Thread: Review - Neverwinter Nights 2
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WNxStrikeFighter
11-13-2006, 08:07 AM
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Review - Neverwinter Nights 2
Review
Author: WNxStrikeFighter


Neverwinter Nights 2
Click the image to open in full size.

Platform: PC
Genre Catagory: RPG
Date of Release: October 31st, 2006
ESRB: T
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Obsidian
Rating: A
Official Site URL: www.atari.com/nwn2/

At the end of October the next step in the Neverwinter Nights (NWN) series was taken with the release of Neverwinter Nights 2 (NWN2). The original NWN withstood the test of time and is one of those rare games that remained exceedingly popular for many, many years. NWN2 promised to take the series to the next level with many upgraded features and of course stunning graphics making use of all the latest technology.

Naturally the Warrior Nation NWN Section will be fully supporting this game and our own Persistent World will be created. We need all the help we can get so feel free to stop by our forums, introduce yourself, and join up as a primary or secondary. This is indeed a very exciting time in the NWN Section!!

If you are not familiar with NWN2 and have some general questions or would like to find out more information on the classes, races, spells and feats then please check out THIS THREAD. It provides links to answer all you questions from what the system requirements are to where to download custom content.

Now on to the review…..

The first thing that needs to be mentioned is that there is a learning curve with this game just as there is with any other Dungeons & Dragons game. This game is based on a very detailed set of rules and many of the bad feelings about this game are a result of people not understanding those rules. If you are new to the world of DnD then I highly recommend you visit the thread linked above and do some reading beforehand. It will greatly increase your enjoyment of this game.

When you first start a game of NWN2 you will be prompted to create a new character. This is a very important part of the game and is handled well in NWN2. There are many different options to consider and thankfully there is a “recommend” button and even the ability to select “packages” for those of you who do not want to spend too much time here. For those that really like to get into character creation there are enough options and choices to keep you in this part of the game for a VERY long time. I will say that I was a bit disappointed in the amount of choices for customizing the appearance of your character. There are a few selections for face and hair style but these choices are far less then many similar games. The result is that many characters will end up looking the same which is compounded by the fact that the old 2D portrait system was replaced by a 3D snapshot of your character.


Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.


Probably the most important decision is the class you choose. Don’t worry too much about this choice as NWN2 offers you a full party of four throughout the campaign so you will have that rogue around if you need to pick those pesky locked chests. And yes rogue skills are much more useful then in the first game due to the broken loot that result form just bashing every chest in sight. Each member of your party is fully controllable so if you don’t particularly like playing as the ranger you created you can just take control of that hilarious dwarven fighter and play as him most of the time. It should also be mentioned that controlling your party has been greatly improved. There are numerous broadcast commands which will affect the behavior of every member of your party or you can get more detailed and set up each member individually. The choices here are numerous and you should have no problem preventing that fighter from chasing after every enemy in the area.

After you have created a character you will step into the game world. The first thing you will notice is the improved graphics. Now to be fair the graphics are definitely not the best out there right now, and with the steep system requirements it seems a little confusing. None the less, the scenery looks very good and once anti-aliasing is enabled in the next patch I think they will be fantastic.


Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.


The sound is also generally well done. The sounds of battle and some very ominous musical scores help set the scene throughout the game. It appears as if some of the voices were reused from the original game, but my opinion on this is why fix it if it isn’t broken.

The GUI has also undergone some modifications for better or worse. Vets may be a little put off by some of the decisions made here but rest assured after a few hours of play you will feel right at home. For people new to the game I think you will find the GUI very intuitive. One tip I have is to set the right-click tool tip display to a minimum so that when you right click your options will pop up immediately. You should note that this setting is currently bugged and will need to be changed after every rest. I expect this to be corrected in an upcoming patch.

One thing that NWN2 does different from NWN1 is the extensive use of in-game cut scenes to help with the immersion. This adds a lot to the story and really makes you feel like part of an adventure with real characters and real motivations. These cut scenes are generally well handled. They are all done in engine so some flaws with the graphics are exposed. The voice acting in these scenes ranges from brilliant to somewhat strange. If I didn’t know better I’d say that Steven Hawking had done the voice for my half-elf father. Either that or he was half-robot instead of elf…..


Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.


You begin the game with a tutorial that you have the option to skip. After this you must defend your small town from an attack and then are quickly sent off on a quest to Neverwinter to try and uncover the mysteries behind the attack. It is quite enjoyable to hit the open road so early in the game and really gives the impression that you are beginning a grand adventure.

From here the plot really starts to thicken as you make your way to Neverwinter. You meet new characters that join your party and rest assured there are many enemies that are looking to put a quick stop to your quest. The story develops nicely and the pace seems to be just right.

The gameplay is typical RPG fare. You are offered a number of different third person camera settings and then left-click or WSAD to move your character. The movement of the camera seems to be a bit off in some of the settings so point and click may be a bit less frustrating then WSAD. Once again, expect this to be improved in a forthcoming patch.


Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.


Quests for the most part are interesting if not entirely original or challenging. Don’t expect to find many quests that require you to travel off the beaten path to complete. Most are quite obvious and are easily completed as you follow the main plot line.

