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Customer Review

141 of 161 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps Obsidian/Atari should finish the game before releasing a "Gold" edition..., June 11, 2008
This review is from: Neverwinter Nights 2 Gold - PC (DVD-ROM)
Like many fans of the original Bioware epic Neverwinter Nights, I was giddy as a schoolgirl when we approached the release of Neverwinter Nights 2. Perhaps the fact that it was constantly delayed should have been a warning, but I wasn't deterred at all and was travelling all over the city on launch day trying to find a copy of the Limited Edition with rings that don't fit and an art book.

But let me digress for a moment...
Bioware was the creative studio behind the epic hit Knights of the Old Republic, and Obsidian's only prior game as a studio was Knights of the Old Republic 2 which was lauded for its excellent story, and bemoaned over its incomplete nature and buggy unfinished feel. Neverwinter Nights 2 was Obsidian's second title, and also their second continuation of a Bioware masterpiece, and ultimately the foreshadowing of what was to be released should have been heeded by those of us who were chomping at the bits to get our hands on it as soon as possible.

Obsidian released Neverwinter Nights 2 without the DM client, despite the fact that they had been touting the fact in interviews a year prior that the online component of the game was well in hand. On the contrary, the online component of NWN2 was in shambles, and even after multiple patches over the course of 2 years now has the online component stabilized... to a point.

When you play online with the latest patch, you still get load screen freezes, the game crashes every time on exiting (Vista and XP), and it appears to have enormous memory leak issues which have not been resolved. I am not running a weak machine mind you, I'm running a dual core 2 duo 8400 (Wolfdale), 4 GB of RAM, and a 64 bit operating system, with a 512MB Geforce 8800GT... a powerhouse which crashes consistently with NWN2.

I had the same problems on my prior system, an AMD core, with 2GB of RAM and a 7900GT and XP. Multiplayer freezes your computer or crashes the game randomly.

Let us be honest... the Multiplayer component may not be what sells the game out of the gate, but it is what makes the original NWN a hit even in the present time (6 years post-release). Multiplayer was incredibly unfinished by Obsidian, and reading the release notes it is almost criminal how they acknowledge bugs, don't know what causes them, and don't issue any timeframe or even a plan on an expected fix.

This game hasn't worked since release for those who enjoy Multiplayer. Single player is buggy, but the campaign is good (reminiscent of KOTOR2).

Despite all this, the cash cow milking is at work, and Gold Editions, Platinum Editions, Diamond Editions, etc. are promised features and fixes for those who shell out cash to buy the newest bundle or expansion.

Obsidian/Atari should not be planning any expansions until the game actually works. Instead, they are financing development and running the license into the ground because of the shortsighted nature of development.

This game was supposed to be a D&D fan's dream, but many of us are moving back to NWN where Bioware still adds free content, fixes, and additions to the game despite not making much money off of it.

Perhaps Obsidian/Atari should slow down on milking the consumer and think about what breeds customer loyalty. I've bought every single Bioware title to date, and I will continue buying because I get what I expect - quality, and a finished game.

I can't say the same for Obsidian. Boo.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 5, 2008 1:58:52 PM PDT
J. Parsons says:
You make a good point... Bioware is still patching NWN1, and having played that for 5 years now, I can still say that it's a great game. They actually developed and then fixed the multiplayer component, which is the only reason that game is still around. Let's face it, I certainly didn't buy NWN1 for the campaign. It was bland and without surprise/intrigue. But that's ok, because Bioware also made it easy enough to make your own module how you liked it, with little time and effort spent in doing so. That single feature has made NWN1 nearly infinitely replayable.

As for NWN2, it seems the tables have turned. Like KOTOR2, NWN2 had a strong storyline. There were plenty of plot twists and unexpected surprises. Obsidian seems to excel at making good stories. However, they fall VERY short of actually making good games. Like KOTOR2, NWN2 is bugged tremendously. I, like you, got the game on the first day it came out (in fact, I had it pre-ordered for 2 months ahead of time). It was so bad that I gave up the game and only came back to it a year and a half later. Only then was it marginally playable.

So, all in all, Bioware makes great games with weak storylines on occasion (NWN1) but makes up for it with user tools and outstanding support. Obsidian can weave a great story but falls short everywhere else. A shame really, Neverwinter Nights was such a great franchise. I can only hope an NWN3 is on the horizon and it's not so terribly screwed up. Or, in the much less likely event, Obsidian patches NWN2 up with the second expansion pack (wishful thinking). Time shall tell, I suppose.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 8, 2008 7:22:59 AM PDT
D. Cooper says:
I can be fair to say that NWN's Multiplayer component didn't work great until it had been out for 6 months or so. It didn't hit its peak until about 2 or 3 patches after Hordes of the Underdark was released. That entire timeframe however was about 1 1/2 years. NWN2 has sputtered along the entire time (almost 2 years now), which is almost unforgivable considering they reused most of the code from the original. The server client is even the same.

There are a few good servers online currently, my favorite at the moment is Necrosis. I still get the occasional hangups/lockups with the game, but they are less frequent than they have been.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 19, 2008 10:15:34 AM PDT
The trouble with reviews about "buggy game feel" is that with time, studios often patch it up. NWN2 is no exception, and has been worked on by Obisidian for a long time since release. The end product is good and stable, but the negative "bugginess" comments remain glaring. If not write a new review, please edit to reflect the current state of things. Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2008 6:58:07 AM PST
D. Cooper says:
I actually wrote this based on my play-time during the period the "Gold" edition was released. I had a fully patched NWN2 + MotB and was receiving consistent crashes online, as well as new introduced bugs in the OC. The game has been worked on by Obsidian, but during the period they were packaging the materials to ship a gold edition you had notes in the patch notes that said things like "Don't know what is causing crashes online." which should be fixed prior to milking the consumer for more money. After all - it is a bullet-point on the back of the box that it 'supports multiplayer' and they shouldn't have a half-arsed implementation. Do it right or don't do it at all.

