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Default NWN2 - Reviews @ GamingTrend, PALGN, Plain Games

December 27th, 2006, 00:11
A trio of NWN2 reviews made it to the 'net just before Christmas - let's start with GamingTrend who awarded 85% but kick off with this dodgy opening:
Neverwinter Nights was created by some of the biggest names in the industry – Ray Muzyka, Greg Zeschuk, Trent Oster, and Feargus Urquhart, all of Bioware fame at the time. Almost 10 years later, we see the release of Neverwinter Nights 2, but this time it is handled by Obsidian – a company formed by Feargus Urquhart. So while it seems that Neverwinter Nights has been handed to another company for development, it is actually right at home with Obsidian.
PALGN is less impressed. Describing it as "an absolute mess" and suggesting the game has a limited lifespan because "where else do you go from there since the game is linear and provides very little in terms of side-quests", the score is still 6.5/10:
Oh boy - what have you done this time Obsidian? Are your games just a reflection of a poor development studio or are you really stuck with bad luck; what with your constantly rushed games? Knights of the Old Republic 2 felt like a stake to our Star Wars-loving hearts with its unfinished ending – and now we have Neverwinter Nights 2 which is fitted with incredibly poor gameplay decisions and is released in what can only be described as a ‘untested’ state.
…and finally, Christian gaming site Plain Games awarded 4/5:
An interesting element to any role-playing game is character alignment (a character’s basic sense of morality); though, Obsidian takes character interaction a little further with the addition of character background, an element that has not surfaced before in electronic gaming. Characters may be aligned as good, neutral, or evil, with three degrees to each set (lawful, neutral, and chaotic). A character’s alignment impacts how non-player characters (NPCs) interact with your hero. Alignment also impacts what classes you may play as certain classes, like the Monk, require a certain alignment, in this case, lawful. Players are asked, during character creation, to select a background from six different choices, with the additional no background option, which slightly impacts how the people who know your character view him, and also grants special bonuses and penalties to your character’s skills.
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December 27th, 2006, 00:11
NWN2 deserves a lot of the flack it gets but I wish reviewers would take the time to check a few details. Feargus Urquhart was with BioWare? It's almost 10 years since NWN? There's nothing else to do with NWN2 once you've finished the linear campaign (HELLO reviewer! Are you awake in there?) ? Backgrounds have never been seen before in gaming?

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December 27th, 2006, 01:17
Don't forget this gem.
"Obsidian takes character interaction a little further with the addition of character background, an element that has not surfaced before in electronic gaming."

Heellooo.

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
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December 27th, 2006, 01:59
Apparently that guy's just not all there. Sorta shoots their credibility in the foot, eh?

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December 27th, 2006, 03:14
What else is new for the current crop of game reviewers!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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December 27th, 2006, 11:18
The game offers a four-party system, which eventually turns into a juggling act where you try and use their abilities correctly instead of the AI. This ultimately ruins the entire D&D experience, since in the pen-and-paper game you’re playing as a singular character and not an entire party.
Has this guy ever tested or even played a crpg before?
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December 28th, 2006, 09:43
In my opinion NWNII has to be played in "puppet mode", which is how any party-based RPG should be played anyway. If played in that manner, it's an excellent tactical rpg game. Of course that's Bio's bad for giving people the option for anything but that in the first place, giving some reviewers the impression that they can just auto-pilot a whole squad of diverse combatants. Noobs!
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December 28th, 2006, 13:49
Me, playing NWN2 in puppet mode:

F1F2F3F4F1F2F3F4F1F2F3F4F1F2…

NWN2 in puppet mode, being played by me:

Perish as- Who's for a- Listening, rea- SKULLCLEA- Strike at the- Yeah? Wha- I suppose I could say…

Without a way to tell, at a glance, who still has orders and who's gone dormant, I have to constantly cycle through the character list. And every time I switch to a character I have to listen to his battlecry. Faced with the choice between that headache and the worthless teamkilling AI, I instead chose the secret third option: put the game back on the shelf and go back to Zelda.
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December 28th, 2006, 13:52
Having played through half of the tutorial, I would have to say that NWN 2 is pretty good, so far. The visuals looks nice, without being overly realistic, the quests are (so far) fairly easy to understand, (acting them out is a totally different matter), the inerface is pretty good (expet for the somewhat clunky pathfinding). My opinion so far: 9/10 and an Editor's Choice award.
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Default NWN2 - First Impressions

December 28th, 2006, 23:37
Having received this game as a gift, here are my impressions thus far -

* Every time I play the game (fully patched), it screws up my anti-virus software so I have to shut my computer off "twice" before it actually fully shuts down.

