Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Neverwinter Nights 2
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Platform: PC|Edition: DVD-Rom|Change
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on January 28, 2008
I want to get this out of the way - it's taken me a very long time to get from start to finish of Neverwinter Nights 2, and for good reason. When the game shipped in 2006 it was all but unplayable for many people because performance was just atrocious. For this reason, I couldn't get passed the first hour or so of the game; it was just too distracting. But the state of the game now is not the state of the game as it was at release. Numerous patches and an expansion pack have made me pick up the game again to give it another try, and I was pleasantly surprised with the game's improvement.

Character Creation (not scored)
When you first start the game, you'll be taken to the Character Creation screen. There are many, many, options for you when you start character creation, and I'm not just referring to what color hair your character has. So much so that it's overwhelming. In fact, I almost didn't get into the game at all because I didn't know what to do. There isn't really a tutorial or anything to help you figure it all out; instead, the game just gives you paragraphs of information on the right side of the screen detailing complicated, esoteric Dungeons and Dragons jargon. I will revisit this problem later when I talk about game-play, for it is a problem that permeates the game - in order to get the most out of the game you really need to have a pre-requisite knowledge of the way D&D works. It wasn't anywhere near as overwhelming in the original game or Baldur's Gate or other D&D based games - the game worked with or without your own personal experience with the game's systems. So when the game describes dice rolls, and stat offsets without explaining what they mean, it alienates the less hardcore consumer who hasn't spent half their life in a dank basement rolling for initiative. In the end, I just chose one of the pre-set character customization options or else I never would have gotten started. I will say, though, for the aforementioned D&D fanatic, the options and classes are very deep and varied; just don't expect for the game to cut you any slack, at first at least.

Story 8/10
This is one of the game's biggest strengths. Within the main campaign, you will easily find 50+ hours worth of playtime. The game takes place in the Forgotten Realms, more specifically the Sword Coast. You play a guy/girl/creature from a small southern swamp town, with an unknown destiny. There is an attack on your town at the beginning of the game, leading you to discover said destiny and set off on an epic journey to the city of Neverwinter and beyond. The set-up is very familiar, but the execution is top-notch. There is political betrayal and intrigue, racial tension and other problems to contend with that help make the world feel alive and vibrant.

The game also employs use of a good/evil alignment system that attempts to make character interaction more interesting, but it doesn't have any effect on the story at large - you'll still end up battling the same final boss, and you'll either win or lose. Which brings me to the main problem with the campaign: its linearity. The world is large, but you'll discover it in a very linear manner. There are side quests, but for the most part, they are just optional objectives to fulfill along the main story arc, rather than allowing you to explore other parts of the Sword Coast.

Game-play 8/10
Game-play is exactly what you would expect of a D&D game. The difference between the original and the sequel, though, is that you control an entire party of four people rather than just one. You have complete control over your henchmen, rather than having the game automate all of their actions. The AI does control them when you want them to, but you have the option of micro-managing every action and level up.

Battle consists of giving orders to your characters, watch them act out those orders, hitting the space bar to pause the game, giving more orders and doing it all over again. It isn't really any different that it has been in games like Baldur's Gate, but why fix what isn't broken? It's fun, engaging, and the reason to play the game. If you didn't like it before, you won't like it here, but it's dungeon crawling at its finest.

The game gives you a rather slow-moving, basic tutorial at the beginning of the game to orient you with the way combat works. It sort of does its job, but once again, the game doesn't really teach you the way D&D works. So you either learn it elsewhere or ignore the underlying mechanisms, but it will make you feel like you don't understand what's really going on if you do just ignore it. The idea behind having a computer version of a D&D game is to automate it for you, but I felt alienated by being kept in the dark, and I often didn't know how to play different classes.

Also, it is FAR easier to play as a melee-oriented class than a caster. Because you need to rest constantly to recharge spells, you won't always have your basic spells to use on your foes. When your casters have leveled enough, this will cease to be a problem, but if you start out as a mage, expect to rest after every encounter for the first 8 or 9 hours of the game. Also, you won't be able to manage any kind of aggro, so be prepared to need a fighter or warrior to get through most battles. This is part of the challenge of the game and the nature of D&D, but playing a fighter really is a breeze, while playing a sorcerer can be an exercise in frustration. Also, the AI is okay, but you'll notice sorcerers using their most powerful spells on rats when just a magic missile will do. As such, you'll probably want to order around all of your characters rather than trusting the AI. Inventory management can be clunky, too, but you generally have plenty of space for everything you want to pick up and sell.

