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Neverwinter Nights 2 review at RPG Watch
Review - posted by Vault Dweller on Sun 29 April 2007, 11:35:22Tags: Neverwinter Nights 2; Obsidian Entertainment
I mentioned to Dhruin last week that we are doing a multiple-opinion NWN2 review and guess what I got in my mail today? That's right. RPG Watch multiple-opinion NWN2 review. While you can be assured that we'll be taking legal actions, you might as well read their review while it's still up.
Corwin gives the game 3/5:Excellent points.
While the Official Campaign that ships with the game is easily far better than the original one, (which wouldnâ€™t be difficult), I found playing it one frustrating annoyance after another. Yes, design decisions and sloppy execution can ruin what should have been an excellent game.
In a well-balanced and organised game, the skills of the companions would complement those of the player character, since no PC can master all the important skills. However, the vast majority of the skill choices you make for the NPCâ€™s at level up, are totally wasted, since only the PC seems to be able to use them. Let me offer a simple example: I built up the Diplomacy skill with one NPC and ignored it with my PC who was (in my mind) a very blunt, in-your-face type of person. However, all conversations were only involving my PC, no matter how hard I tried to have this other character do the talking. What a joke! If something needed to be done, only the PC could do it, except in rare circumstances such as the arena fight.
The game was clearly rushed and therefore, sections are both inconsistent - as if different people did them, but didnâ€™t have time to â€˜blendâ€™ it all together properly - or just plain sloppy. In one section, a key (though dead) character has a name change. One poorly implemented section has two guards outside a house guarding someone you are asked to escort to safety. Inside the house thereâ€™s about fifty thieves waiting to attack you - how they got past the guards unseen is a mystery. After you despatch all of these, and find your target, heâ€™s in a room with the head thief honcho, who still hasnâ€™t killed him. She needed all those men for one merchant and you still manage to rescue him. Itâ€™s just silly.
Mike "Mr. Anderson" Anderson disagrees:That explains a lot, even though I still don't understand why his opinion of NWN should affect in any way his opinion of the indirect sequel.
There are some clear issues with the game - it is very linear, the party system conflicts with the focus on the main character and cutscene-driven story telling - and the overall performance is not very good. But the combat system is refined from the original game and the party system offers an excellent level of interaction and development - the overall experience includes working with your party and developing your stronghold in addition to the main story and side quests. Your opinion of this game will be strongly influenced by your opinion of the original Neverwinter Nights and also the relative importance you place on single player versus multiplayer campaigns. I loved the original NWN...
Brian "I totally bought the propaganda" Turner kinda agrees & disagrees at the same time:Discuss!
It's amazing how ideas that look great on paper don't always work in practice. When I first read that Obsidian's campaign would require the unknown player to work to gain favour and win influence with those that counted, it sounded appealing. The reality is the execution didn't quite match the concept and the first 20 hours of NWN 2 are tedious. Fortunately, the slumbering story suddenly awakes with Chapter Two and quickly gathers pace, plus a deeper crafting system and the player Stronghold scenario add some texture and diversity as the game progresses. Sure, you're (once again) chasing a McGuffin to defeat an Ancient Evil but chunks of the story are rooted in politics and human events that are quite interesting, despite the linearity and annoyances such as forced party member changes.