Icewind Dale 2 - PC

3.9 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews
Rated: Teen
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About the Product

  • Create your own band of adventurers from new 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons Character Classes
  • Auto-balancing game-play balances the conflict to match your skill level
  • 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons Feats and Skills such as Lightening Reflexes and Alchemy extend character customization
  • Packaging may be different than pictured
  • For Windows 95, 98, ME, XP, Vista - may not work on modern systems

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Product Description

Platform: PC

Product Description

Return to the frigid north of the Forgotten Realms in the sequel to the critically acclaimed Icewind Dale. Will you heed the call to arms and face the greatest threat to the Spine of the World?

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Return to the Spine of the World, that famous mountain range deep within Dungeons & Dragon's official world, the Forgotten Realms, for party-based adventure par excellence. Icewind Dale II is a throwback to an earlier time when D&D simulation meant six party members, 2-D graphics, and a heavy focus on story and real-time strategy game tactics.

Icewind Dale II plays like Baldur's Gate with one major difference: you create and control your entire party, which leaves you free to experiment with the huge array of options D&D 3rd Edition makes possible. Halfling paladins, wizards with thieving skills, it's all possible because Black Isle dutifully added all the new skills, rules, options, and feats given to D&D characters in the tabletop game.

The story line is long and epic and maybe too focused for its own good. You can experiment with any character combination you want, but you can't really range far and wide, adventuring as you wish. The story concerns a goblin army that is threatening human settlements far to the north. Infernal implications quickly surface as you learn that the goblins' masters might not be of this prime-material plane. The combat is fast, furious, constant, and extremely challenging. One of the reasons Baldur's Gate II worked so well was that your priest always had enough healing powers and Raise Dead spells handy. In Icewind Dale II, you begin at first level, so for half the game you must trudge homeward whenever somebody dies, which is frequent. The enemy appears in large numbers, usually with a spell caster in tow--and just beyond one group of enemies is another one. It's relentless and strategically satisfying, if more than a little frustrating too.

Fans of the earlier games who were perhaps a bit unsatisfied with the single-PC focus of Neverwinter Nights will delight in another chance to play party-based D&D. --Bob Andrews

Pros:

  • Full implementation of D&D 3rd Edition rules
  • Same old glorious tactical gameplay as the Baldur's Gate series
Cons:
  • Retro looking in this 3-D age of Neverwinter Nights
  • Often too difficult for its own good

Product Information

Platform:PC
ASIN B000065DGH
Release date August 27, 2002
Customer Reviews
3.9 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #23,837 in videogames
#3,030 in Video Games > PC Games > PC Games
Pricing The strikethrough price is the List Price. Savings represents a discount off the List Price.
Product Dimensions 9.9 x 7.9 x 1.9 inches
Media: Video Game
Domestic Shipping This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More

