Via a card-based magic system, there are "10 to the power of 38" possible combinations. That's a lot.
Our tour of Two Worlds II's fantasy-filled open world - sort of like a virtual sneak preview of a holiday abroad - takes in locales as exotic as medieval, Persian and oriental style cities, as well as dour swamp, beach and island areas. It's all suitably varied, and the open world vistas are great. Even the motion capture work - easily fluffed - looks top notch. Horseback riding - one of the first game's key components - returns, but this time it's is supported by some quality animations. Reality Pump and TopWare have drafted in the services of the same equestrian mo-cap studio (yes, that's right, a mo-cap studio dedicated to horses) used by Ubisoft for the Assassin's Creed games. You buy a set number of horses, apparently, and a set number of animations. Bizarre.
Also bizarre is the idea that sex scenes are mo-capped, but they are. "There's a sex scene in the game and two people acted that out," James says with a smile. "It's just the actual motions; them kissing and moving around. It's not full-blown, triple x or anything like that. There's a point where he [the player character] catches somebody - it's actually a quest - and you stop this guy - his wife's cheating on him. And she ends up dying, and you have a choice to kill him or not. And that's one of your light or dark choices."
So, like, they didn't mo-cap actual sex, right? "It's just the movements! There's no penetration or anything. It's just the movement." Phew.
Ahem. Enough of that. We should get back to the serious stuff, like combat, story, karma systems, and... you know, what serious fantasy RPG fans want to know [adjusts tie]. Two Worlds II is set five years after the events of the first game. The orc race has been all but made extinct by big bad evil guy Gandohar, and you, Antaloor's hero, are rotting in his jail. But there is hope. The five remaining orcs are desperately trying to bust you out of prison because they know the only way their race can return to its former glory is to have you stick the knife in Gandohar's black heart.
The game begins with this prison break, and at first it goes well, but soon enough things get bloody. Gandohar sends his right hand man, Sordahon, to sort the disturbance out. Cue a sword fight between Rogdor, the leader of the remaining orcs, and Gandohar's man, Sordahon. We won't spoil the details, but know this: it's an eye-catching cutscene packed with sword-swipes, blood and horrible demonic spellcasting.
James promises between 45 minutes and an hour of cutscene goodness, and between 15 and 20 minutes of CGI loveliness. It's all part of a concerted effort to tell a deeper story, packed with more backstory. Over the course of the game, you find out, for example, how Gandohar became the evil bastard he is today.
It's obvious Reality Pump has spent a great deal of time making sure this sequel is a much improved effort. It's bigger than the original (30 per cent bigger, to be exact, at 60 square kilometres), looks better, has a richer storyline (James estimates 25 hours for the main storyline, 40 to 50 if you take the effort to discover some hidden stuff, and 100 hours tops if you're an obsessive). We're about to put down our notepad and pen suitably satisfied when James stops us in our tracks: "...And that's before we've even talked about multiplayer."