* Very linear.

* Why use healing potions when you can just rest your characters after each fight?

* Spells are darn near worthless as you can only cast them once per fight & those are the spells that you have to "memorize".

* If everything is 3D, why not have a 1st person mode?

This game is dangerously coming close to leaving my HD. For myself, the biggest strike against NWN2 is the linearity. If I had wanted to play on a track, I'd get an FPS. As bad as everyone says that Oblivion is, that game just popped back onto my "If cheaper then normal, then buy" list.

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December 28th, 2006, 23:59
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
NWN2 deserves a lot of the flack it gets but I wish reviewers would take the time to check a few details. Feargus Urquhart was with BioWare? It's almost 10 years since NWN?
Not only that, but he's listing producers and/or company executives instead of the actual creators. Besides Oster (who worked out the preliminary design before focusing solely on project management), these people had virtually no creative involvement with NWN.

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December 29th, 2006, 03:34
About the four party system, I'd have to agree.

In the first NWN they only had one additional party member and typically worked well in all of the situations. I found with NWN2 that there's a constant reliance on switching between each member, rather than focusing on your own character - which is a fair critism in my opinion. And I think the AI problems found in NWN2 sort of hurt any possibility of having a successful four party system. Personally, I thought it was a bit of step back for the series.

I suppose the original was sort of in the same boat as NWN2 (where the backing of the community is going to be important) but I found NWN2 was released in a fairly crappy state. That's why it's hard to review a game like this, because we all known that possibly in another four-five months there's going to be plenty of additional campaigns to dive through, but the problems are there and I suppose the game deserves the critism it receives.

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December 29th, 2006, 04:52
It deserves more criticism than it is getting!! Yes, it has some good features, but a lot of annoyances as well. I'm just hopeful the mod community will produce some great content down the track!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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December 30th, 2006, 20:18
I'll throw in my two cents:

The Good:
—Nice graphics that give the world a much more natural, lived-in feel than NWN.
—Party-based system which, although desperately in need of auto-pause options (like Bio's Infinity Engine), allows you to try out a number of different class options and experience more of what DnD 3.5 has to offer
—Good story that, while extremely linear at times, provides a good straight-forward FR adventure that is superior to any of the Bio-produced NWN outings.
—Powerful toolset that should result in far more varied and diverse-looking user-created modules.
—Dialogue that (for the most part) is of a very high level, though it is easy to see when "the pros" (e.g., Avellone, Baudoin, and Sawyer) are writing and "the amateurs" step in. This uneven quality level is also apparent with a few sub-quests.

The Bad:
—Excessively high system requirements that don't jibe with the resulting graphics quality. Optimizations can be provided with patches, but as it stands now the game is simply a "pig" of a gfx hog compared to its 3D competitors.
—Bugs, though I've only encountered one real game-stopper, which has essentially ended a recent co-op session by corrupting a save game.
—Occasionally uninspired area design which seems a ridiculous way to showcase a new engine.
—Reused content from NWN in the form of multiple music tracks, voiceovers, etc., etc., etc…. I understand the desire to "cut corners," but I paid 50.00 US for what was billed as an entirely new game.

In Summary:
I'm enjoying the single-player campaign a good deal (at about the 3/4's mark). However, as many others have said, the game required another 3 mos. in the oven for gfx optimizations, bug fixing, and overall cleanup work. With the third patch, the game is certainly playable and enjoyable and I recommend it to anyone who played and enjoyed games like Icewind Dale 1 and 2, which are (in my opinion) the spiritual predecessors to NWN2.

As for my vote of CRPG of the Year? Though I almost feel dirty for saying it, but that would most certainly have to go to Oblivion. Like it or not, but it has produced a shockwave in the singe-player RPG genre that hasn't been seen since the likes of Baldur's Gate.

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