Neverwinter Nights 2
I'd Rather Be a one-legged leper with dandruff and a chronic bout of flatulence than an RPG developer right now. Everywhere you turn it's Oblivion this, Oblivion that: "How is your game going to respond to the way Oblivion did such and such? It's enough to make even the most talented fantasy game development team slouch into their ergonomic claims with a hefty sigh and think about throwing in the towel.
But behind the smug smog of euphoria that surrounds Bethesda's recent offering, there stirs a sleeping giant, one that's preparing to rise from the ashes of conquest that Oblivion's left in its wake and challenge it for the role-playing crown. That game is Neverwinter Nights 2.
"Neverwinter Nights 2 and Oblivion arc really two very different games," explains Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart when asked how his game can compete with the genre's top dog. "Oblivion is alxnit exploring a wide open world and getting back to the main story of the game from time to time. We want to have a large and relative story that flows around the player and eventually puts the control of its outcome in their hands. After playing Oblivion. I rememljcr the little things that I was doing like getting my alchemy up. In Neverwinter Nights 2 players are going to remember the big choices they had to make, the companions that travelled with them and the key turning points in the story.
Before you embark on your apocalypse-thwarting quest - one that sees you travelling to the city of Neverwinter and becoming embroiled in a millennia-old conflict that takes you through the Sword Coast, ancient Illefarn ruins, deadly wizard sanctuaries and into battle with creatures from yond the land of Faerun - you'll first have to customise your character traits.
"You decide who you arc and what your childhood was like by choosing your own background traits at the start of the game - such as Bully, Flirt or Troublemaker," explains Chris Avellone. Obsidian Entertainment's creative director. "Not only do these traits give bonuses to your character, but toplc in your home village will react to them as well - sometimes favourably, sometimes not."
Your choices and actions will also influence your ever-growing retinue, over which you'll have far greater control this time around (for more on this see 'Having A Hencli', right). "Your choices will often influence your companions, who may enthusiastically agree with them or have violent objections to them," reveals Avellone. Sounds intriguing... And possibly bloody.
Rock And Bone
So far, so impressive, but what's really moistening our lips is the game's all-new Stronghold System. Starting off with just a smallholding, you'll soon find yourself presiding over a burgeoning fortress that can be upgraded in a variety of aesthetic and military ways. You'll also be able to bolster its defensive capabilities by recruiting new warriors to your cause, which is just as well given that your stronghold will become Neverwinter's last line of defence against the tide of darkness that threatens the city's very existence. "Who you meet, how you treat them and how you solve their problems determines what recruits you can gather to help defend your stronghold, remarks Avellone. "You can also have miners, farmers and architects join your ranks to improve your home base.
Also new to the Neverwinter fold will be several new races and classes from the Forgotten Realms, including the Drow sub-race and the spell-spewing Warlock character class. "The Warlock is different to other spellcasters in that he uses his magic as abilities rather than spells," comments Urquhart. "While he has fewer magical things he can do, he can do them over and over without having to rest or learn things from spellbooks. Well lucky him, the damn beardy show-off.
With over 100 different locations to explore and around 40 hours of playing time, Neverwinter Nights 2 is looking like it might just, but only just, be able to stack up to Oblivion in the epic scope stakes. However, throw in a powerful, branching plot, a revamped henchman system, revised combat and the mouthwatering prospect of building up your own fortress and suddenly - dare we say it? - the idea of a viable competitor to Oblivion doesn't seem like such a ludicrous proposition. One thing's for sure: when these two giants clash, sparks are gonna fly. Bring it on - let battle commence.
Download Neverwinter Nights 2
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Released in 2006 and supported with some expansion packs, Neverwinter Nights 2 was a pretty big deal when it was first released. Created by the people at Obsidian this is an RPG that is clearly part of the Dungeons & Dragons universe and that is pretty awesome.
Let Me Tell You A Tale
Any good RPG needs to have a good story and I feel that the story which is told in Neverwinter Nights 2 is quite a good one. It is actually told in three acts. From discovering who you are, the introduction on evil wizard and then the best part of all….. The Shadow Reavers which are these creepy undead mages that you have to deal with. If you are a fan of fantasy, you will certainly enjoy the tale that is told here. The story is a little short and the side quests are not exactly the most interesting, but the main tale more than makes up for this. Not only that the way your party will chat with each other as they just going about doing what they do is truly awesome stuff. Some of the stuff they said legit cracked me up and had me laughing.
Who Are You?
The character creation is very in depth. I do not mean by 2006 standards either, Obsidian went all out with the character creation in this game. There are plenty of different races are there for you to choose from at the start. That is a nice amount, but then there is more. If you pick Dwarf, for example, you then can pick from a few different styles of dwarf. You could easily spend an hour here micromanaging every single aspect of your character.
Meet My Friends
If you played the first Neverwinter Nights game it was a very solo affair. Neverwinter Nights 2 though kicks things up by not just letting you have a party that will be at your side. You have full control over your party. You can mess around with them, change their moves, inventory and so on. By making your party just the way you need it, you are greatly helping your chances of making it through some of the tougher sections of the game. Plus like I mentioned the party does chat a lot to each other and that for me is a major highlight of the game. Most of my positive memories from the game are to do with the relationship of my party.
Roll The Dice!
As is the case with most games based on Dungeons & Dragons, Neverwinter Nights 2 is a game that does take a little while to get into. The combat is all point and click as you would expect in a game of this style. The different spells and attacks look great though so it is not as if the combat gets boring. I did find that there was sometimes what felt like a lot of luck at play when I would get into combat, but to be fair this could be just down to me not being great at the game.
You Sure Are Pretty
While you may not think it now, back in 2006, Neverwinter Nights 2 was a game that some PC’s actually struggled to run. On its highest settings, it was quite the graphical showcase and I think that it still holds up pretty well to this day.
The Fans Step In
Full disclosure here mods are something that I have not dabbled in. However, I have learned that the diehard fans and the modding community have stepped up big time with this game. From creating new quests, items, clothing and styles for your character and even the ability to still play it online. The fan community for Neverwinter Nights 2 has really taken this game to the next level.
If you like top down D&D style RPG games, Neverwinter Nights 2 is certainly a game that you will find interesting. I thought the story was really well written and quite entertaining. It is also really cool the way the fan community has taken over this game and made it something even better than what it originally was.
- The story is great
- Three very interesting story arcs
- Lots of choices when it comes to your character
- The presentation holds up very well
- The modding community has taken this game to crazy new heights
- Combat is a little basic
- The story is shorter than you would think