One interesting thing that NWN2 introduces is the concept of a stronghold. This is a castle owned by your character that starts off in shambles and is improved through your own efforts. You hire workers to make improvements and eventually this will turn out to be quite the fortress if everything is done right. I think this added an excellent new dimension of role-play to this game and Obsidian should be commended for it implementation.


Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.


The true strength of the Neverwinter franchise has always been in its community and lasting appeal. The ability for any fan with a little smarts and some free time to create his own module or even his own world brought unlimited new content to the original game. You could probably spend the rest of your life playing all the content available for the original game and still not get through half of it. NWN2 continues this tradition with a very powerful toolset that will allow the community to produce even more immersive and professional modules for this game. While it is still early I fully expect the tradition started by NWN1 to continue with a wealth of community created modules and online worlds. Of course there are still some bugs with multiplayer and questionable decisions on how it is handled but Obsidian seems committed to getting all of these issues resolved.

That brings me to my most important point and that is continued support from the game developer. The day the game was released there was also a major patch available. Now some may say that a well designed game shouldn’t need a patch on the first day, but the realities of the video game business and the pressures from publishers to get product on store shelves make this very unlikely. The best we can hope for is a developer that stays committed to their product and continues to improve it after the game is released. So far Obsidian has shown its dedication by releasing a patch, a hotfix, and promising another patch by Thanksgiving. With this type of support from the developer and the hard work of a very strong community it seems to be a given that NWN2 will enjoy the same success and longevity as its predesor.

In summary, the strength on NWN2 lies in it’s engrossing story, ability to control your entire party, a very powerful toolset, and a dedicated developer. Some of the negatives include average graphics given the system requirements, some questionable camera controls, and other small but annoying bugs. Would I recommend you run out and get this game? If you are a fan of RPG’s or DnD, then most certainly yes!! If not, I would give it a couple months for a few more patches to be released and some persistent worlds to come online and then pick it up. Either way, you will definitely not regret adding this game to your collection and will probably find yourself playing it for years to come.



 
 
 

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WNxRipFlayer
11-14-2006, 09:15 AM
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New fresh review!

I like this one, really well written, good one



 
 
 

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WNxT0m
11-14-2006, 11:59 AM
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Great Review this game looks really cool and Great Screen Shots

TOm!



 
 
 

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WNxKorrupt
11-14-2006, 03:57 PM
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Nwn2
I palyed number one non-stop when it came out, i was involved in very very heavy roleplay in the old server Anphilia. I was waiting for number 2 for almost 2 years, it finally came out and I preordered the day you could. I was so happy the day I got it, than to realize that my system cant run it, not even well on the lowest settings. Even if i could it looks like it was drawn in paint at those low settings, hopefully i cant upgrade my computer near christmas though and enjoy playing it with you guys. Good review and i hope you guys enjoy the sequel!

-K[0]rrUpt



 
 
 

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WNxLusT
11-14-2006, 09:33 PM
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good review keep up the good work



 
 
 

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Australia WNxJman
11-15-2006, 05:22 AM
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yeh i was looking at buying NWN2 those screen shots make me wanna get it - ill try it at my friends place first but theres a problem i never get past character creation i can never decide what i want haha




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WNxTetrarch
11-15-2006, 06:16 AM
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Nice Strike
Loving the many Screenshots... Compared to my one I took

Good review.



 
 
 

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WNxPootle
11-15-2006, 10:04 AM
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Looks great awesome review. + rep. Maybe i'll have to get it sometime.



 
 
 

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WNxMurda1
11-15-2006, 12:03 PM
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Nice review! the game look good and with your review makes it look better!



 
 
 

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WNxPois0n
11-15-2006, 12:06 PM
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I'm a major fan of the NwN series, will definately give this one a try. Thanks for the information StrikeFighter.



 
 
 

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United States WNxShadowfire
11-16-2006, 01:35 PM
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I wanna try this game someday... It looks soooooo good

-Shadowfire



 
 
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WNxKTheoden
11-19-2006, 04:41 PM
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well writen indeed great job on ur review

-Theo



 
 
 

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WNxMaNiC
11-19-2006, 05:29 PM
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Great review i might considered getting it !



 
 
 

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WNxRiavan
11-19-2006, 07:44 PM
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Eh nice review, cant say I liked the game that much, even after playing through number 1, ended up takin it back and getting Nightfall, guess not every game is for everyone.



 
 
 

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WNxtwik
11-19-2006, 08:19 PM
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great review man i really loved all the pics



 
 
 

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WNxKiros
11-20-2006, 11:21 PM
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Very nice review! Keep up the great work!



 
 
 

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United States WNxConjurer
11-22-2006, 01:38 AM
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Feh. I wish my computer could run this game. This'll be first on my list when I upgrade my computer.



 
 
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Christmas Island WNxGaz
11-22-2006, 11:59 AM
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Great review there i have always been interested in nwn but never got round to buying it cos i don't know if it is any good Great interview with some nice screenies as well i may get this game now



 
 
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United States WNxSwitchBlade
11-22-2006, 12:18 PM
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Good review. Keep it up.

Game looks fun

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WNxLT7
11-26-2006, 12:37 PM
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nice review but not sure if i should get this or ragnarok 2



 
 
 

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