GB: First of all, how is development of Two Worlds coming along? Are you still on track for a June release?
James: Almost. The release date in North America for both the Xbox 360 and PC versions is July 21st.
GB: Can you run us through the game's character creation system? How much customization will players have at their disposal while creating their character?
James: Well, to be honest, you don't have a lot of options during character creation. You can alter your character's appearance a lot, but in the single-player game everyone starts off as a human male with the same ability scores and starting skills. We have a very specific story that was designed around this specific persona. HOWEVER, after that, it's anything goes. Our character advancement system is completely wide open, so as you advance in levels, your character becomes exactly what you want him to be. Two Worlds has 38 skills spread across melee combat, archery, mounted combat, stealth and magic, so even though everyone starts at the same place, it's a guarantee that everyone will be playing someone completely different by level 10.
There's even more freedom in the online multiplayer portion of the game. Since we have no such story restrictions, this is where players can be any race or sex, and can customize their starting skill sets.
GB: Take us through a typical combat scenario in Two Worlds. What sort of maneuvers or other strategic options will be available to the player at the outset of a battle? Is ranged combat handled differently than melee?
James: Hopefully, there is no '˜typical' combat in Two Worlds. After you've gone up a few levels, you'll probably be starting to find out what kind of combat suits you, and you've learned some special maneuvers related to that. For example, if melee is your forte, you might stab an enemy in front of you, kick dirt in the eyes of the foe to your right, then perform a deadly pirouette that strikes everyone around you. Or if you've specialized in mounted combat, perhaps you charge into battle, strike, then ride off to make another pass (unless someone dismounts you with their polearm).
And yes, ranged combat is a little different than melee. It also has its own special moves to learn, but we've designed it so when you pull back the bow string, the camera starts to zoom in on your target. The farther you zoom in, the more damage you'll do. It's up to you whether to fire off a lot of less damaging shots, or hold off for one powerful arrow.
GB: Mounted combat is very rare in an RPG, presumably because it's so hard to implement. How exactly will players control their mount during combat in Two Worlds? Are there any additional tactical options available to our character while mounted (trampling, bonus damage from momentum, etc.)?
James: Your mount is controlled just as your unmounted character would be, except that it turns differently. Therefore, you do have to learn how each type of mount moves and compensate for that. While on a mount, if you attack with a melee weapon, you'll automatically strike at the nearest enemy. In this way, mounted combat becomes less about aiming your shots and more about timing. You know where your horse is going, you just have to figure out when to swing. As for tactics, mounted combat opens up a world of options. You can charge through a group, fire arrows at people while moving, learn how to do more damage while in the saddle, and a lot more.
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