All of these issues are often minor, though, and playing the game is a blast most of the time. After a few hours you'll get a handle on how everything works, and it'll start to feel more natural. Later in the game you gain control of a fortress, which is yours to reinforce and work on, hire soldiers for, etc., which is also really engaging.

Performance 6/10
And here we reach the biggest issue with the game. The game just wasn't programmed to perform well on most systems. Especially considering the level of graphical detail inherent in the game design, performance is downright awful. Framerates rarely exceeded 15fps for me, and I have a gigabyte of video memory and two gigs of ram. The game has a particularly difficult time dealing with SLi or multi-core processors, which may have resulted from the game's lengthy development period. The patches and updates have made a big difference, but since then huge game-breaking bugs have reared their ugly heads.

By far the biggest bug is one where the game actually deletes party members from your roster. It wouldn't be such a huge issue if certain campaign events didn't require you to have specific characters in your party at the time. See, the game stores character information every time you change scenery. However, when you have a familiar summoned, it will overwrite your useful tiefling thief or dwarf fighter, or what have you, with that familiar, effectively losing said character. It requires clunky file manipulation or a game restart, to fix which almost made me give up the game after 35 hours of playing. It is inexcusable to have such an enormous bug in the game a year and a half after release still in its code. Also, in order sidestep said bug, you have to unsummon all creatures every time you leave a scene, which is just irritating. Patch documentation state that this has been addressed, but this is a flat-out lie; I started a new game after all the latest updates had been installed.

Graphics 7/10
Even with the game's poor performance, the game looks okay. It kind of gets away with it much of the time because it doesn't require twitch action from the player. The backgrounds are pretty, with certain districts of Neverwinter being almost beautiful. The spell effects are the highlight of the game, with firebolts, mage missiles, and ice balls being flung all over the place during combat. It's very pleasant to look at while fighting, and satisfying when a meteor storm obliterates a boss character.

However the characters look like they fell out of a time warp circa 2001. They often look awful, and the hair is particularly bad. I would expect character models of this caliber on the PSP, not on PCs. Also, the graphics engine is buggy, with random flickering happening quite frequently. Again, this all depends on your setup, but it is the norm, rather than the exception, if forum dwellers are to be believed. Loading times are very high, framerates are low, and bugs abound. The camera is particularly suspect - it's kind of isometric, kind of over the shoulder, but you there is no automation whatsoever, so plan on constantly manually moving it to get a better view of the action. Even more frustrating is the fact that it doesn't save where you were last looking with it when you transition to a new area, so you end up with an awful view every time you gain control of your characters. I don't know what was wrong with the way the original camera worked, but it detracts from the game experience.

Sound 9/10
I don't really have any criticism here. The voice acting is of high-quality across the board, the orchestral music is compelling and fitting, and the sound effects are satisfying. This is easily the most consistent part of the game.

Summary
All of the issues can really creep up on you while you play, and it's unfortunate that there are so many of them because there truly is a lot of fun to be had here for the persistent. All of this isn't really new to PC gamers, who are used to doing all kinds of tweaking to get games to work, but a history of this doesn't exclude Obsidian from the responsibility of releasing such an unpolished an inconsistent piece of software. That having been said, once I got the game working at a stable rate, I had a great time discovering and becoming part of its world and the tale it has to tell. The bottom line is that it's fun, engaging, and deep. Keep in mind the bugs and problems you may encounter before making a purchase, but it has my recommendation.

Pros:
-Engaging story
-Great sound
-Fun, deep gameplay
-Lengthy campaign

Cons:
-Extremely inconsistent performance
-Mediocre graphics
-Difficult to get started
-Complicated game systems
-Lack of in-game explanation of those systems

Overall Score - 8/10
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on November 25, 2007
DISCLAIMER: I bought both NWN2 and the expansion pack, Mask of the Betrayer, at the same time and installed them both, so my review reflects changes that were implemented with the expansion pack but still available in the original campaign.

I'm probably in the minority of gamers in that I never really liked the original NeverWinter Nights. I loved the concept of a game that allowed you to create your own campaigns and play online, but I got really turned off by the single character with henchmen aspect. NWN2 has fixed this with a more traditional 4 character party system.

I am running it on the following system:

AMD Athlon 64 3000+, 1 GB Ram (Single Channel), GeoForce 7600 GS 256MB DDR3. So my system is nice, but by no means state of the art! I am able to run at almost all of the highest settings for graphics and action.

