Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Review: Neverwinter Nights 2

As many of you may already know I recently obtained my own copy of Neverwinter Nights 2 for Christmas. The dynamic storyline and new races/classes make the game very entertaining as once you have completed it from a combination of say Human Warlock, you can then follow the whole story again but with a different combination. The story would, of course get repetitive and you would start to remember things, so that is why there is also a Multiplayer as well as Single Player, where you can play in persistent worlds (that is a world where the game's plots and events continue to develop even while some of the players are not playing their character), player versus player arenas and other stories that people have created for your leisure.

With that in mind it can be a very good game, although some aspects of it can be rather annoying. For example, the Graphical User Interface of the game is not what I thought it would be, in my opinion it actually looks like it is one step behind the first Neverwinter Nights. It just seems like they paid a lot more detail and attention to the graphics of the environment of the game and not the user interface, this is normally a good thing - but a role-playing game is one where the user interface is pasted all over the game frame (the game frame being the main box as it were - basically showing the world, your character, non-playable characters and other players) so the user interface is what you are going to be seeing nearly all the time.

I currently play as a Warlock, the kills are quick and painless because the Warlock can deal a major amount of damage in a short casting fire blast, the damage is hard to understand as it is all written as "2d8" and "1d10" where as World of Warcraft is "31.8 damage per second" and "69 - 121 Damage" which is easier to read, because that is pure hit-point damage. A few things are still lacking in Neverwinter Nights though, the quests are still vague and not as easy to follow as World of Warcraft, they do not have a summarization or objectives instead they have a paragraph or more telling you what to do and where to find the place, person or object.

However, every game has its pros and cons, so don't let that put you off. Normally if some aspects are lacking then others will be overloading (unless of course it is a crap game all together, and I shan't be naming them at the moment). The graphics on new games and looking more and more realistic, and that is exactly what Bioware have done and are doing. Now a day we expect real-time graphics and extensive game play due to the new and ever-changing technology available to us. Neverwinter Nights 2 needs one hell of a computer to run on, basically meaning that it does not run on an NVIDIA GeForce4™ MX 440 (128mb) graphics card - which is the one I currently have on my computer after my ATI Radeon™ X1600 Pro (512mb) went "pop" - and even struggles to render on an NVIDIA GeForce™ 6200 (256mb) - with the graphics options set to low!

I have always liked games with editors, so that you can create your own worlds, dungeons, arenas, maps and what have you, it can brighten your spirit if you place piles of attackable non-playable characters, make yourself really strong at the first level by creating extreme weapons with every enchant you can possible have and zap them all in one hit! Neverwinter Nights has always had a Toolset where you can do just that, you can create modules and maps just as if you were the developers of the game, you are able to create your own adventures to play with your friends online or make your on story and upload it somewhere for others to complete. With the new and improved Toolset, by Obsidian you can do even more, it has been made more like a programming language builder (e.g. Mircosoft Visual C++) so the creating of items, scripts, conversations, objects and so on are a little more advanced and getting used to what is what would probably be necessary. In the old Neverwinter Nights Toolset all of the items and objects parts were shown with an image, these images do not seem to be available for viewing in the newer Toolset, meaning that you will have to change a few things and then switch to preview mode to preview the item/object then back to the properties of it to change it again, which isn't all fun and games.

Enjoy it if you buy and don't be too disappointed with the user interface and/or toolset provided.

Total Score: 9.4

No comments: