One of the two games that I've been waiting, literally, all year to buy, NwN2 has really turned out to be a worthwhile experience for me. The funny part is that most of the value actually comes from some of the philsophical (specifically, ethical) issues that arise within the official campaign.
For those of you unfamiliar with NwN, the general idea is to bring the 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons rules to computer gaming in a form that enables individuals to write and publish their own stories. While both games and their various expansions contain their own "Official" campaign that you can easily play as a stand-alone game (and they are reasonably fun just to play), by far the heftiest part of the package is the DM Toolset. This is an extremely nice feature, because once you've finished the Official campaign, you can still download new playing material, usually for free or very cheap. (Or write your own, of course.)
Anyway, on with the review. The graphics are, as one might expect, much improved in this newer game, although this does mean that they require correspondingly better computer hardware to run. They've lost most of the cartoony aspects from the previous game, that's for sure. It runs reasonably well on my low-end machine, or at least it does now that I've turned down all the graphic options.
The thing that tickles me, though, is that a lot of the conflict in the game plot can basically be described as a result of bad philosophical principles. As an Objectivist, this made it fun for me to play because as the plot thickened I was sitting back thinking: "I could have predicted that," or "I knew something like that would happen." The ethical positions in the game are portrayed very consistently and quite well.
UNfortunately, there's basically no Objectivist "side" at all if you want to be consistent, so if you have limited patience you may experience a desire to smack some of the characters before you've finished. If you like CRPG's and D&D in particular, I say this game is well worth the money.
However, DO NOT BUY THE OFFICIAL STRATEGY GUIDE. This is a friendly warning, free of charge: it is totally worthless. It doesn't tell you anything you can't figure out for yourself by playing the game, and much of the information is actually incorrect since there have already been multiple 50+ meg updates that changed large portions of the game in significant ways. If you are planning on writing your own mods, it might be worth it to buy the World-Builder's Guide, but other than that don't touch it.
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