Pros:
The game play is great, very similar in style to the older Infinity based games.
The graphics are beautifully rendered, a significant upgrade from NWN
The storyline is engaging (haven't finished it yet, about 1/3 through)
There is enough flexibility in how you control your party to allow various styles of play.

Cons:
I've tweaked the mouse control as best I can and it still gets a little jumpy when I try to pan around.
The load times between areas can be a bit long at times.
The world (so far) is not fully built out. For instance in several of the villages I have encountered so far, there are only one or two buildings you can enter. While I understand how time consuming world building can be, one thing I always enjoyed about the Baldur's Gate and Ultima series was that you could go almost anywhere you wanted. If you are playing a thief, this seriously inhibits your ability to role play.

Neutral:
There are so many feats, skills and other abilities, that it's hard to keep track of them all and know which ones to use.
Each of the party members always have the same level of experience points. This makes it easier for balancing the party of course, but it seems a bit strange that when a new member joins, he is at the same level of the other characters. I always enjoyed managing the characters to make sure each got enough XP.
So far the story has been very linear. I prefer a more open gameplay (like Ultima and BG).
Cut scenes are well done, but can be a bit long at times.

Synopsis:

For those that love the party based CRPG genre, this is a must have, despite some of the flaws of the game. I have only found one CRPG since the release of Baldur's Gate II that I really enjoyed, and that was a user mod of Dungeon Siege (Ultima V: Lazarus). Icewind Dale II just didn't hold my interest (the story seemed to convoluted, especially given how linear it was), Temple of Elemental Evil just seemed unplayable, and NWN lost me with the single player/henchmen concept.

Additionally, given the large community that made campaign modules for NWN, there should be plenty of modules coming out that don't have the same story issues as the original campaign.

UPDATE: I did have some performance issues once I got to Neverwinter and had to turn down the settings some to avoid low frame rates during combat, but it still plays very good.
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on December 3, 2006
I pre-ordered the Limited Edition of this game and waited very impatiently for months (years really) for it's release only to be pretty disappointed in the game I had so anticipated.

For starters, I was shocked to see the models in the character creation screen. They were poorly done (ugly) and the hair was simply atrocious. It looks like spray-on hair or something. Step backwards IMO. The character creation was fine, except for the fact that I don't like not being able to see my character's alignment stats on the Character screen anymore.

The alignment shifts, especially in the beginning of the game, are somewhat out of line at times and I find that in order to play Chaotic Good effectively, my character basically has to lie or be greedy every chance she gets. If I'm not careful and choose too "nice" of a response I might get lawful shifts. The influence can be a real pain because if you want to interact with a specific character, you've got to play to their alignment. Period. There's no other way around it. I don't play Evil or Chaotic Neutral, so I guess there's some NPC quests and interactions that I will never, ever get.

The main story line is not bad overall, but side-quests are sometimes hard to recognize (gathering people for the Keep) and often just don't seem to fit in anywhere. I had trouble caring in the least bit about most of them, never really feeling any urgency or compelling reason to start or finish them. Most of the time I felt railroaded toward the end goal and I've even realized too late that if I didn't do a side-quest "Right-That-Minute!" then it was lost to me forever. It's so unlike NWN 1 or BGII where you could follow the main quest but continue on with side quests pretty much whenever you felt like it.

I haven't had any problems with gameplay mechanics like so many others have. I run a 2.8GZ with a GeForce 6800 GT 256MB. I have shiny water and some of the shadow effects turned off but it runs pretty smoothly. Load and Save times are too long, but not to the point where it's made me stop playing.

Graphics are good except for the PC character models, gods they're ugly. The NPCs generally look good (except for hair issues for some as mentioned), but why on earth they couldn't have saved a few decent models for the PC is beyond me. The camera is clunky and difficult to control at times and I always seem to be really, really far away from them or close enough to see nose hairs. There's really no in-between.

I do like the party system and having a 5 person party as opposed to merely two. It's fun to watch the characters interact with one another and it brings back my fond memories of BGII. It's not nearly as good, mind you, but it's nice to see the attempt made. The NPC interactions with the PC are OK, but not very in depth IMO. I don't feel any connection to them like in BGII or even KOTOR1 or HoTU for that matter.

