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SummaryExcellent break from the Baldur's Gate series.
The GoodThe first thing I noticed about this game was that there is much more fighting and much less talking going on. I thought it might just be part of the beginning of the game but I was wrong, its basically an all-out hack-n-slash fest through the whole game. Its packed with tons of magical weapons, armors and items to aid you in battle, which you almost always seem to be in. It was a nice break from the 2000 page novel that you basically read by the time you finished Baldur's Gate 2. It had a decent story line where it basically left you chasing evil through out Icewind Dale searching for the source of the evil consuming the region. Lots of weird twists and turns, allows you to play an evil character with a fair degree of accuracy. Some choices such as allowing the girl-thief to escape the ice salamander lair with the slaves results in a large amount of EXP but if you side with the salamanders and kill her and the slaves, you can get a ton more EXP. Lots of good choices to keep the replay value high. Many good spells, allows you to advance your mages from 1st to 9th level casting.
The BadThe fact that it was an all out kill fest meant that there wasn't going to be many towns. Even near the end of the game you found yourself having to wander 8 days back to Kuldahar to buy weapons that were barely good at first level. There is a good weapons dealer near Upper Dorns Deep but you have to walk through many screens to get there, it takes too long. The shops always sell the same thing and eventually become useless except for a place to get rid of junk. I hate the way in Kuldahar (which is basically the only town besides Easthaven) you have to wander from shop to shop because each shop only buys specific items. It becomes a hassle, I started just dropping equipment just to save myself the hassle of trying to sell the junk.
A thief is a must in these games, I can't stand the way that this game doesn't give your thief EXP for disarming traps. Of Course a thief should get EXP for it.
Like all of the Infinity-Engine games from Black Isle, the AI makes your characters border-line retarded. Sometimes they walk in to each other, even obvious paths to a destination cause them to get confused and end up walking a completely longer path. It gets a little better if you find a few boots of speed to separate them a little bit but the AI is still pretty bad. The scripting is a joke, I set my cleric to a Passive-Fighter and my cleric just stood there and casted bless over and over and over. I don't like the scripting. Gold is basically worthless in the game, except you spend so long saving for 1 really expensive item thats not that good anyways. You find pretty much everything that is good in the game. No resolution adjustment either, crappy 640X480 only. I couldn't figure out how to reassign the "SELECT ALL" key which is the Plus key, out of all the keys you could reassign, it won't let you reassign the most important hotkey in my opinion. The game is fairly short compared to Baldur's Gate 2 but its still long enough though.