Friday, August 29, 2003

Shadows Of Undrentide

I'm temporarily vacating Vice City for the snow clad terrains of Hilltop, so that I can play the Neverwinter Nights add-on pack, Shadows Of Undrentide. As usual, I've got a couple of characters on the go at the moment, a Neutral Evil Rogue/Assassin and a Chaotic Evil Fighter (essentially a Blackguard in training), plus a Chaotic Good Bard (a Harper Scout in training), basically so I can piss about with all the new prestige classes.

My Rogue/Assassin is the furthest into the game, about halfway through the Interlude between Chapter 1 and Chapter 2, and so far, it's been pretty good, if not completely captivating. The main attraction of the add-on is obviously the new Feats and Character Classes that have been incorporated into the game, particularly the new Assassin and Blackguard classes, finally giving you a real incentive to play as an evil character. Unfortunately, the prestige classes are set up so that you can't take them immediately, so you can only really make use of them in the Interlude and Chapter 2 (the latter of which I haven't reached yet), so I can't really say at this point just how good they are.

Whilst the roleplaying aspect of the game seems to have improved, with a few more alignment specific conversation trees and more vocal henchmen, I'm less enamoured with the actual characterisation. Dwarves speaking with dodgy Sean Connery impression? The henchmen are pretty annoying. Xanos is the worst of the three - he's a condescending, ingratiating, arrogant prick. He doesn't even have a good reason to be arrogant - he's fucking useless in combat. Dorna is just plain boring, and Deekin is a Kobold. A KOBOLD!

Admittedly, this makes Deekin the most interesting of the three, but I can't quite bring myself to take him as a henchman quite yet. Perhaps for my Bard character. I was quite disappointed that you couldn't take Mischa (the girlie Paladin) along as your henchman instead. A naive, idealistic Paladin would be quite fun to drag along on your adventures, I think. (i.e. she's prettier than the others. Shallow, moi?)

I think I'll definitely finish it at least once (which is more than I can say for the original NWN campaign), as 20 hours isn't quite as daunting a task to complete as a 40-60 hour campaign. Besides, I have to see whenever Tycho on Penny Arcade was right about the latter parts of Chapter 2 of the add-on being of outstanding quality. But then, he liked MOO3, which by all accounts is a pile of putrifying faeces. We'll see. I don't have much to do this weekend, so I should have a few hours to devote to it.

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