you to do what they say and nothing else. They will suddenly warp you back if you step too far off the path.
For example, at one point I saw some chests I wanted to open, so I started walking over to them. Just as I started to bend down to open a chest, the game warped me back to the road and flipped the camera’s orientation so that I didn’t know where I was. I started to move in what was apparently the wrong direction again and was warped a second time.
Even in the context of the tutorial they warp you around with little warning. At one moment I was chatting with a mage at the top of a wind swept cliff overlooking the sea. We were talking about some skeletons that we wanted me to kill, and the next thing I knew I was in a cave five feet away from the skeletal fiends.
Next time give me some sort of warning or tell me that you are sending me to a cave. Or just let me walk.
Too Much Skin
My last point to make about Two Worlds II is the off-putting way female characters are portrayed in the game. I couldn’t take them seriously dressed (or undressed) they way they were.
There’s nothing wrong with a little sensuality in a game if it’s done right, but in Two Worlds II it is a perfect example of stereotypical gratuitousness. In the first hour of the game, I met three female characters of whom I saw almost their entire bare torsos and at least 90% of their breasts. One of them, the Orc rogue, had intentionally covered her face, but left most of her underwear regions exposed.
This fleshy display is no doubt aimed at a perceived mid-pubescent male audience (and maybe older men who are stuck at that stage of development), but for a man looking for some depth of narrative in a fantasy universe, these female costumes ruin the illusion. If I wanted to see a naked lady, I could pretty easily a thousand of them elsewhere. That’s what the internet is for.
The Hero, the Prophet and the Prophet’s Boobs
This post doesn’t even touch the problems that a professional review site like IGN has with the game. If you need more reasons why you should not play Two Worlds 2 please read that review.
I’m not going to play it again as I might explode. I actually launched the game again to verify something for this post, but it tried to make me register my key again.
I’ve only got so much time to play games, and, unfortunately for Two Worlds II, it didn’t make the cut.