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Platform for Display: PC
I have played both Baldur's Gate games, Planescape: Torment, and the Icewind Dale series extensively. While these games all share the Infinity engine, I was never truly absorbed by Torment or the Baldur's Gate games the way I have been with Icewind Dale 1 and 2. All were splendid games, but Icewind Dale offers a feature that sets it victoriously apart from its kin - it allows you to create a PARTY of adventurers, not just a single hero. I joyously spend hours crafting my party before leaping headlong into the game itself, where the fun only continues. Icewind Dale is everything that Diablo is NOT, despite both games' reliance on open battle. Where Diablo is a clickfest to see who drops first, Icewind Dale requires tactics and strategy amidst the chaos (and gives you a pause feature to simulate a kind of turn-based, thought-provoking play style). Despite the action, very little about Icewind Dale II (or Icewind Dale) can be called "dumbed down," save perhaps for the linear nature of the campaign - which I, for one, embrace, as I loathe errand boy quests that seem unimportant to the storytelling. Icewind Dale II is pure gaming goodness in a tasty D&D shell, and anyone who likes the sound of that should not hesitate to play this game... not even for a second.
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Platform for Display: PC
I honestly hope that people who read these reviews pay more attention to those praising Icewind Dale II than those that in my mind belittle a great game. Icewind Dale II is similar to the other Forgotten Realms games, but it is unique in its own right.
Icewind Dale II seems to have found the balance between the heavily quest-based Baldur's Gate II and the hack-your-way-to-fame Icewind Dale. The new third edition rules make Icewind Dale different from the other games as well, and they add a whole new challenge to the game, making the perfect characters. The vast amount of skills and feats all characters can choose from, not to mention all the new races (Drow, tieflings, deep gnomes, gray dwarves, among many others) and subclasses offered, make characters unique, and each level almost makes a player giddy when they try to decide whether they should give their rogue more hide skill for the ever useful sneak attack or maybe more to pick pocket or open locks for the always fun five-finger discount shopping. The addition of the bluff, diplomacy, and intimidate skills also make for a nice variety in NPC dialogue, and deciding whether you want to use your nice little paladin to go negotiate or an evil dreadmaster of bane to threaten an undead life to your enemies can put a player into a moral dilemma. A player's character class can affect NPC dialogue as well, the most obvious class being a cleric which has something to say whenever you run up against a different order or cult. The joys of threatening to kill half the members of a village of druids with my dreadmaster of bane, raise their corpses as undead, and then laugh as they tear into their surviving friends remains potent in my memory.
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Platform for Display: PC
First of all, if you expect or hope for meaningful character interactions, go away. Icewind Dale 2 is hack and slash. True, it's glazed by some nice voice acting, beautiful locales, villains that are satisfying to kill (and even some that you half don't want to kill) -- but in the end, the game is linear, and there is really only one way to complete it. Sure, you can take slightly different conversation paths when you're talking to other characters, but these rarely have any effect other than minor experience point bonuses here or there.
In short, the talking doesn't really matter. What you're out to do in this game, is putting together a party of six people, and going out to kick butt. And butt. And butt. For a very long time to come, the heroes you make will be doing little else but fighting for their very survival.
Being focused on combat does not make a game poor by itself. Heck, chess has no character interaction and is solely simplified combat. Icewind Dale 2 is infinitely more complex in its mechanisms than chess, but it is still done with a professional quality.
IWD2 is the third computer game to implement the 3rd edition version of the 'Dungeons and Dragons' rules -- the first one being Pool of Radiance 2, which did an abysmal job, and the second one was Neverwinter Nights which did a much better job. IWD2, however, beats out both of them. The implementation of the 3e ruleset is not perfect (sneak attacks, attacks of opportunity, things like that are flawed if there at all) but it is the best thing out there at the time of publication. IWD2 contains a wide variety of feats for your characters to choose from, and skills such as Wilderness Lore actually have some use (at least here and there) and interaction skills (Bluff, Intimidate, etc.
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Platform for Display: PC
Despite the fact that Icewind Dale II still brings its aging Infinity engine along for the ride, it fairs considerably better than the flashier (but less satisfying) Neverwinter Nights. When it's all said and done, gameplay is the thing - and Icewind Dale II (like its forebear), delivers the goods in pretty much all the right places.
The Pros:
· The Icewind Dale series doesn't let you create just one character, but six! To me, this is what really sets this game apart from the competition. A dedicated RPGer will spend hours joyously crafting his party of adventurers, leaving no detail unchecked. Personally, I revived my heroes from the original Icewind Dale and continued their saga in the sequel. You can even write biographies for each character! In the end, you'll really care about these folks, and that helps when things get a little tedious.
· Gaining levels is actually fun. Successfully employing 3rd edition D&D rules, the game implements "feats," which give each character an added boost. For example, you can choose the Toughness feat, which raises your character's hit points, or opt for Dodge to avoid incoming blows.
· This game has monsters aplenty. In the end, there are more enemies in this game than you can even keep track of.
· Icewind Dale II actually manages to deliver a pretty decent backstory to accompany all of that combat. Better yet, the dialogue in the game benefits from a writer's touch, and doesn't bore the player to death the way it does most often in Neverwinter Nights. The voice-acting is likewise excellent. It's so good, in fact, you may even begin to care about the characters. How ingenious! To add the icing to the cake, the music and sound effects are far better than the average computer game accompaniments.
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