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Neverwinter Nights 2 (Windows)

82
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Indra is here (19792)
Written on  :  May 22, 2007
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  1.86 Stars1.86 Stars1.86 Stars1.86 Stars1.86 Stars

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Summary

I was expecting Neverwinter Nights 2 NOT Neverwinter Knights of the Old Republic!

The Good

I'll refrain from using the "blasphemy" word yet, but be sure I'll use it and I'll show you why.

Well I know this is where you say the good part, but I'd prefer saying my mind about my first thoughts on the game.

Now I've played games for a very...very long time. So usually it only takes a couple of minutes (one hour at most) to notice whether a game is worth playing or not. And I've never been wrong at least for me.

So what's the first thing I notice? The intro-cut scene. Most people don't notice the intro movie cut scene, but I do. To me, the cut scene identifies the soul of the game. Like advertising and story-telling. The foreplay before lovemaking. It sets the mood. And what do I get? A sword wielding wizard fighting one of the most uncreative excuse of a monster/villain I've ever seen. Makes you wonder sometimes if a tentacle monster would look better here. Now if you start thinking that, you know that the game is on a really bad start.

But cut scenes aren't everything (but they do give you a hint). The next thing I notice is when I entered the game, the graphics where shabby...or let's say "stuttering". Now there's one thing I really, really hate about 3D games is when I'm faced with unstable graphics. But that should no longer be a problem now, it's like 2006 already? 3D graphics being unstable are no longer a problem.

Wrong. I first played with version 1.00 then patched the darn thing (no much difference, but at least playable now). Had to tweak the video game options like a dozen times. More just to get the sky color right (which apparently shouldn't have any color at all).

Is it my video card you say? Dude, I played Oblivion and Company of Heroes that practically require better video acceleration than this game (and better graphics) and this was a couple years back. If Oblivion worked, than hell sure this darn game better work.

So I had to turn off almost everything, shadows-none, anti-aliasing-none. Ironically, after the change, there wasn't much difference.

And if you didn't notice already, I haven't even begun saying about the bad stuff about the game.

The Bad

The Bad.
Neverwinter Nights 2, prepare to be burned for being one of the worst RPGs of 2006.

I'm a fan huge fan of Neverwinter Nights 1 (except of the overly long dialogs). So what does any fan expect from a sequel? Everything already in the original game. But I'll save that for later.

Let's get back to the main issue first:

Graphics
The graphics are lame. This is late 2006, with all the hype of 3D graphics and all that crock, I was expected to be blown-away with the game of this magnitude and marketing. But what do I get? Clumsy graphics with mediocre artwork at best. Am I being to harsh. If the game was release 3-4 years ago. Maybe. But again, I must repeat myself this is 2006. Such standards of graphics are appalling. My memories of Icewind Dale were better graphically. There isn't one single area in the game where I can remotely call as "beautiful". In fact, the graphics in the game aren't memorable at all, since most of the time your focusing on where your moving to.

Camera Disaster
Give me Neverwinter Nights 1, give me Knights of the Old Republic. Hell give me a god-damn freakin’ stable camera to play with. Sure the game has numerous camera views (which were greatly upgraded with patches). Do not try v1.00. Nightmare doesn't even describe the camera in version v1.00. The patches didn't fare better, trying to balance the slow-moving graphics and a view-point where you can move and fight from a nice angle is quite a feat. I'm surprised kids today with the average IQ of a doorknob could actually play the game, since you need to tweak the camera for several eons to get it right. Not that I ever found the right camera-view. But it was a whole lot better than the default one.

Speaking of default, shouldn't the system detect your computer settings or something? Well it does, and it detected maximum graphics everything. Not correct since I had to disable every freakin’ graphics settings.

What a game in this virtual age with lame graphics? Yep. Slow moving, rugged graphics. It's a wonder why I played this game thus far. The skies in the game never seem to have any graphics, there's this graphical blur that looks like something from a bad TV set. Don't know what's going on here, but the hype is over-rated.

Movement/Combat/Gameplay Mechanics
One of the worst I've experienced. Movement is sluggish. You never seem to click where you want to. For instance, clicking on a moving character is almost impossible. You keep walking to an area beside the target. Now this is really irritating when your in combat. Since you have to pause the game half-of-the-time. Since some stupid tree, NPC or another monster is blocking your view.

Then there's that irritating Dungeon Master list-thingy, that states all those little statistics. Not that its a problem, what is a problem is when I'm in a dialog and I just wanted to know if my influence, bluff, diplomacy or whatever succeeded. Hey, in Knights of the Republic AND Vampire: The Masquerade they had the courtesy of having that info in the dialog. But here I had to scroll that stupid box for god-knows how long just to find in small fonts "Success" or "Failure".

Dialogs
O.K. that does it. How in the name of all the gods was stupid enough to create the dialogs AND the story in this pathetic little game?

Beautiful and interesting dialogs? Where? The only memorable scene was in the inn where the sorcerer was insulting everyone, well that and the wizard. They seem to be the only 2 with intelligent conversation levels. More than half of the characters lack dialogs.

In Knights of the Old Republic, you intentionally pair-up different characters since YOU KNOW they will say something to each other. That option does not exist in this game. Neesha only says little about the dwarf and the druid Elaine. The paladin doesn't say much, neither does the bard. Hell, they all don't say much. Storytelling for crying out loud, where's the god-damn story telling. I WANT VOICE-OVERS I want to hear the emotions of the actors, their stories. I DO NOT want to click on my dwarf only to find out that after several hours of gameplay he still has the same stupid thing to say: I got beat up by monks in a bar. Even after he became a monk, he has even less words to say. Where is the god-damn ambition in the game here?

Game Engine
O.K. this is where I draw the line. I was expecting Neverwinter Nights 2. Do you know what made Neverwinter Knights 1? The game engine. It had this wonderful god-send game engine which could create and sustain the most fantasy-like creatures your heart could imagine. A friend of mine once created a scene where you could have 100 monsters fighting each other with you in on top of a tower watching the chaos. Now honestly, can you imagine a similar scene in Neverwinter Nights 2? No. Why? Where to put them? The game will be more sluggish, the camera settings won't fit them...you may think. Voila.

When I was waiting for Neverwinter Nights 2, I was waiting for one thing and one thing only. Does anyone remember the license? DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS. I've played Dungeons and Dragons since I was a wee little RPG playing wizard. The game engine of Neverwinter Nights 1 created a game engine that could simulate real-size fire breathing dragons. Now that alone was enough to worship Neverwinter Nights 1. I want Dragons, hell, I need Dragons. Someone give me a god-damn dragon!

The Bottom Line

B L A S P H E M Y