Not just another overrated RPG
The entire reason that I bought this game in the first was that when I looked at the system requirements, I saw that it would not take up my entire hard drive and could be played on my computer rather well, which is more than I can say for most fun-looking RPGs that I find in the computer stores. Such factors led me to severe disappointment with games such as "Ultima IX" and American McGee's "Alice." Also, the fact that it has traditionally gotten good reviews, such as by the cashier who approvingly stated: "Icewind Dale." as I handed him the box. When I got around to actually playing the game, I was impressed with the sharpness and customizability of the graphics (i.e. you characters look different which each different item you equip on them). Also, the combat system, though it may seem rather confusing at first, was to my enjoyment because it is simple enough to get the hand of after a few battles while being complex enough to avoid the monotony of games like "Diablo." The challenge appealed to me as well. This game is a bit more difficult than most other modern RPGs, with enemy ambushes, cleverly placed traps and the like. On a more personal note, I find the game's isometric graphic interface easier to play on.
This game, as good as it is, comes with one major catch. It takes FREAKIN' FOREVER to figure out how to play it. It took me nearly 2 hours to read the instruction manual, and starting a new game can take up to an hour as well, which beginners will find themselves doing quite often in order to find a good balance in character creation. Those unfamiliar with Dungeons and Dragons style games (i.e. me) will need a while to get used to it. But hey, if you've got the patience and the time then go for it.
The Bottom Line
While Icewind Dale uses a Dungeons and Dragons style of play, it is not a requirement that you have played D&D before to be able to play Icewind Dale. Players take a highly customizable party (six characters, the player sets everything from gender to occupation to personality) into a cold, icy, northern environment filled with a diverse assortment of locations, characters and enemy creatures. The game will test the player's wit and imagination as well as combat skills, so you won't just go around clicking on stuff (I'm not a big fan of Diablo, in case you can't tell). I definite must-play for the RPG fan.