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TW2 attempted to rectify the mistakes of the predecessor in terms of combat. Active blocking and timers introduced to special skills improved the combat vastly. Unarmed combat is there (and kicks ass! :D), as is dualwielding and huge axe-wielding. Weapons determine fighting styles and usage of special abilities, just like in TW1. There's more to it than skills and animations, though!
First, by design weaponry requires thinking about whether to fight more offensively (button mashing) or more tactically (staying in active block and using built-in special moves like short-charge and counterstrike alongside the special abilities obtained from skills). Second, special abilities and passive skills factor into combat in a much more meaningful way, providing more spectacular finisher blows, various CC options and even slow-cam cinematic shots of the critical strikes. Newly available stat in weapons - speed - now allows to build your gear more predictably and quantifiably before battles. Despite being quite complex, you can still win most of the fights by simple button mashing, which will make trigger-happy players really happy. At the same time, there's still an option to go for more thoughtful combat approach, that pays off for instance in PVP. Combat is also visibly aided by armor, although not all of the intricacies of its workings have been discovered so far. Just as in TW1, armors offer some restrictions to bow wielding, and since magics require staff to be cast, there's another level of complexity right there for multi-class players. That said, the system still allows mages to hold their own (defensively only) in combat, by allowing basic combat moves when having a magical staff equipped. It's also worth noting that most enemies use active blocking, can use special skills and evade, or even run away if their life is threatened. In addition, you can now lose the pursuing enemies, which was not possible in TW1 (no more being chased by wolves throughout all of Antaloor). Since update 1.1 the game has meaningful shield blocking animations to help player position themselves properly in regard to incoming hits.
And then we have something of an editorial on Hot Blooded Gaming that proclaims "why we should give Two Worlds II a chance":
We've played 12 hours of the game so far, and a lot of that time has been spent on both side quests and world exploration. We've just barely begun Chapter I, and already we've played through more content than most games have to offer. While some of the quests are admittedly basic, so far, each has offered it's own appeal.
You'll meet some interesting characters throughout your traversal of the land. Some you'll like, some you'll hate, but each character you'll respond to in someway. In the first game, the majority of characters you encountered often seemed dull or uninteresting. With the sequel, character interactions related to quests are much more enjoyable.