"Stripped of goodness"

I want to like this game...I really do. I have not played the original Icewind Dale so I don't know how they compare. But on it's own, it wasn't as satisfying as I was expecting. Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe this game is just lacking. After playing BG2, everything seem to be lacking in RPGs these days. Damn you BG2, why oh why do you have to exist. Comparing to BG2, it was 2 steps backwards.

Normally, I play some RPGs twice just to see what I missed the first time around, but I found no desire to play IWD2 twice...not even for the HOF mode. I started it, but just didn't feel like playing it through again.

Graphics - 8
I love infinity engine games. They're beautiful despite the fact that they're 2D. IWD2 has some nice graphics, but it could've been better. For some reason, 3D acceleration for spells and effects was taken out. BG2 had it and I can't see a reason why a game 2 years newer, did not to have it. Some people may get tired of seeing snow, but you can't escape it...it's the setting for the game.

Music - 7
One thing I really like about the game is the music. The Raven Monastery was awesome. It has a very nice score and hope to get the soundtrack if it comes out. If I think the music was awesome...why did I give it a 7? Well, you see, the music plays for like 20 seconds...the completely disappears and won't come back until you enter the area again. They could let the music play continuously, but for some strange reason, they didn't. I don't get the point of this.

Gameplay - 7
I do not like 3rd Edition rules. They need to improve it a lot before I can like it. It's easier to understand, but it has a lot less to offer than 2nd Edition. All the good kits like Kensai and Inquisitor are gone. Thieves/Rouges can't set traps anymore. Specialized attacks like Whirlwind attack are gone. The Monk has became weaker. Special abilities like Stunning Attack has become almost useless. I can go on, but I won't. All I can say is that it's a huge step back from BG2.

Overall - 7
You won't find a lot of variety in this game. One dragon battle just doesn't cut it. One beholder just won't do. I don't find the enemies very menacing or intimidating. An anti-climatic final battle couple with a linear story line just makes this game feel...naked.

Buy? Yes and No. Some people may like it, some won't. I didn't...but maybe you will. Oh well, maybe Divine Divinity can satisfy my RPG craving.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 09/28/02, Updated 09/28/02

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