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Josh Smith, AKA "Sm1tty Sm1t" is a Gaming/Tech Writer, podcast host, father, husband and heir to the Kardashian fortune. You can follow him on Twitter @Sm1ttySm1t or check out his podcast at PressAtoListen.com

Most anticipated game of 2011. (You might be surprised)

The first installment of Two Worlds was a disappointment.  It’s ok to say it.  The game was full of bugs, and a weak dialogue system; that criticism has only pushed developer Reality Pump to create a game to make amends with the thousands of disappointed gamers, and I truly feel they will meet that expectation.  Rather than dwell on the minimal success that Two Worlds had (I for one really enjoyed the game), I want to focus on the changes and additions that the second installment has in store.

Gaming Innovations

First, let’s discuss their DEMONS system.  This was developed with the intent of creating a magic system unrivaled in any video game.  EVER.  They have succeeded.  This magic system uses cards for effects and gives players an opportunity to customize a spell’s effects.  To describe of how it works, let me give an example.  Each player has six card slots – whether you start with six, or have to earn them is unknown at this time.  Of those six, let’s assume I am using three of them.  The cards I place in these slots are:  Fireball, Skeleton, and Insect Swarm (spell names and descriptions are fictional; no complete spell list is current available).  What this spell would do, essentially, is cast a fireball at a target.  Upon hitting the target, the fireball would explode into a skeleton who will fight on your behalf.  When his task is finished, he combusts into a cloud of insects which then gnaw, bite, and chew your opponents to death.

Sound neat?  Imagine it with six spells.  I can’t see a situation where this system doesn’t become overpowered, but who doesn’t want to feel like a God among men?

The PAPAK system, another innovation, makes players start to realize that this isn’t just another hack-n-slash.  PAPAK deals with alchemy, a huge part of any role-playing world.  Items you get from plants, animals, or minerals (mining?) can be used to create potions that will increase your hero’s abilities.

Content

While these revolutionary advancements are sure to please the most hardcore role-player, the success of a game comes down to whether or not the masses enjoy it and will play it.  The biggest barometer used by those types of players is whether the story is deep, well told, and solid.

Next, I feel I would be doing my readers a disservice if I didn’t mention the CRAFT system available to players.  While not much is known currently, Two Worlds 2’s own website boasts, “CRAFT technology symbolizes a revolutionary metallurgy system which enables the player to individually design his own weapons and armor. The possibilities are practically endless. The appearance and quality of objects can be modified using various “basic ingredients”, like metals, woods and dyes. And magic artifacts also boost the value of the player’s best creations. All creations can be broken down into their individual parts and can then be reused.“ (http://www.twoworlds2.com/en/innovations.html)

The setting is five years after the first game and we see a hero exhausted and on the brink of giving up.  Being enslaved in a dungeon can do that to you.  But just before you reach your breaking point, you get saved by the unlikeliest of creatures:  the orcs.  Thus, the game begins with two questions:  Why would the orcs save you, and how do you use these new allies to help rescue your sister, Kyra?

Online?

Online.  PvP battles are included, ranging from bloody free-for-all battles, to gory 4v4 hackfests.  But what has me really intrigued is “Village Mode”.  Having the ability to create and maintain my own village, all while visiting and helping out at my friend’s villages adds a spin that we haven’t seen.

The game has a complex ecosystem, fulfilling magic system, detailed environment, and thick, rich online world.  This game is setting itself up as the sleeper-hit of the year.  January 25 we find out.

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