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.
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.
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.
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.