I finally finished the original campaign in Neverwinter Nights 2, and overall the game was well worth the time. The game had some very challenging spots, a great story, and enough twists and surprises to make it worthwhile to finish. The ending was unfortunately somewhat of a letdown, wrapping what was an overall complex story up too quickly, without enough detail.
The highlight for me was a sequence of events near the end, in which you must defend your castle against an undead siege. The first set piece sees you defending the walls from siege towers, each one spewing undead on to your walls. Your main character, along with two others, get assigned six NPC fighters, making the battle a bit more epic, with each side filling the screen. The siege continues inside the walls, as undead try to push their way through the gate. Playing a Paladin really paid off here, with his numerous bonuses, especially ‘turn undead’, which often stunned multiple targets. The final ‘stage’ of the siege has you fighting a large shadow beast, one which killed me the first time around. I had to replay the previous two parts since I forgot to save, but soon enough stage three came around and down went the shadow.
The one downside to having such a high level (18-20) party towards the end is that each spell caster usually unleashes screen-filling spells during most fights, resulting in a huge hit to FPS and your general ability to follow what is happening on the screen. Throw in giant summons, like a greater earth elemental, and certain fights were nearly impossible to control. Worst of all was the final encounter, as the last enemy was huge, with lots of spells and effects all around. I can only imaging how this will get worse in the expansion, when you START with high level characters that only get more epic.
Overall though, I highly recommend Neverwinter Nights 2 to anyone looking for a good solo RPG. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but as long as you have the hardware, it’s very enjoyable.
Up next, I have my eye on Fire Emblem, Radiant Dawn for the Wii. I loved the GBA Fire Emblem, and the Wii needs some love, plus going from the computer to a console is always a good change, as each platform has it’s norms that you don’t realize until you make the switch. I was leaning towards picking up “The Witcher” for the PC, but I think I’ll wait for a few patches, and the new Nvidia cards to come out before giving that one a shot.