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October 12, 2009 | by  | in Games | [ssba]

Neverwinter Nights 2

In the sullenly sparkly 80s, before there were computerised RPGs, there was Dungeons and Dragons. This was how people played computer games before computers were mainstream. A complex set of rules defined a game where combat was resolved using the role of dice. A problem lay in the intricacy of the game, and could be overwhelming with a standard D&D rule book that could compete with copies of Grey’s Anatomy in the categories of size and complexity. Yet at its core, D&D was a game about statistics and about combat. Neverwinter Nights 2 is a modern example of these classic aspects of the older RPG generation. The mechanics are modeled after the 3.5 edition of the D&D rules and as such the emphasis of the game is mostly upon battle, though role playing elements have been given a thorough polishing.

You begin as a humble villager on the outskirts of the mere of dead men. The backstory puts you in the care of a reclusive elfish foster father, who to be frank is a bit of a tosser. Thankfully the dialogue options allow for good/neutral/bad responses, giving you enough leeway to tell him as much, which is refreshing. The plot quickly ushers you out into the wider world, and before you know it you’ll be pitted against extra-dimensional religious fanatics, devils of the lower planes, scheming necromancers, werewolves, angry foreign ambassadors, you know, standard fantasy riff raff. Along the way you’ll pick a small army of would-be friends and allies, each wanting to join you for their own reasons. Each has their own complicated history that you will end up unraveling if you so choose. These optional extras are part of what add to the greater context of the game. In line with this philosophy of context, care has been given to see that you always have a reason for fighting what you do. Regardless of whether you decide to be a high-n-mighty paladin or an unscrupulous power hungry mage, it never feels as if you’re forced into a course of action.

Attention to detail is the key word for this game. Characteristic of a Bioware product from the word go, from character creation to epic final battle, you have plenty of options and an immersive world to explore. Veteran fans of D&D will no doubt have already played this title, however its popularity has ensured that it’s still being sold way after it was released, and at $25 it’s cheaper than a Core Rule Book. Indulge your inner geek.

Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment

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