Like a cheap sausage roll, any game with an average score of 65 per cent should be approached with caution. There may be a score somewhere in the eighties at the range-apex, but you know it'll exist in elastic tension with a 45 per cent.
With such a broad spectrum of personal opinions about a single game the purchase decision is a difficult one. There's a high probability the game will cause some measure of buyer's regret, and possibly a dicky tum.
Fortunately I wasn't forced to make that choice with Two Worlds. I was handed my PC copy of Reality Pump's 2007 open-world RPG by a friend. When I asked him what he thought of it, he stoically replied, "Utter balls."
However, he added, slapping the box into my hand, "You might get something out of it. You like RPGs."
At the time I'd just finished my third replay of Oblivion. I'd modded the socks off it and milked it for every experience it could offer. I was hungry for another huge world to get lost in, but those are some big boots to fill. I held out no hopes of salvation from this oddity but decided to give it a crack.
Since then I've completed Two Worlds twice. I have some really fond memories of it, hence the title of this article. I'm also prepared to admit it's a bit of a stinker. For the sake of balance, here are the reasons why, along with an explanation of why I'm able to overlook them...
Two Worlds is slow-moving, buggy, and rough around the edges. There are numerous broken quests and some poor UI decisions. Sometimes you fail to strike enemies in combat for no apparent reason. While its open-world couldn't be described as empty, it's a bit barren compared to the cranny-packed landscape of Elder Scrolls IV.
The game is painful to listen to; the cast of Widow Twankies and Pulchinellos is enough to drive anyone to distraction. I have one overriding audio memory of the game branded into my brain-stem, taking up precious meaty megabytes I'll never recover. Whenever the protagonist casts a heal spell, he bellows the words "HEALING POWER!" without a hint of irony. He sounds like a total donger.
But there's something affable and lovably amateurish about Two Worlds. It held my attention and offered greater rewards than a number of more accomplished games.
There's a real sense of adventure; you can plod off into the wilderness to explore a landscape-feature viewed from afar, such as the game's Mage Towers. You might find an area ripe for your level and abilities, or you might find a situation in which you're hopelessly outclassed. It's risky, and that's kind of fun.
Like most RPGs, Two Worlds sees you looting shedloads of gear and hauling it off to traders. But because of a single mechanic, it's all worth it. That mechanic is item-stacking.