Neverwinter Nights 2
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: Atari
Platform: PC

Neverwinter Nights 2
By Scott Wachter

Obsidian stepping up to do a sequel to Neverwinter Nights seems like a no brainer. Take the core D&D simulation gameplay of the original, but with Black Isle's veteran writing staff, to create an interesting narrative. This is essentially the same scenario as Baldur’s Gate 2 and Planescape: Torment. What we got instead was a trite fantasy adventure littered with superfluous and poorly motivated side-characters. Yes, this is Neverwinter Nights 2.

Where the game really broke for me was this extended plot detour. After the player reaches the city of Neverwinter, the NPC he needs to speak with is in an area under quarantine against demons. Literally. In the Forgotten Realms setting, many demons can fly, and even more of them can teleport at will. So locking the doors is a bit of a futile effort. This is relatively common knowledge in the setting, and your average cleric or wizard in the city could inform the head of the guard as much. Heck, there are lute players in the taverns frequented by the city watch that could say as much. The only way to get past this door is a series of side-quests either for the city watch or the local thieves guild. This fourteen side-quest deep plot tangent is the only way past this door. This is not how D&D works, and players would not let that sort of contrivance slide, much less ride those rails for that long. There are dozens of ways past a locked door and few other ways to get the information that plot-critical NPC had. I have never seen the end of the game because of this shallow nonsense and I doubt I ever will.

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