The combat system is pretty robust, thereís a lot of scope for tactics in ranged combat and melee, you have numerous special moves you can employ and you can time your strikes just right to get counters and so on. The system works well enough and once you get the hang of it, you realise that just mashing the trigger to attack isnít going to cut it. Blocks, counters, special moves and learning to evade all play a part in victory against some of the tougher foes that youíll encounter along the way.
The lock picking system is fun, you have a pick and several latches you need to catch as the pick rotates, you can reverse the direction and the idea is to line up the cylinders of the lock by catching the latches/notches with the pick one by one. Get it wrong, or take too long and the pick breaks.
There are even a couple of dice games and other things to keep you occupied beyond the main quest, these will help you get a lot more in the way of coin and let you afford some of the skill books that I havenít mentioned just yet. Not every skill is one you get from a quest plotline or for free. You have to explore, hunt down books and in some cases buy them. Once you read the book, the skill is unlocked, and then you can put points into it.
There are other elements to the game, theyíre introduced as time goes on, so you can learn about them from the numerous books youíll be able to read. Suffice it to say that Two Worlds 2 gameplay is a hundred times better than the first and it is definitely enjoyable.Graphics
Thereís a solid frame rate this time, with only minor loading between world chunks...Antaloor is a HUGE world with pretty decent vistas, a little bit of pop in and pop up that you ignore as you explore the varied environments and take in the sights. It isnít a beautiful looking game compared to some, but it is a very nice looking game that has a few graphical touches that make it pleasing to the eye. Ok, there might also be a bit too much flare and bloom at times but thatís only a minor thing.
I really like the spell effects and the level of detail on the actual characters, environments and especially the weapons is pretty decent. The swords look metallic and some of the more powerful weapons have runes inscribed on the blades, they shine with a convincing glimmer in the sun and look generally pretty damn cool. Even the armour looks good, with embossed leather covered in swirl patterns and so on. The texture artists must have worked overtime on those alone.
Thereís a nice use of shadow and light here, day and night cycles work really well and the whole atmosphere of the game alters at night. You donít feel as overwhelmed or as scared at night though, since in general your character is far more badass than most things if you take the time to level them up properly. Still, thereís a feeling of unease created through the night time system when youíre out in dangerous wilds.
So to sum it up, graphically the game isnít a slouch and thereís a lot of detail across the board.Animations
A King compared to Two Worlds, Two Worlds 2 has improved animations throughout. There are still some odd ones now and then, but for the most part it all works as it should and you get some pretty neat combat animations with the battles, parrying weapons, dodging and blocking with flourishes all work well. Lip synching isnít too bad either and the characters blink, move their heads around and roll their eyes if irked. Basically, itís not quite there yet compared to some of the market leaders, but it works well enough for this game.Physics
There are some decent physics here, bodies fly when hit by enough force and ragdoll around if the character throws a decent force based spell. Weapons actually have a mass and weight and seem to impact in different ways. The usual object based physics are present and become very useful if you combine them with a tornado based spell to create that shield of debris talked about earlier. Big monsters hit hard and can throw your character around like a leaf on the wind, you have been warned!AI
It varies based on creature, most of the time theyíre actually pretty intelligent, though you can exploit their aggro range and their path finding if you know what youíre looking for. Overall though, expect a decent enough challenge in some of the larger encounters with tenacious enemies.