I'm playing a Bard right now and I do like the fact that they've implemented new rules for Bards which has really made them a little more useful and fun to play. (Of course they're always useful ;) I like the idea of crafting being taken to a higher level, although I just find it cumbersome for myself. I can definitely see the enjoyment in it for those who really love to create their own gear, potions, etc.

I like the Quickspells menu quite a bit and having 10 scrolling screens in the Quickbar is great as well. I wish they would have left alone some things like conversation actions. The right click and hold they have now is a pain.

Overall, it's not a bad game, it's just not the game I had been waiting for. I'd say it's worth it for the die-hard NWN fan, but don't expect BG3 when you play it.
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on October 26, 2014
Let me say this; I've been playing computer games since the very beginning when the only game out there was something called "pong". I've built and programmed computers and my very 1st personal PC was the Apple IIc. I grew up on the SSI Gold Box series of games which were based on the original pen and paper Dungeons & Dragons tabletop games. Neverwinter Nights 2 is true to its roots and the Wizards of the Coast. Its a game that old timers like us want to play, unfortunately the game was released in 2006 and its meant to be played on a Windows XP OS. I use Windows 7 which is a recent clean install on my machine from Vista. The OS is 64 bit. There are serious problems with this game and even though there have been over 15 major patches to the game, the one you get in this box is the original release dated 2006 and Version number 1.00(768). The game should be installed in Windows XP compatibility mode. What does this mean? When the auto play on the DVD starts do not run it, instead choose "view files on the disc. Look for the "set up" application file. Right click on the file name and choose properties, then check the box to run in compatibility mode which will high light the only option of Windows XP. Apply, ok and close the box. Now right click the setup application and run in administrator mode to install. At the 99% done point on the install a window will pop up showing there was an install error to a DX file, then another error box after that. Click ok to proceed. The game will install, I don't know what these errors are. Don't even try to choose the auto update option on the install as the old servers don't even exist anymore plus the built in update program is bugged and doesn't work anyway.

Ok so fine its installed and you can proceed to play. You should also play the game in Windows XP Compatibility mode. To do this look in he game directory for the '.exe' file extension application that runs the game. Right click the file name and choose 'properties' in the menu window that appears and check off 'run in compatibility mode". It is fun to play if not a bit clunky by today's standards. The FPS will drop to about 3 every now and then and it will lock up in that you can't move your characters at all. Repeated reloads of saved games sometimes frees this up. So be prepared to play through scenes and battles over and over and over until you can luck out and actually move ahead. After putting up with this nonsense for about 10 hours I went online to look for any patches. I found them here http://neverwintervault.org/patches?field_game_tid=6&field_platform_tid=138&field_language_tid=141&field_requirements_tid=101

There is also a patch program that works at the bottom of this page. I suppose these patches work for someone or the page wouldn't be active. However they didn't work for me. After mapping through the mish mosh of listings, you will note that they are not in any particular order and don't seem to make any sense at all, I worked out 15 patch versions that would bring my game from the base version 1.00(768) to 1.22 (1588 ). Note the patch versions don't use punctuation so version 1.00(768) is listed as 100768 and so on.

The patches have to be downloaded to a file folder on your PC, choose a spot that will be able to find easily, like a new folder on your desktop. The files are zipped and you will need an unzip program such as "winrawr". Unzip your patches to another folder on your desk top then move or copy them to your Neverwinter Directory. The default directory is C:\Program Files (x86)\atari\neverwinter. Then download the patch program, read the instructions and start the patch process.

Now the problems start. The very 1st patch gets about 1/4 of the way in and stops with the message that a file is missing. The only option is to check off the box on the patch program to ignore missing files. Upon doing that the patch completes with a warning noise indicating patch errors and to check the patch log. Upon checking the log no errors are listed. Bear in mind that this patch program is 3rd party and not a commercial product. Rather than sit through all 15 patches I did the 1st one and tried to start the game. Double click the desk top icon and the game starts with a panel on screen with options such has play, exit and so on. Clicking play causes some very brief activity on the HDD and then the game stops. Uninstalling and patching multiple times ended in the game failing to start.

So the bottom line is: The game is playable, barely and even though there are patches available they don't work. My rhetorical question to anyone out there that has played this game and got the patches to work is: "How did you get past the 'missing file' error message?" I find it very unsettling that the original game disc has missing files and the patches that are meant to fix the game cant be used because of these missing files.

