Icewind Dale II
Icewind Dale II is easily Black Isle's finest creation to date. Utilizing a tried and true GUI interface which adheres rather faithfully to the 'paper and pencil'? AD&D 3rd Edition rules, along with one of the most solid and popular gaming engines available, Icewind Dale II offers a solid, engrossing gaming experience. Novice RPG gamers and hardcore enthusiasts alike will find this sequel title in many ways superior to the original Icewind Dale.
Theengine has gone through even more refining, as has an updated and more intuitive GUI interface. Fans of the earlier series will notice several improvements, including configurable character screens, more race, class, and multiclassing opportunities as well as a whole slew of new weapons, items, and spells at your disposal. Those of you who like to tweak your characters and parties to the nth degree will have a field day with this one. The game is designed with nVIDIA in mind, and the graphics don't fail in that regard. Audio is excellent, and the music, while in my opinion not quite as good as , is still excellent and well recorded. My only gripe was that Icewind Dale II does not allow importation of characters from earlier titles.
Multiplay was just what you'd expect from the Baldur's Gate engine. On a local LAN, gameplay was excellent, if a bit slow due to the need for pausing quite often. Relatively lag-free and enjoyable, Icewind Dale II offers a solid experience.
Enemy AI is still problematic, as well as group character movement. I did notice a bit of problems with 'mousework'? as well, in that often items or spells were not cast correctly due to extreme mouse sensitivity, but that may be more a setting issue than a flaw in the engine.
This aside, Icewind Dale II offers what is quite possibly the most entertaining Forgotten Realms adventure yet. Well designed, fully realized and with all the bells and whistles, this title offers something to every gamer looking for a solid, engrossing RPG. I simply can't stop playing! A must buy.