Two Worlds, developed by Reality Pump and published by SouthPeak Interactive in 2007, was a RPG that was notable more for its flaws than its strengths. GameZone talks with Reality Pump Chairman Miroslaw Dymek about his hopes for the sequel, about what makes it better than the original, and about whether or not gamers should give the series a second chance.
GameZone: Sequels are often an opportunity to make a game that’s even bigger and better than its predecessor. In what ways has Two Worlds 2 improved over the original?
Miroslaw Dymek: Going into Two Worlds 2, we wanted to bring back the game mechanics that are beloved in Two Worlds, but we also wanted to implement new features that we didn’t get the chance to present in the first game. The Magic Card System in Two Worlds was robust, but in Two Worlds 2, we’ve created the most intricate and customizable system ever created in a RPG. Players can now link magic cards together to create spells with multiple effects. For example, a projectile card (with a fire element) and a summoning card (with a Necromancy element) will create a fireball spell that summons a Skeleton Warrior on impact. Additionally, from a purely graphical perspective, Two Worlds 2 is leaps and bounds ahead of Two Worlds. With the GRACE engine, we have made the world of Antaloor a fully immersive experience.
GZ: One game mechanic new to the series is the CRAFT tool. How does it work?
MD: The CRAFT tool was developed after the extremely successful Weapon Stacking system in Two Worlds. For those who are unfamiliar with weapon stacking, we allowed the player to stack similarly named items together to increase the items stats. Traditionally, one of the major problems with RPGs is the fact that your inventory can become cluttered with weapons that are either dropped or sold. This is a disservice to the player. However, in Two Worlds 2, we wanted to take “weapon stacking” a step further. Instead of stacking similar weapons, players can now break down most items into basic parts and then use those parts to upgrade any item they want. For example, a bow can be broken down into wood and then used to upgrade a wooden shield. A sword can be broken down into iron and steel that can be used to upgrade metal armor. This feature allows players the option of building up the items they want as well as giving them an option of cleaning out their inventory; thankfully eliminating unwanted trips to merchants or even worse, leaving items behind.
GZ: Will multiplayer co-op be making a comeback? And, if so, will players be able to bring their single-player characters online, similar to Fable 3’s co-op?
MD: Multiplayer is definitely back in Two Worlds II. With the online community representing a large portion of players, we wanted to make sure gamers could explore the world of Antaloor together. However, like Two Worlds, players will not be able to import their single player character in MP. There are several reasons we decide on this route. First, the multiplayer co-op levels are actually set between the events of Two Worlds and Two Worlds II. As players will find out, playing as the single-player character would break canon. Additionally, we didn’t want to force gamers into using the same protagonist for both experiences. In the single-player story, gamers play as a male human character. However, in multiplayer, players can choose between different races and genders.
GZ: Critical reception for Two Worlds was lukewarm at best. How do you think the sequel will be received?
MD: Two Worlds was our first attempt with the franchise. We learned a lot from the process and feel extremely confident we’ve made a phenomenal RPG experience. With the game already selling 1.5 million copies in Europe, we’ve been blown away with the success of Two Worlds II. Ultimately, we hope fans in the UK, US, and the rest of the world enjoy the title we put so much time and effort into.
GZ: Why should gamers give the series a second chance?
MD: Gamers who stuck with the franchise will be rewarded with the immersive world of Antaloor they’ve grown to love. Gamers new to the franchise will be able to easily jump into the title and play one of the best RPGs on the market. Now, players who were unsatisfied with Two Worlds will be happy to hear that we listened to their comments and concerns. We did our best to streamline areas that were too cumbersome and add depths to areas that were lacking in the prequel. All in all, we’ve made drastic steps in the right direction, and we’re looking forward to what the future holds.