|Developer: Obsidian Entertainment||Publisher: Atari|
|Release Date: October 31, 2006||Also On: None|
Ever since Diablo II got over-corrupted with farmers and hacks I’ve been looking for a new dungeon crawler that doesn’t suck and has some decent online playability. Neverwinter Nights 2 is one of the better experiences I’ve had. While it may not perfect, it does give dungeon masters everywhere somewhere else to go besides the basement. If you are like me and tried D and D but never got into it because of the lame factor or the fact that you can not see anything and everything gets confusing, this may actually interest you in the genre.
The story for the game follows along the lines of boy/girl lives in swamp town, swamp town gets attacked, boy/girl leaves town with shiny object to distract what ever is attacking the town. Think lord of the Rings, just the shire is a swamp, hobbits are replaced with the townsfolk and the race of your choosing. While you are on your journey, you will meet your new friends that will become close teammates: the angry dwarf, the hippie tree lady, and the thief that has horns, pretty standard right? Then leading the pack is you, and you are whatever you want to be.
When selecting yourself, you get to pick from numerous races, plenty of customizable facial and body features, and one of the best parts is the class selection. The shear number of classes is amazing. Some need to be unlocked, some have nice abilities, and its all nicely rounded. You have thieves druids, warriors, fighters, and those damn mages (they tend to bring the pain). I felt like all the races looked a bit ugly, but with enough customization, they can be fairly attractive. Those of you playing the game really do not care what the characters looks like, as long as he/she can kick enough ass.
There are definitely some similarities to Obsidian’s previous project, Knights of the Old Republic II, in this game. The combat can be paused at anytime if stuff gets too crazy. This allows you to calm down, get a drink, rethink your strategy, selects your team’s next moves and then resume the chaos. There is also the personally crafted storyline and the affect you have on your teammates. Making certain choices will make certain party members like you better, and other choices might make them not like you. There is also the scale of good vs. evil, making all bad choices may change your alignment to evil. This all fits nicely in the D and D world and definitely sets the game apart from others.
I have a few minor gripes about the game though. The camera is anything but fun to figure out. Then once figured out, it moves slow and the camera never feels like its where it should be. If it’s behind you, it doesn’t stay behind you, so you end up looking at your character’s face around turns. On top of that it’s a pain to be constantly readjusting the camera to see all the action. The other gripe is the fact that the AI characters often don’t know where they are going. I found myself wondering where my little dwarf friend ran off too, and this would be in the middle of a fight.
Gripes aside, Neverwinter Night 2 provides a great story with a more than solid online community. The visuals are awesome for a game like this. If you love making your mods, you’ll love to know that the developers gave you all of their tools so get cracking on your own stories, campaigns and map editors. Overall Neverwinter Nights 2 is a good game, that could have been a great game if the camera and controls got an adjustment.
|Replay Value/Game Length:||8|
|Written by Matt Marzin||Review Guide|