Fast travel is made possible by the dozens of teleportation shrines that are scattered about the world, which you must discover and activate before accessing. You can also ride horses, but for some reason it was decided that they wonít move a single hoof without repeated mouse clicks to propel themÖ Needless to say, itís the stupidest idea ever to be borne of equestrian involvement in a video game, and defeats the purpose of providing a more convenient way to cover ground. Not to mention, you canít take your steed with you when you teleport, and without a magic whistle to call it to your side, you will need to ensure you park it next to a teleporter if you ever want to find it again. Itís possible to procure a sailboat and take to the seas, but sadly there isnít anything to find out there.
The gameís difficulty level is highly variable at first, which is equal parts refreshing and frustrating; generally animals and the Anubis-looking variant on goblins you encounter on the surface will present a mild threat, while venturing into the wrong cave can bring you to a swift, untimely death. However, if you spend the time completing every task youíre offered, itís possible to overlevel yourself and take the challenge out of everything. Amassing so much loot that you can upgrade your stuff to uber status is also an issue there, but that takes a while and can actually be considered a reward for progressing so far. Similarly, you will slowly work your way up the different types/ranks of armor, which definitely makes it more fulfilling when you finally get that badass metal armor or fancy wizard robe.
Two Worlds II has a unique crafting system that is great for getting some use out of so-called vendor trash, or loot that is so crappy you might not even bother lugging back to town to sell. It allows you to break down weapons and armor into base materials like iron, wood, and leather, and then use those to upgrade the equipment you actually use. You can also set special gems that bestow bonuses to skills, attributes, resistances, or damage. Being able to do all of this from within your inventory is awesome because it cuts down on how many trips you take back to a merchant to sell stuff while youíre out and about, leaving you more time for adventuring. Alchemy works in much the same way; you combine up to 10 ingredients and create various potions within the inventory. They can range from standard health/mana regen pots, attribute boosters, or poison cures to more interesting effects like invisibility, water-walking, and self-resurrection!
If you decide to go the mage route, youíll spend a lot of time experimenting with the quite revolutionary custom magic system. Throughout your travels, youíll find or purchase different magic cards, which represent separate elemental effects and characteristics such as delivery system (projectile, AOE, etc.). You start out with an empty spell container (amulet), then mix and match cards to create your own spells. Like the crafting and alchemy systems, the number of unique combinations is potentially vast, though I didnít experiment much beyond the basic things like fireballs and lightning bolts. The majority of the gameís most dynamic and visually stimulating combat will result from casting magic, provided you have the patience and discipline to master it.
The keyboard and mouse controls do not function as they do in most PC games; instead of turning your character with the mouse and moving forward/backward/left/right with WASD, the direction of movement is independent of which way the camera is facing. This is okay in a game like GTA IV where thereís shooting involved, since taking aim with a weapon locks your view forward and allows for strafing. But in Two Worlds II, placing the swing of your sword while moving is very difficult and shooting arrows or casting spells is impossible. For any projectiles, you must lock on to your target first to ensure you hit anything.
The inventory is really terribleÖ it reminds me of Oblivionís oversized vanilla UI, except with a grid layout instead of a list. Itís easy enough to scroll through, and it sorts items into pages for equipment, miscellaneous, and alchemy, but I would very much prefer if it were shrunk down to allow more items on screen at once. That would be especially useful in trying to find something in the massive list of ingredients you will eventually gatherÖ They donít weigh anything, so thereís really not much reason to get rid of ones you donít want/need. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the HUD is an appropriate size. In fact, the minimap could stand to be larger, if anything.