|September 10, 2007|
|PAX 2007 - Neverwinter Nights 2: The Mask of the Betrayer|
By Mark Rollins
While I was at the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in Seattle this year, I managed to
sneak a peek at the new Dungeons and Dragons Forgotten Realms game Neverwinter
Nights 2: the Mask of the Betrayer, the new expansion pack.
Even though I found it under the Atari banner, it is really a compilation of
several companies, including Obsidian, Bioware, Wizards of the Coast, Hasbro,
and, of course, Dungeons and Dragons. Which leads to the obvious question: how
many companies does it take to release an MMO game? Answer: as many as needs to
In addition to the Genasi, there are two other new races: the wild-elf and the half-drow. Apparently, there was enough demand for these to incorporate into the game. There are also new character classes, such as the Spirit Shaman, who can cast all sorts of new spells to control spirits. Speaking of spells, there are some new epic level ones in this version.
The game takes place after a battle, and it starts with your player character
in a burial mound chamber. Here, you will learn about your mission. If your
character is at level 18, the adventure will start right away. If you are lower
than that, then you can manually raise your level up.
The game developers spent a lot of time on the graphics and improving them completely. For example, there is this one toggle that allows a very wide angle view. I had to admit, this was one of the great features. It was kind of like an RTS mode, and you could move your party of characters around just like they were in a strategy game.
I'm certain that this game is a huge graphics engine eater, and I don't know
how they got it to work without the game crashing every time. The representative
there at PAX told me they had given NWN2 a complete overhaul with improved
graphics and lighting.
One of the new features involved going into the "spirit-world", which was this monochromatic style world that was very unusual. It was like stepping into a black-and-white movie, which was unusual for a fantasy game, to say the least.
Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer should be available in Fall of 2007. It should be pretty exciting when it finally gets here.
|LATEST NEWS HEADLINES|