So, unless you are computer and OS and system savvy, don't even try to play this game. Save your money and get something that is current or even newer such as Divinity: Original Sin, Wasteland 2, Starpoint Gemini2 or even Shadowrun returns.
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on November 20, 2006
I'm writing this review halfway through the first chapter and more properly should be "first impressions" rather than a full review. The major theme of my experience is that the technical bugs far outweigh anything else so far -- and am playing on a system that meets all the "reccomended" tech specs.

The graphics are beautiful but they aren't a generations worth of improvement over baldur's gate (so I don't know what is making use of all those system requirements.) Secondly within the first two days of playing I've been kicked out of the game 4 times with error messages (never happend in Baldur's gate either), plus let me not get started with the camera! The stupid thing has a mind of its own!

Which wouldn't be so bad if it didn't keep getting left behind in the indoor levels. Nothing worse than turning a corner and watching your life bar go down when you can't see what's happing to your character as the camera is fixated on the wall before the turn.

Hope the patches come soon, otherwise what a waste of $50.
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on January 4, 2007
I am a once-a-week gamer. My buddies and I play the multiplayer option of NWN1 as much as we can. We loved this game for the past 2 years.

So you can imagine that we all got excited about NWN2 and ran out and bought it. Guess what? We are now playing NWN1 again as different characters. SAVE YOUR MONEY!!!

I am not going to go into all the shortcomings about NWN2 here, because that has all been done already by MANY reviewers before me... I can just tell you that I recommend you hold off for now, replay NWN1 or get into any of the quests that have been made by third-party developers if you are bored by the original campaigns... they may be buggy, but so is NWN2...

I am not trying to be a beta tester for NWN2... I want to play and NWN1 looks great, the interface is much smaller scale and refined and I don't even see the graphics improvement in NWN2 over NWN1...

AND THE CAMERA SUCKS !!!

Also- if any characted in multiplayer mode stops to talk to someone, everyone in the party locks up and has to wait it out...

and the movies are WAY too long...

AND it'sd annoying that everyone in the party goes into each new area together... it REALLY SLOWS DOWN GAMEPLAY!!! (sorry- couldn't help myself!)

I just hope the folks at BioWare start issuing some heavy-duty patches and fixes and really listen to their customers by reading reviews like these... otherwise I will be playing NWN1 forever!

FAILURE!!!
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on November 11, 2006
After the predecessors in this series, I was bitterly disappointed by this game. The one thing that absolutely lets it down is the henchmen, or non-player characters (NPCs).

The most obvious problem is that while the computer is obviously spending a lot of its power drawing pretty scenery (enough to bring even a state of the art machine to its knees), it doesn't seem to have any CPU cycles available to spend on stopping your followers bumping into each other, running into a trap because there's an enemy beyond it, or generally getting underfoot and looking stupid.

The subtler problem is that you can't really control who joins your party. At first glance everything is fine:- you meet a character, have a conversation, and they join up with you for a while. Unfortunately, as you will discover if and when you feel that you have made a mistake, there's no way of saying no to them - or getting rid of them, until later on in the plot.

I get the feeling that the focus of this game, rather than the PLAYER, or the main character who is leading the action and driving the plot forwards, is the WRITER - and his group of NPCs, dragging me along through a series of dramatic conversation scenes.

Time and again one is confronted with multiple choice options, all of which lead to the same conclusion. The illusion of control over one's own destiny is, it seems, only created to torment one.
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on April 30, 2007
Not much to cover here than what everyone else said...I got a good deal on it over the weekend being that the store I went to was going out of business...6 disks, 1.5 hrs of patching, 2 reboots and tweaking the graphics card later...the game plays like these guys are in molasses...sadly enough I got a 512 nvidia card on my board but the game looks like something from a P III from years ago. I am just hitting the opening chapters of the game and I am frustrated with the camera-work and combat...not really feeling this game at all. If you a hardcore player of this game, by all means...if not...just avoid
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on October 5, 2011
The Neverwinter Nights world continues to grow. Neverwinter Nights 2 introduced a better custimization engine, better graphics and gameplay, and a whole new story to follow. With countless customization options you could play the standard game over and over and never get bored or you can play multiplayer or create your own scenerios for you or your friends to play.

Whether you're a fan of D&D or not, if you're a computer gamer, you'll love this game.
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on February 20, 2010
First of all, I'm a huge fan of the whole Forgotten Realms series. I loved the Baldur's Gate series and I really enjoyed the original NWN. Therefore, I was eager to play this game and I had high hopes that it would be as good as its predecessors.

