The first preview comes from IGN. The article's tone can probably best be described as "cautiously optimistic". Here's an excerpt:
With a development team twice the size of Two Worlds 1's, it's really not just a cheap second ride on the same merry-go-round. And while Two Worlds 1's 360 version was something of a brute-force port of a fairly complicated PC game, this time around console play comes first - so it should hopefully feel that much slicker in the hand. "We made a beautiful engine, then decided to make a console game," says Cromie. "I am confident this is a triple-A game." It's hard to say if we agree or not at this stage - much of the game is still to be shown, most especially the super-secret multiplayer mode, more on which shortly. Two Worlds II's certainly fat with promise and ideas, but it's incredibly difficult to get a good sense of an RPG without immersing yourself in it for several hours.
GamesRadar has a hands-on with the game, giving what looks to be a decent overview of the game. Here's an excerpt:
Topware and Reality Pump have learned their lesson. The Polish devs are now focusing where their peculiar strengths lie – the development of the Grace Engine. Mirek Dymek is the technical director, and the Americans at Topware talk about him in awed tones. From the reverential talk of his extreme coding skills, you’d expect an emotionally reclusive savant – so when Mirek finally enters the room, it’s a relief to see a smiling, big-faced gentlemen with a charming line in self-deprecation and a down-to-earth attitude to prostitution (“While I can get it without paying for it, I will.”)
So, there’s plenty of eye-glazing talk about dynamic light sources, 3D surfaces and polygons – but even a casual glance at the screen confirms that considerable work has been done on the old girl. Stone walls look like they’re made of tangible rocks, and they like to flout Health and Safety by suspending flaming torches from chains, at a height that allows you to bump into it. “Look!” you can almost imagine them saying, “that’s dynamic lighting and physics ON SCREEN AT THE SAME TIME!”
BrutalGamer also has a preview. They seem to be quite taken with the improved graphics and are overall quite positive. Here's an excerpt:
And this is where our preview properly begins, as this is where we were walked through the game and able to play it. We start off in the incredibly eerie dungeons of Gandohar’s Castle which works as a tutorial-like area for the player, showing the basic mechanics of the game such as running, sprinting and jumping, as well as the new addition of physic-based puzzles, like moving objects to climb to higher places – simple yet effective. As we continued through the dark dungeons, more and more we started to notice how bloody fantastic the game is looking already, and still has months more extra time of polishing ahead of it. As far as multiplatform titles go: this is definitely up there with the best of them. And as we all know that the graphics of any game will add to the atmosphere of any game dramatically, and that is another thing which seemed to be near-perfect.
Another preview can be found over at Cheat Code Central. They too seem to feel that the sequel improves upon the original, making numerous changes to try and fix the flaws of the earlier game. Here's an excerpt:
Chief among the changes gamers can look forward to is a revamped combat engine intended to bring more action and excitement to battles reminiscent of a hack and slash experience. Combo attacks are a new addition as well as new blocking mechanics, adding a flair for the defensive-minded. For those that prefer to burn enemies with a fireball, magic is also customizable. Using what has been dubbed the DEMONS system magic cards can be combined to create unique spells suiting whatever aims a player envisions for his character.
VideoGamer has another preview for the game, spread over three pages. It's one of the more informative previews among the bunch. Interestingly this includes some bit of information that there's apparently a sex-scene in the game that the developers mo-capped ("just the movement"). Here's an excerpt concerning the writing:
The second thing that jumps out at us is that most essential, but often overlooked, component of the RPG: words. One of the worst things about Two Worlds - and there were many - was the dialogue. "Verily", "forsooth" - words consigned to the vocabulary dustbin hundreds of years ago resurrected for use in a video game. It didn't work. It was embarrassing.
"We realised what happened in the first game and where we needed to go," James admits. "We were happy with the graphics being done on the Grace engine, but could never go down that road again where people in Poland were trying to write a worldwide game in English." Thankfully, what that means for players is, Two Worlds II makes sense.
One more preview can be found at NowGamer, spread across two pages. They too talk about all the improvements and how it, unlike the first game, might actually be quite good. Here's an excerpt:
The GRACE engine that drives Two Worlds II is imbued with a fully realised physics system. We were shown swinging hooks on chains, barrels being thrown at other barrels and falling realistically to the floor and rolling around. All standard stuff, but crucial facets in a creating a complete and believable fantasy world. On top of this, with Two Worlds’ often shockingly bad animation system constantly coming under fire, the team has made the decision to almost entirely motion capture all the movement in the game. This is taken to the extent of employing German and Polish Olympic sword fighters to act out the weapon moves, and enlisting Hollywood’s largest mocap suite that specialises in horse riding for all the equine animations.
And the final preview comes from OXMOnline (which, besides looking like someone was playing tic-tac-toe when deciding on a name, is the online site for the official Xbox magazine). Here's an excerpt featuring Orc ass:
As the sequel opens, our as-yet-unnamed hero races through a castle and dungeon, following a scantily clad female Orc ninja (or some approximation thereof) who urges you: “Keep your eyes off my ass.” While we can’t comment on said Orc ass, Two Worlds II has a ton of sharp details, from three-dimensional stonewalls to a polished dynamic-lighting system that responds realistically when lightning flashes from the castle’s dark windows.
Overall the game sounds like it could be interesting. Somehow I particularly like the description of the Village Mode online play. As per the VideoGamer preview:
It's all down to the new RTS-esque Village Mode. In it, you build your very own city, which must be resource managed to craft powerful, PvP items and defended to keep your citizens from grizzly death. The game throws instanced quests at you, say, for example, orcs ransacking your city, that demand you team up with three friends via a Battle.net-esque lobby system to complete. If you don't bother to defend your city, your population will decrease, and your ability to pump out those shiny resources diminishes. It's like the love child of SimCity and World of Warcraft.
Though for me I'd hope that you could just have a village to invite friends to for socializing. But we'll see.
And to round off, here's a couple of movies of Two Worlds II in action from fansite Inside Two Worlds' YouTube channel:
And there you go.
[link] to Two Worlds II main website.
[link] to preview at IGN.
[link] to hands-on at GamesRadar.
[link] to preview at BrutalGamer.
[link] to preview at Cheat Code Central.
[link] to preview at VideoGamer.
[link] to preview at NowGamer.
[link] to preview at OXMOnline.
[link] to Inside Two Worlds fansite.
[link] to Inside Two Worlds' YouTube channel.