Written by  :  emmamomocat (33)
Written on  :  Dec 19, 2003
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars

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Not what I expected...

The Good

Compared to Bioware's earlier D&D Games, (Icewind Dale, Baldur's Gate etc.) this offering is, I suppose, graphically superior.

The ability to view the Forgotten Realms word from many angles, to zoom in out, to assign a unique hairstyle to your character - are all welcome additions. As are the graphical effects when dealing with shiny surfaces, e.g. water and metal armor. Magical spell effects are quite astounding too.

A very useful addition to NWN is the Toolset, relatively simple to use (especially if you know anything about C+). Creating modules can become very complex though.

The Bad

There are several reasons why NWN just doesn't quite come up to what I normally expect from AD&D games.

Firstly, let me explain the "Tardis" effect, named in honour of Dr. Who's H.Q. What happens is: you see a small temple; you go inside said temple; you view main area... then, you realise that there is no way in the Nine Hells that the room you are standing in should fit into the building you just entered. C'mon here, someone fire the continuity people.

Then there is the musical score. Don't get me wrong, it's *nice* and all, but compare it to Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale and there is a stark contrast. The previous games' music was inspiring, unlike the insipid and unremarkable drone which buzzes through most NWN areas.

The final point is the something to do with the toolset. I'm sure everyone agrees that AD&D games REALLY need atmosphere. I love the feeling of watching an area loading screen with the anticipation in my mind, "What will this area look like? " or "How have the Game Artists captured the Cloakwood using their fine painterly skills?" Instead, in NWN, there are things called "tile-sets". Instead of artists creating a unique image, someone has re-hashed one of about 6 tile-sets (called things like "Forest" or "Cavern" for instance) by moving around furniture or doors. There are no glaciers or volcanos in NWN. YAWN.

The Bottom Line

I could pick far more holes in this game (like all the unfulfilled promises of riding horses and jumping and swimming). But instead I'll say it's mediocre, the infinity engine is still the best. Play IWDII if you really want a good AD&D adventure.