Two Worlds is what happens when Fable and Oblivion meet up, get drunk, and have the ultimate fantasy RPG lovechild. This game blends the easy combat and freedom to develope your own unique character that we saw in Fable - but it adds to that a huge, free-roaming landscape and level of depth you'd expect from its Elder Scrolls counterpart.
The graphics are stunning. Not quite as polished or awe-inspiring as those in Oblivion, but certainly enough to make you stop and look out over the landscape for a while just to take in the beauty.
The music in this game is of particular note, as it was composed by legendary movie composer Harold Faltermeyer (Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun). One piece goes from plodding oboes, to a middle-eastern flavour, then flies into a thumping electric-guitar driven crescendo. The game's title track is from the band Ambermoon.
So, onto gameplay. The controls are a little confusing to begin with, but anyone who has played any kind of MMORPG will instantly recognise most of the UI elements. A numbered toolbar holds your special abilities, spells and potions. One nice touch is that the toolbar will automatically swap your special abilities depending on the weapon your holding. For example, draw your sword and your melee abilities will be displayed - but, switch to your bow and the abilities immediately change to ones for that weapon. As I mentioned at the start of this review, Two Worlds has a free-form levelling system similar to that seen in Fable. There are no predefined classes that lock you into a set path. Instead, you simply spend points on whatever abilities and stats you feel are important to your playstyle. Wanna be a master of martial combat, unrivaled with sword or bow? Then concentrate on weapon skills while pumping up your Strength and Dexterity. If the arcane arts are more your style, then there are five schools of magic for you to pursue (Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Necromancy). You can mix and match any combination you can possibly think of and develope a truly unique character who reflects your own personal playstyle.
Fans of Oblivion will be glad to see horses included in Two Worlds. When you first climb aboard your trusty steed you may end up wishing you'd chosen to walk instead. The horses do behave in a (somewhat) realistic way - though this can mean you'll be fighting them to go where you want to go as often as not. However, after a while you'll become used to their quirks and limitations. As a means of fast(er) travel between towns, they are rather useful - though you may find the abandoned Elven teleporters dotted around the landscape more useful in the long run as you uncover more of them. You can fight from horseback, though I really can't recommend doing this as you'll fair much better on foot (even though fighting from horseback gives you a bonus to damage, the drawbacks outweigh the bonus). Of course, like most other things in Two Worlds, there is a horse riding skill - so you can improve your mounted woes somewhat by becoming a better rider.
Of course, this review would not be complete without a mention of the game's multiplayer feature. Reality Pump have taken up the challenge, and Two Worlds includes three multiplayer modes - deathmatch, co-operative, and horse racing. The co-operative mode can be summed up as a miniature MMORPG that you and your friends can play in. The world is fully persistant, even in multiplayer mode, so changes to the game world remain across play sessions. Unfortunately, this is the area of the game that seems to have suffered most. That said, Reality Pump are churning out patches to fix the number of issues with the multiplayer feature.