The game has gotten marginally better, but Obsidian has a track record at this point of releasing unfinished software.

Posted on Nov 23, 2008 7:47:41 PM PST
Storm says:
My short experience with the game since getting it a couple weeks ago has been really good. I have not come across any bugs, thus far. The only real complaint I have is the camera can be annoying at times, but I can't really say that is a bug. Multi-player has worked flawlessly for my friend and I. Single player has run without a hitch.

Anyway, I think with the release of patches, most "buggy" rated reviews get outdated. Not the reviewers fault, but might be worth re-reviewing what you wrote after patches correct issues pointed out in the review.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2009 5:28:31 PM PST
Some spoilers below! Note: I do not plan on updating this post. It is the reader's responsibility to look at the date of the posting and determine if this information is recent or not. Thank you.

I stopped playing NWN2 after a few frustrating months of glitches and empty promises by obsidian to fix the issues. I came back to it just last week, and I have played less than two hours into the OC and encountered no less than three game halting bugs. Each instance had my character trapped in an inescapable position where an event failed to fire properly, or else a scene change failed to load where it should have, stranding me in cutscene mode and forcing me to ctrl-alt-del my way out. I bought the newest expansions, too. My PC is very nearly identical to the OP's computer, except that I have three way SLI with 9800's inside.

Spell effects still don't perform as their descriptions say they should, and the only available fix is something a player released on the vault. There are several other examples of unofficial patches done by players who just want the game to work. I would say that these extraordinary efforts by players show their dedication to the series, but also highlight the failures of the development team. I should say here that nobody should have to pay money for something they have to fix themselves to get working.

If I reload from an earlier save and progress forward I can sometimes get past the issues. But this is frustrating and upsetting, especially if I have forgotten to save in some time. The game is too unpolished and seems to me to be half finished, if even that much. I am sorry that I wasted my money buying both expansions. Neither of them fixed the issues with the OC in NWN2. I have not played the campaign for either expansion yet, but from what I've heard they are not much better. Disappointing doesn't really adequately express what I am feeling right now. Enraged is a better word. And unfortunately, retail policy being what it is, I have no realistic hope of getting my money back.

Posting my problems on obsidian's forum has been no help. I get drowned out within a few hours by the countless multitude of fellow advocates searching for salvation. Sadly we are all forgotten by those who already have our money and no longer care. At least that is the feeling I get from the few responses given by obsidian reps. They acknowledge that there are bugs, but don't offer any kind of solution or timetable for one. I don't even think they know what causes the bugs. They seem unfamiliar with the code. I guess that should be expected, since a good portion of the code came directly from NWN1, and that wasn't made by obsidian; it was made by bioware.

If these issues have not been solved within the next few months (and while I have little reason to believe they will be, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt since they just released a new expansion), I'll probably never buy an obsidian game again.

A few examples of bugs I've come across:

When using "select character" and picking a character with equipped weapons to start the OC, the equipped weapons will disappear, never to return.

Occasionally when taking part in the tutorial brawl there is a bug where the opponents don't activate as enemies, leaving the player stuck inside the fence without any way to continue.

There have been constant issues with spell graphics and sound effects not working correcting in combat, or else activating at the wrong time. It creates glitchy and flawed combat visuals. Sometimes these issues spill over to the actual gameplay mechanics, where spell effects are not applied to enemies or dice are not rolled when they should be. This is constant throughout all combat.

During the cutscene during the village attack, the archers are supposed to kill the leading attackers; they never do, and apparently have not since the second patch. But they did before then! The patch actually broke this part of the cutscene!

The next bug is in the crypt when rescuing the fort captain, the cutscene with the evil baddy sometimes locks up. The game doesn't freeze, but the cutscene never ends, either. It locks in place and the avatars simply perform their idle animation until I kill the game.

That was as far as I got this time. It simply became too frustrating, again, for me to continue. Needless to say, buying the two expansions did nothing for the game. At least for me.

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 12:17:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 23, 2009 12:18:39 PM PDT
George John says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 1:16:30 PM PDT
Lika Laruku says:
I have an older computer with an older graphics card. By the time I got & patched the game, there were no bugs & no crashing. Of course, I know better than to buy a game without waiting 6 months after it's released. How about updating your game & reviewing the game based on content instead of bitching about your harware woes?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2010 9:10:20 AM PST
NWN 2 was actually released in october 2006, notice that the original review for the GOLD version was written in June/2008. The user actually waited more than 6 months.

Posted on Oct 3, 2010 8:11:02 AM PDT
H. Tague says:
I can understand your frustrations with glitches online, but maybe you should actually review the rest of the game as well? After all, the online features are optional functions and the game itself was designed specifically for the single player campaign. You mention how late they were releasing the DM toolset but it has since been released and you didn't bother reviewing it at all. Problem with reviews like yours is that they focus almost exclusively on one feature, and ignore the rest. This is exactly how good games get shafted while bad ones get record sales. People are getting the wrong idea.
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