Zen of Design
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Neverwinter Nights Thoughts

Selling the game with a naked woman that has nothing to do with the game? It’s a tradition!

As for the game NWN itself: when they say that the game has 120 hours of gameplay in single play mode, is that counting all of the times I’ve replayed the first level because of save and load crashes? Other things to not like about the game: there’s no way to see bad guys down the hall. The only way to see behind walls is to rotate the camera, which results in confusion and disorientation unless you have the large and obnoxious minimap up at all time. The game isn’t that good to look at, with the character models in particular being substandard (seriously, can’t we spend just a bit of our texture memory on making sure faces look good?) The world isn’t nearly as attractive as Baldur’s Gate, as it is all assembled from pieces parts. The story isn’t nearly as good, and the characters lack all of the charm found in the BG series. The radial menus are more confusing than useful. The quests are nonsensical.

And then there’s the henchmen. Actually controlling a henchman is almost non-existent. You can’t tell him to search a door for traps, you just bring him close and hope he feels inspired by it. You can’t tell him to unlock a chest, you have to actually try to open it and have him notice. And if it’s trapped, well, he’ll notice after you take damage. Henchmen also have a penchant for attacking anything they see, even if it is a crowd of baddies much larger than you can take on without strategy. And given that my henchman can apparently see bad guys through walls, he is quite happy in bolting off, getting into a fight, and dying before I’ve had a chance to say “WTF?!?”

I haven’t tried multiplayer yet, and while the game does have flaws, it is admittedly not bad, with Bioware’s usual dedication to quality and balance. I’m just somewhat annoyed at reading all of the reviews that state the game walks on water and heals lepers. It’s not all that, much less the bag of chips.


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