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Jmacq1
11-06-2006, 07:32 AM
So in the fall torrent of gaming releases, I almost get the impression this was kind of drowned out by console stuff (Final Fantasy XII mostly), but I did pick it up and play a little bit, so I figured I'd give my first impressions. Bearing in mind I haven't even made it out of "Act I" yet, so my impressions may change the more I get through.

THE GOOD:

Storyline and Characters: It won't win points for originality, but I don't play D&D-licensed games for originality anyway. The storyline is interesting enough to keep the player going, and the characters (so far) are generally amusing in their own way. If you're familiar with the Forgotten Realms setting (and especially the previous NWN or Baldur's Gate) it all feels very comfortably familiar. As far as characters go, the voice-acting isn't bad (in some cases pretty good), and generally the NPCs are more interesting or amusing than annoying or boring or whatever.

Character Creation: There's a ton of options available in character creation. You can really flesh out your "main" character quite a bit, with lots of different sub-races, "backgrounds" and feats for the choosing. Much more to do here than the original NWN. There's also a healthy dose of prestige classes built into the game.

Conversations: Important conversations use the same engine as KOTOR and Jade Empire, it looks like. While talking to random NPCS/shopkeepers/etc keeps more in tune with the original NWN. I don't really know why but for some reason I like that distinction.

Overall Gameplay: It pretty much plays a lot like the original NWN. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

THE BAD:

Camera Controls: Sluggish and annoying. There are settings you can tweak in the .ini files to make it less so, though. Which brings me to the next point...

Tweaking: I meet or exceed all the "recommended" specs, but it still required a lot of game (not system) tweaking to strike an acceptable balance between performance and graphic quality. Even the "auto-detect" settings were sluggish with very poor FPS. It got even worse in the "letterbox conversations". There are also some minor graphic glitches in some of those conversations...instead of seeing who you're talking to, you'll end up getting a picture of the sky or the ground instead. Just kinda weird. It's at an acceptable (to me) level now, but I had to spend an hour or two really nailing down the various settings before that balance was achieved.

NPCs Limited Advancement Options: The other members of your party are (at least initially) locked into whatever class they started out as (for instance, if they're a fighter, they stay a fighter no matter how many times they level up). I'm told you gain the option to multiclass some of them later, but as of right now, it's kind of annoying that they still remove a layer of customization from the player where the NPCs are concerned.

THE UGLY:

Graphics: OK, not "ugly" per se, but for as much trouble as the game seems to have with the graphic options, I'd expect a lot more bang for my buck. The environments look nice, but the characters not so much. Given all the tweaking I had to do, and the complaints on the official message boards, it's a very processor/graphics intensive game, yet that doesn't seem to translate on-screen. To me, it just doesn't look all that much better than the last NWN. "Oblivion" I can run at max/near-max settings without difficulty, but NWN2 gives my system lots of trouble? I guess I'm just not seeing where all this "power" it's sucking up is going.

Overall: 7/10 (I'm still enjoying it despite the trouble getting it running)

I'd say if you're a big fan of NWN and have the system to run it, then go for it.

Mike Pothier
11-06-2006, 09:41 AM
Honestly, I expected this. Most huge RPGs on the PC are filled with glitches upon release, and its usually best to wait a month for the patches to come out.

Matt
11-06-2006, 07:42 PM
Judging by the way that the DM Client was only released in the 1.01 patch (which came out the day after the game was released), the sale of NWN2 is a bit rushed so that it could be available for the US holiday market.

I expect the quality to increase in leaps and bounds as patches are released.

Matt
11-06-2006, 07:47 PM
What's really bugging me, at the moment, is that the Australian release of NWN2 has been delayed until the 16th of November; which is really a very poor effort considering with other countries such as Israel and the USA got theirs.

The Mirrorball Man
11-06-2006, 08:03 PM
NWN2 is too much for my old computer. It's the first game that finally makes me think that upgrading my computer every five or six months is starting to get a bit tiresome. I think I'll just play old games from now on.

Gozwald73
11-06-2006, 09:07 PM
meh - I didn't like the original much so prolly won't be getting this. Whatever happened to RPGs where you controlled a whole party? Hero building games are a dime-a-dozen these days.

Matt
11-06-2006, 09:13 PM
You get to control your party members in NWN2 - or let the AI handle them, it's the players choice.

HynerianChef
11-07-2006, 02:55 AM
I expect the quality to increase in leaps and bounds as patches are released.

This is one of the reasons I haven't bought it yet, despite the fact it came out on November 1st here. I'm looking forward to the game, but not salivating over it to the point where I need to play it NOW, in particular given that PES6 and Guild Wars: Nightfall also came out a few days before and I'm busy with those. Hopefully by the time I get it some of these issues will be addressed by patches.

Agent Helix
11-08-2006, 08:21 AM
I'm really, really enjoying this one so far, and I haven't encountered any bugs yet. Is there anything specific (bug-wise) I should be on the lookout for?

Jmacq1
11-08-2006, 10:38 AM
I haven't found any "game breakers" yet. Just some graphic glitches (particularly in dialogue cutscenes), and some laggy performance issues (prior to tweaking settings).

Matt
11-08-2006, 02:21 PM
Just have your main character selected and not another party member before cutscenes and you should be fine.

Agent Helix
11-09-2006, 06:28 AM
One thing my friend found out by accident last night when she was screwing around with the console...

Open the console (press `), type "DebugMode 1" (case sensitive), hit enter.

Then type "irolltwenties".

Jmacq1
11-09-2006, 08:18 AM
.....

Does that do what I think it does?

I knew about the "debug mode" but I didn't know about that particular command.

Agent Helix
11-09-2006, 08:21 AM
If you think it makes you auto-roll 20s, sorry, but no.

Spoiler:

It gives you a RIDICULOUSLY powerful katana. I mean utterly game-breaking.

So don't use it if you don't want to cheat. I just thought it was funny.

Agent Helix
11-16-2006, 07:39 AM
FINALLY made it to the end of chapter one.

I don't know about anybody else, but I'm really enjoying this game so far.

The Mirrorball Man
11-16-2006, 07:45 AM
FINALLY made it to the end of chapter one.

I don't know about anybody else, but I'm really enjoying this game so far.
I'm playing Pong.

Agent Helix
11-16-2006, 07:46 AM
Uh, thanks.

Edit: Nevermind, I just reread your first post in this thread. ;)