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Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn (Windows)

93
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

Some time after the events described in Baldur's Gate, the protagonist and his friends Imoen, Minsc and Jaheira have been captured by an elven mage called Jon Irenicus. His intentions and connection to the heroes unknown, Irenicus conducts experiments on them, holding them in cages somewhere in his vast underground complex. During his absence, the heroes manage to escape, and soon find themselves in the city of Athkatla in the country of Amn, where they confront Irenicus. However, at that moment several wizards arrive and arrest both Irenicus and Imoen for unlicensed use of magic. The first task at hand is to raise the money needed to rescue Imoen, before facing Irenicus again and unraveling his true goals.

Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn is a party-based role-playing game using the AD&D rules. The basic gameplay is similar to that of its predecessor: the player navigates a party of up to six active combatants over isometric environments, conversing with non-playable characters using branching dialogue, and fighting enemies in real-time, free-movement combat that can be paused to issue specific orders to the characters. World traveling now occurs by selecting locations on a map rather than exploring wilderness areas to reach the destination. However, the game world is larger than in the previous game, with more individual locations to visit and side quests to perform.

Being a direct sequel to Baldur's Gate, the game lets the player control stronger, higher-level characters from the onset. The main character can also be imported from the previous installment. Three new classes (sorcerer, monk, and barbarian) are available along with those that were present in the original game. Characters can also acquire specializations within most of the classes: a paladin, for instance, can become a dragon slayer or an inquisitor. Weapon proficiencies are more specific: for example, instead of just specializing in blades, the player can choose between proficiencies in long swords, two-handed swords, bastard swords, katanas and scimitars. There are many new types of weapons, armor, and magic spells in the sequel.

Sixteen characters may join the party during the course of the story. Each of them has his or her own motivations, sometimes conflicting with those of other characters. Scripted events and interaction with playable as well as non-playable characters have been noticeably increased in the sequel. The main character can also romance some of the companions by choosing appropriate behavior and dialogue lines. The game allows the player to make many moral decisions and pursue character-specific side quests unrelated to the main story. Many of the companions bring their own quests, and unique tasks are available for the main character depending on his or her class.

Screenshots

Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn Windows If a thief detects traps, they are highlighted.
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn Windows The lovely and spacious Government District. You are getting some side quests here, that's for sure!
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn Windows One of the game's peaceful enclaves. You try to talk to deer and moose. The animals ignore you...
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn Windows Wow, this dragon's big -- and *really* fierce.

Alternate Titles

  • "柏德之門II安姆疑雲" -- Chinese spelling (traditional)
  • "博德之门2:安姆的阴影" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Bode zhi Men 2: Anmu de Yinying" -- Chinese title
  • "BG2" -- Abbreviated title
  • "Baldur's Gate II: Schatten von Amn" -- German title
  • "Baldur's Gate II: Cienie Amn" -- Polish title
  • "Baldur's Gate 2: Тени Амна" -- Russian spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Go for the eyes Boo, go for the eyes! Oleg Roschin (164803) 4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars
A milestone, if not the pinnacle, of CRPGs. Zovni (9384) 4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars
Throw away all your presumptions and play this game! kbmb (399) 4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars
Splendid game! But not as good, as BG1. Ajan (260) 4.14 Stars4.14 Stars4.14 Stars4.14 Stars4.14 Stars
An awesome game, even for complete newbies to D&D like me EazyCheeze (25) 4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars
It improves on the original, but loses something in the translation Cyric (50) unrated
An excellent conversion of the classic pen & paper game. El-ad Amir (110) 4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars
Nice story, some questionable game mechanics SharkD (415) 3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars
A Great Sequel! AstroNerdBoy (40) 4.14 Stars4.14 Stars4.14 Stars4.14 Stars4.14 Stars

The Press Says

Gamezilla Dec 28, 2000 96 out of 100 96
Miasto Gier Jul 04, 2005 9.5 out of 10 95
Game Vortex 2000 9.5 out of 10 95
GameZone Oct 18, 2000 9.5 out of 10 95
Svenska PC Gamer Nov, 2000 94 out of 100 94
Gry OnLine Dec 18, 2000 93 out of 100 93
PC Gameplay (Benelux) Oct, 2000 92 out of 100 92
ComputerGamers.com Oct 15, 2000 92 out of 100 92
WomenGamers.com Nov 14, 2000 8.85 out of 10 88
PC Powerplay Jun, 2006 88 out of 100 88

Forums

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Trivia

German version

In the German version the gore option is set to off by default and removed from the options menu. This results in missing blood and splatter effects.

Novel

Wizards of the Coast published a novelization of this game in 2000, written by Forgotten Realms series editor Philip Athans.

References

  • Ever wonder what happened to the kids from the animated Dungeons and Dragons television show? In the back of the Adventurer's Mart, there are two portraits on the wall of these "Adventures far from home" with rather snide descriptions and the speculation that they ended up in the belly of Tiamat.
  • In the Rangers cabin in Umar hills, you can find a book labeled "The Umar Witch Project", which clearly is a joke referring to the famous Blair Witch Project movie.
  • In the Bridge district of Athkatla, on the third floor of an inn in the western part, you can find a picture of Elvis on the wall!

Sales

In 2001, Baldur's Gate II won the Gold-Award from the German VUD (Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland - Entertainment Software Association Germany) for selling more then 100,000 (but less then 200,000) units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • April 2001 (Issue #201) – Role-Playing Game of the Year
    • November 2003 (Issue #232) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
  • Game Informer
    • August 2001 (Issue #100) - #89 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
  • GameSpy
    • 2000 – RPG Game of the Year
    • 2001 – #37 Top Game of All Time
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 02/2001 - Best RPG in 2000
    • Issue 02/2001 - Best Gameworld in 2000
  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/2001 - Best Game in 2000
    • Issue 01/2001 - Best RPG in 2000
  • Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland
    • 2001 - Gold Award
Information also contributed by ClydeFrog, Emil Kraftling, Marko Sošić, Pseudo_Intellectual and Xoleras

Related Web Sites

  • Baldurdash (A site by Kevin Dorner of Bioware containing hundreds of unofficial bug fixes for both Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal that weren't corrected by any of the official patches.)
  • Baldur's Gate Forum (The biggest German forum about Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn and other Infinity Engine games.)
  • Baldurs Gate Trilogy (A German Fansite - with tons of detailed informations, walkthrough, and many files, including the unofficial german text-patch)
  • Gamasutra: The Anatomy of a Sequel (A post mortem article by Ray Muzyka (May 2, 2001))
  • Hints for Baldur's Gate 2 (These hints might help you solve the game.)
  • Planet Baldur's Gate (Another Planet, this one covers Baldur's Gate and Tales of the Sword Coast, Baldur's Gate II and the Throne of Bhaal, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment. Files, forums, articles, help, walkthroughs, news, and links populate it. A typical Planet site.)
  • Pocket Plane Group (Pocket Plane Group publishes a number of detailed mods for Baldur's Gate 2 and other Infinity Engine games. BG2 Mods include Kelsey NPC, Quest Pack, the BG1Tutu converter, Banter Packs, and Ashes of Embers.)
  • Spellbound Studios (Spellhold Studios (or SHS) is a community committed to creating mods for different CRPGs, especially Baldur's Gate II and other games using the Infinity Engine, but also Neverwinter Nights and Knights of the Old Republic.)
-Chris (7365) added Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn (Windows) on Sep 29, 2000
Other platforms contributed by Kabushi (116129)