The first Two Worlds experience could be summed up with a pretty neat parallel to the real world, one that revolves around the sport of football. In a child's game, the kids run around, pass the ball to one another, and overall, they imitate what the game of football should be like. However something is clearly amiss. They run into one another, never quite kick the ball with enough force, or have terrible aim. Some stand around on the field aimlessly, others will band together in a kicking/shoving match for the ball. You are not watching a true game, but instead a poor imitation of the sport; certainly a good attempt by everyone who's participating, after all they don't really know any better. So it was the same with Two Worlds, the game that was supposed to be a more open-world styled RPG, but it didn't quite get the point.
I think it would be fair to say that if we're going to be giving Two Worlds II a fighting chance, we assume the developers have learned from their mistakes. One simply can't go out there to make an Elder Scrolls style game and just assume everything is going to be ok no matter what you do. The bugs need to be kept to a minimum, world design must be crisp, and graphics should at least be at a tolerable level for current day games; and so far Reality Pump look as if they're taking things very seriously this time around.
When sampling the visuals, it's easy to see the difference between Two Worlds and its successor is like night and day, with console versions of the game boasting a different UI for easier skill access than the PC (which has the obvious advantage of using a keyboard). As a result, combat looks far sharper than the prior game, both for casters and melee-oriented fighters. This is partly due to the character/class customization options that exist for both skills and equipment.
Customization is going to play a much larger part in the game, as players will be able to build upon just about any spell or item in the game. Weapons and armour can be deconstructed and modified to include stat changes or various bonuses and all spells work in a very similar manner; players can take two existing spells an combine then for a pretty wide variety of effects. Although the last game allowed some very minor multi-classing (albeit through alchemy) when it came to attacks and buffs, it appears that this time around things will be even more open.
And of course 'openness' would be the name of the game for any sandbox RPG. With more finely tuned combat and clearly more detail being poured into world design one can only hope that the world of Eastern Antaloor is going to be just as refined and rewarding. Having a world that's fun to kill stuff in is great, but having memorable characters and quests is really what playing any RPG is all about. That being said, players should at least take in some enjoyment from the newly designed engine that will be powering the world; lighting effects and general terrain look far more impressive and to be honest it's a lot easier to get sucked into a world that has interesting looking architecture.
Two Worlds II will also be boasting some online play, up to eight players at once, which in theory sounds pretty neat. What exactly eight players will have to do online with one another is up in the air, but at least the option is there and that has to count for something right? Perhaps it will be a sleeper hit of some sort on the multiplayer scene.
Either way, Reality Pump certainly looks like they have listened to complaints from the first title and implemented changes to make sure they aren't greeted by a similar reception.
It's refreshing in a way, to see a developer actually bounce back with a product, and it'll be even more interesting where they plan to go from there. With Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim not due till the end of the year many RPG fans will be flocking (if tentatively) to this title; if only to hope things are just as good as they look.