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SummaryNice story, some questionable game mechanics
The GoodOverall, it was pretty good. The story was interesting (until late in the game), and it wasn't full of annoying characters like KotOR was (except for Imoen). The "epic" nature of the game fit the fantasy setting and was likeable. The writing was well done, and I didn't feel the fourth wall was being broken anywhere. There's nothing to complain about the graphics/sound.
The BadI question some design decisions, though:
- Combat was more about selecting the right equipment and skills and then pressing "play" (except for mages I guess). Meh.
- Though the selection of side quests early on was nice, once you get to chapter 3 or so everything starts getting railroaded. More variety toward the end of the game would have been nice. I no longer felt like I was really exploring, but was instead simply clicking on the next door in order to enter the next area. Another meh.
- There weren't a lot of dialogue options. You could be really good or totally evil. No gray area. Especially in the late game. The Hell trials were silly. Third meh.
- The dialogue options that were there were repetitive and mostly lead to the same conclusion. Shudder.
- The Elven city was lame. A small map with a few buildings. The monsters made for a fun battle, but there was nothing besides that. Yuck.
- I thought the battles were too repetitive. Mostly foot soldiers. Wack and repeat. I didn't encounter a lot of difficulty except in a few areas. Meh.
- I generally started loosing interest in the game once I exited the Underdark. The story just wasn't interesting enough to care about. Yuck.
The Bottom LineSo, four mehs, one shudder and two yucks. Not sure how this balances against the game's good points...
Overall, I'm looking forward to playing Throne of Bhaal. However, I don't see myself replaying SoA in the future. I didn't find it sufficiently enjoyable.