Overall, I enjoyed this game, but there are some major flaws that detracted from its potential. First, the good:

-- I thought that the graphics were quite nice. Weapons with elemental enchantments display the characteristics by dripping acid, flashing with fire or ice, or pulsing with sonic energy. Likewise, the armor and equipment is well done. The environment is well designed, and if your system can handle it, you can extend the "view" to really gain a 3D feel. I have surround sound speakers, so that, combined with the graphics, really made it feel like I was in the game. Lastly, I was particularly impressed with some of the higher level spells. If you zoom back after casting massive area spells like Meteor Showers, you can enjoy watching a wide swath of terrain get absolutely pummeled.

-- The storyline for the first 85% of the game was fantastic. You start with the typical humble origins and progress through the game acquiring fame and prestige (I was a paladin). By the third act, you can really feel as if your character has accomplished great things, and that those efforts are acknowledged by NPCs in the game.

-- The music is simply great. Not only do they recycle some of the great music from NWN, but they also incorporate new tunes that really add to the ambiance of the game, whether you are fighting, exploring, or in a city/town. It's a bit irritating to have to convert the music files from .bmu to .mp3, but if you can manage it, you can add some of the better tracks to iTunes for when you're lounging around in your room.

-- The item database is quite impressive. There is plenty of gear for each and every type of character. Although I was a bit depressed by the huge costs for some of the epic weapons/armor at the merchant shops, I found that if you're thorough in exploring each area you explore, you will often find items that surpass anything that you could buy. Likewise, by the latter part of the game, you can simply sell the elite-gear that you can't use and buy those few expensive items that complete your team. Just remember to keep a rogue with you so that you can open locked chests. If you simply bash them open, you risk destroying the powerful items inside.

-- Some of the cut-scenes, particularly mid-game are fantastic. In Act II, there is a long, drawn-out trial sequence (it gets longer if you do the subquests associated with it), that I really enjoyed. Make sure your character has some skills with either diplomacy / bluff / taunt / intimidate, so that you can really take advantage of situations like this. The dialogues were often very diverse and well scripted.

To the Bad:

-- I found the game play in the larger battles to be quite chaotic. There is a computer AI that you can configure to run your other party members, but you're far better off micromanaging them (particularly your casters). Additionally, there will be times when you want/need to focus on particular enemies and avoid others. I often found myself having to click on renegade team-members who would randomly stop what they were doing and go attack/do something that I did not want them to do. Much to my chagrin, after changing their course, they would often automatically go back to doing what I didn't want them to do. You can limit this to a degree by modifying their behavior settings, but I still found it frustrating.

-- The ending was an epic disappointment. I realize the need to set the stage for sequels, but the ending for this game was atrocious. The narrator sounded like he could care less what he was reading and I didn't like what the programmers did to my party at the end.

-- I bought this game years after the original release date, so there was plenty of patching to be done before starting the campaign. Yet, there were still plenty of bugs. The last few areas, in particular, caused havoc for my party member's movement, as they would often times just pace back and forth in the same spot unless I personally re-directed them. Likewise, I found times when I wanted my mages to cast stoneskin, or a similar buff, on multiple party members, but discovered that they would only try casting it on my main character. I found these problems went away if I reloaded the game, but when you're in the middle of a battle, sometimes firing an appropriate buff spell can make the difference between life and death for a particular character.

-- I couldn't find any way to get any characters besides my own to receive a prestige/multi class. I recognize that some classes (particularly Monks) don't generally multi-class until very, very high levels, but I would have enjoyed diversifying the abilities of my party members.

-- I found the game to be magic heavy. Under the "normal" rules, area spells won't harm your team-mates, and the higher-level spells will often end a battle in about 10 seconds. Some of the major battles can be quite tough if you don't have any mages / sorcerers. However, if you have two in your party and you keep them out of the melee, they will flatten everything in your path. I'm a particular fan of hack-and-slash fighting, so I prefer getting things done up close and personal. The enormous capabilities of the mages just do not fit with my style, and perhaps I just wasn't using my fighters correctly.

So all in all, I give this game three stars. I detracted 1 star for the abysmal ending, and one more for the bugs and difficulties concerning the party AI. You can resolve this by pausing round by round to micromanage your team-members, or trying to set up a spell queue, but I found this to be distracting. If you're a fan of the NWN series, I still recommend you buy this game just so you can enjoy the many things it has to offer. However, Obsidian could have made this a fantastic game if only they had a bit more time to develop it. I don't know if this is their fault, or Atari's, but that's my two-cents.
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