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Publisher: Aspyr Media    Genre: Adventure & RPG
Min OS X: 10.4    CPU: Intel @ 1800 MHz    RAM: 999 MB    Hard Disk: 6500 MB    DVD-ROM    Graphics: 128 MB VRAM

Neverwinter Nights 2
September 17, 2008 | Michael Wuerthele

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As a change from Neverwinter Nights 1, you can have multiple main party members, that can be all under your control. I highly recommend you leave them under your control at all times, as every morning when they wake I think they take more than the recommended daily allowance of vitamin stupid. Opponents will flank you, and use some manner of organized tactics as befits what they excel in. Why wonít friendly Artificial Intelligence do better than it does? In all fairness, this isnít a huge problem on the wilderness map, but itís a traffic jam of epic proportions in the dungeons.

As with Knights of the Old Republic on various platforms, what you say and do wields influence on people that adventure with you and the surrounding townfolk. Words and deeds form a cornerstone of gameplay, and itís this that allows the game to have the replayability that it does. Yes, I know that the Neverwinter Nights series is known for the included toolset for customization, but more more on that in a different section of this review.

Graphics and Sound
Neverwinter Nights is from 2006. Let that soak in a minute. Neverwinter Nights 2 wasnít known for itís outstanding effects (with the possible exception of spellcasting) in 2006. More than two years have passed since the original PC shipdate. The testbed here was a first generation Mac Pro with alternating X1900 and 8800GT video cards. By any reasoning, this was a machine to be reckoned with two years ago. I couldnít leave all settings on maximum, and there were parts of the game that I had to turn way down, like the previously mentioned opening tutorial level.

Iím a sucker for testing a game well past the logical conclusion. I acquired the PC version of Neverwinter Nights 2 and installed it in Boot Camp on the same hardware as the Macintosh version was tested. Things were much better- the framerate was significantly higher, less gameplay ďchopĒ, and all graphical settings stayed on maximum for the duration of the game.

Technical Issues
Seriously, do not ignore the minimum requirements of this game. In fact, if you just meet the minimum, move on to something else! Thereís a lot of hate and discontent on the internet these days about a modern laptop (specifically the Macbook) not being able to play the newest games. Neverwinter Nights 2 is no exception. Do not rely on Intel integrated chipsets in the Mac Mini, some white imacs, or the Macbook to adequately play games like this! This isnít the fault of Apple, nor the porting house. Be aware of what you buy, both in hardware, and in software!

Try as I may, I couldnít get internet co-op to work. The camera was more insane than it normally was, and a few other issues manifested. I tried to connect at three different locations, with two different ISPs, both wired and wirelessly. The flaw isnít the data rate or the connectivity, or even the network- the flaw seems to be how the information you get from the other player is translated on your end. These also manifested on LAN play. The problems are so bad and so persisitent I have to recommend you not consider this as a usable feature when you purchase the game.


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