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Aspyr Media
Adventure & RPG
Release Date

Neverwinter Nights 2
February 22, 2008 | Michael Phillips

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Wizards, orcs, witches, brash young heroes, they're everywhere these days. They're in books, movies, games, a guy can't throw a rock without hitting some fantastical creature in the face. Aren't we sick of it by now? Seriously, it's a D&D nerd's dream out there! There's always something new just around the corner. Case in point, Aspyr Media is about to whisk Neverwinter Nights 2 to Intel-based Macs around the globe. So, the question is, should anybody care? Will this game bring us anything fun and worthwhile? Is NWN2 possibly worth a mark on the calendar? How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? Let's find out...

Neverwinter Nights 2: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby... or Something Like That
Okay, we'll cut to the chase on one thing. Anyone who hated the gameplay aspects of Neverwinter Nights or hates role-playing games in general can stop reading right now, NWN2 will hold nothing for you. However, everyone else should stick with me, because for people like us, NWN2 is well-worth keeping an eye on the horizon.

Anyone looking to pick up a copy of Neverwinter Nights 2 won't require any experience with its predecessor. NWN2's story takes place in the Forgotten Realms of Dungeons & Dragons fame, particularly in and around the city of Neverwinter, but it is not a continuation of the original. NWN2 makes allusions to events in the first game, but direct knowledge of these events won't be necessary to new-comers. It should be noted that NWN2 will require an Intel-based Mac with ATI or NVIDIA video hardware, so MacBooks and adorable Mac minis will have to sit this adventure out. Sorry, kids.

Keep in mind, this is a preview of Neverwinter Nights 2, so I'm only going to touch on some potentially fun elements and lay down facts. I reserve full details and final judgments for my complete review. That said, this beta has definitely been painting my room in a colorful way.

So, let's talk story for a bit. Neverwinter Nights 2 begins in the swamp land town of West Harbor, on the day of the Harvest Fair. Players take on the roll of a seemingly unimportant man, foster son to an emotionally distant elven father. The townsfolk appear hard working, closely knit and happy in spite of their laborious lives. Of course, things aren't quite right in West Harbor and the surrounding lands. The roads grow increasingly unsafe, travelers are routinely attacked by foul creatures. New crops refuse to grow, yet the normally helpful local druids offer absolutely no advice. In fact, it seems that they've vanished altogether. Still, in West Harbor, the Harvest Fair continues in all its simple glory.


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