Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer
Finally, after its buggy release last year, Obsidian have fixed NWN2"s initial faults.
Therefore it's irritating that installing this expansion removes all voice and text from NWN2 and MOTB, and the auto updater can't help. There is a hotfix available from the Neverwinter Nights 2 forums - not much good if you're not online though. This means, after Knights of the Old Republic II, Obsidian's rep as the bodgejob masters of PC RPGs is secure.
Save for the initial problems, Mask of the Betrayer is a mammoth old-fashioned expansion, featuring new races, new equipment and a new plot. Surprisingly, there's also a mechanic fixing a gameplay issue from Baldur's Gate: resting. If you rest in any D&D game, you immediately regain all your health, magic and spells, which makes the game easy. Mask of the Betrayer has solved that in two ways.
Firstly it starts at level 18, meaning you're facing the hardest enemies in the world, like erinyes and greater shadows. Secondly, there's a new mechanic/twist -you play the same character as in NWN2, who begins the game bereft of the Gith shard that was embedded in his chest. This literal void has been filled by you becoming a spirit eater - a kind of ectoplasm-sucking vampire.
If you rest too much, your anima reserve runs down and you suffer, eventually dying. However, you get rewarded with new powers the more souls you munch. This means suddenly you have to conserve your spells and the game becomes a real challenge, as well as an ethical dilemma.
Snacking On Souls
Beyond treating everyone you encounter as an ethereal buffet, MOTB introduces new playable races, most importantly the genasi, powerful planetouched half-elementals. There are also two new base classes: the Spirit Shaman (an anti-spirit specialist druid) and the Favoured Soul (a warlock with divine spells and deityspecific weapon skills). Then there's five new Prestige classes; Arcane Scholar, Invisible Blade, the villainous Red Wizards, Sacred Fists and Storm Lords. You'll certainly get to use one of these during the expansion.
The game looks better as well, and they've played with the interface so you can now play it like an RTS (queuing up orders, etc) or World of Warcraft (with a restrictive behind-the-shoulder cam). All in all, this is a rather well-thought out expansion; Obsidian's release of a broken game is the only betrayal.
Download Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP