Monday, October 22, 2007

Neverwinter Nights 2: Betrayer Unmasked Early

In the days of waiting for many years for games (Duke Nukem 4Ever - Yes I am waiting for it, my allegiance to the Duke will never falter) and even Expansion Packs for games (Half Life 2: Episode 1) and watching those tentative release dates slip; it's a bit shocking to get a game in the post before (what I thought was) the release date itself. Normally I'd wait 5 working days after the release date for a game to get it from some warehouse in Germany or wherever to this: the land of the bogs and the little people. So when Neverwinter Nights2: Mask Of The Betrayer showed up on October 4th, a week earlier than expected I was a bit worried that it was either crap or worse: full of bugs.

I need not have worried. Online reviews have been as favourable as an add-on pack would get around the 8.5/10 mark. A check on trusty Wikipedia for MOTB revealed that the release date was brought forward for Europe (it was closer to the 9th October the US date the previous time I checked). While it's indeed nice that we get something first, it caused two problems. When shit like this happens, folk get worried or apprehensive- not good for sales figures, there should have been more publicity. As a registered Atari user and reader of gaming magazines, I was still unaware of the change in release date up to the point where I opened the package. What also bothers me is that to the best of my knowledge- the US fiscal year ends on September 30th so don't all the European sales figures for MOTB get calculated for FY07 now while the US/AU sales figures are under the FY08? If someone could explain why Atari would have done that let me know please.

As for the game itself well, I've given some details previously, and as I've no time to get with it at the moment, I don't really want to learn all that much about it myself before I play it, so I'm not reading any reviews. What I do know is:

Obsidian Entertainment wanted to tie up the loose events of Neverwinter Nights 2 but also wanted to make it a darker and more personal story. The game begins with the player being woken up in a mysterious underground cavern without his Silver Shard but now with a sucking void that should be fatal but isn't. This is what drives the action of the rest of the game. The player is faced with both literally and symbolically filling the hole in their soul.

The game is set in in Rashemen and Thay, two warring countries in the Forgotten Realms' Unapproachable East. Those that recall Minsc and his miniature giant space hamster Boo from Baldur's Gate may recall he's from Rashemen. Adventuring in the Unapproachable East is much less about killing tons of monsters (though there's no shortage of that) than digging through the layers of subterfuge and masks that hide the truth.

Hmmm... OK.. I'll let you know what it's all about once I've completed it.


Anonymous said...

Thats the Lt.Col's speak for, I shall be gone for some time.

Bruce Russell said...

Here's a screen-capture from the game:

Somewhere, Gary Gygax weeps . . .

Anonymous said...

Bruce is it me or is there a small child climbing into Pikacho's "vagina"?

Bruce Russell said...

I believe the child itself would use the term 'buhgina,' but yes, you are correct.