Boot's Corner

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GAME: Neverwinter Nights 2 and Mask of the Betrayer

Posted by JungleBoot on July 5, 2008

Don’t expect a long drawn out review of this game and it’s expansion.  There are plenty of gaming sites that do just that.  I only wish to express a few dislikes I encountered while playing.

I always thought Dungeons and Dragons ( D&D ) was cool since highschool.  It was a world of fantasy that allowed you to escape and live a more heroic life.  You could be who you wanted to be — nothing wrong with that.  Right?!?  Isn’t that what every game offers — escape?  Come to think of it — Lord of the Rings probably inspired the game.  Who knows?

Anyway, The gaming community refers to Neverwinter Nigts 2 with NWN2 and its expansion as NWN2: MOTB.  It makes it easier to find related material on the web.  Perform a search and you’ll soon recognize the popularity of D&D.  It is the world that has spawned many fantasy movies and novels alike.  The game was nice.  I had a good time playing it.  But in the end, it’s just nice.

In the beginning, the movement controls were a bit cumbersome.  Gaming convention dictates that W, S, A, and D will move you forwards, backwards, turn left, and turn right.  Instead, W, S, Q, and E are used with A and D used for strafing (Player Character mode or FPS).  My opinion is most folks play in the afore mentioned mode.  The other mode, strategy mode, provides a top-down look and reminds me of an arcade game.  It sucks!!!  You do have the option of remapping keys.  I just never did it.  A game, in my opinion, should work out of the box with as few bugs as possible.  I know — keep dreaming.  So, that is my first gripe.

My second gripe is my major gripe.  This problem exists within the original campaign and the expansion pack.  Sadly enough, it is a problem that has never been addressed in any patch for a game a few years old.  Every conversation takes the focus away from your player character (usually the party leader) and places it on a character behind you — thus turning your back towards an enemy.  Once the banter is complete, you start out a fight with your back turned unless the bad guy got the last word.  The whole time your player character turns in the direction of the speaker while the scene plays out.  It sucks.  The last thing to occur in each of the interactions never takes place.  Your player character should re-face the enemy and bring the “focus” back to your character.  A small thing, but a huge oversight.  It ruins the game.  This one fix could have made the game much more enjoyable.

Other gripes, some “world transitions” – entering a house, entering a cave, traveling from one location to another – place the player character behind the AI controlled characters.  The occlusion system sucks.  Walls don’t disappear when they should and other objects get in the way.  In MOTB, the FPS camera is constantly reset after world transitions and the user has to reset it.  There is more.  But, I’ll let you figure them out on your own.

Game tip for MOTB:  Don’t kill all of the Greater Shadows of the Void in the Death God’s Vault.  There are enough offering urns to loot to last the whole game.  In other words, you can control the hunger.

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