Monday, September 13, 2004

Race Against Time

A more traditional blog entry today. I'm desperately trying to complete Hordes Of The Underdark before The Sims 2 arrives on Friday. I can see Sims 2 absolutely consuming most of my free time for the next month or two, so I really want to make sure I've gotten HOTU out of the way before I start on it.

I've gotten to the third (and final) chapter again with my Evil Ranger, who is still being faithfully followed by Deekin, despite her dastardly betrayal of the Seer at the tail end of Chapter Two. It's nice to see a game that actually goes to the effort of rewarding you for roleplaying an evil character - something that was almost impossible in Baldur's Gate - and it's pretty much true to say that Evil characters have more fun.

The sections of the game in the Underdark have quite a bit of variety, and there are a few nice puzzles and set pieces. The Beholder caves and the Dead Magic dungeon (whose primary resident is a very nasty Bebelith) are particular highlights. The third chapter is possibly the most bizarre of the three (though I won't spoil it here) with Dragons as barkeeps and armour eating Mimics, amongst other things. I'm fairly close to the final showdown with The Big Baddie, so I hope to have the game wrapped up in the next couple of evenings. It's easily the most interesting of the three NWN single player campaigns, and though it starts quite slowly (a fault with most of Bioware's games, if the truth be known) it's still worth trying out the new character kits for a couple of hours. With the campaign starting with a character level of 15, it's actually possible to start the game with a Level 5 Bard/Level 10 Red Dragon Disciple if you assign your skill points wisely. The ten levels in Red Dragon Disciple give you the extra melee muscle you need at the start of the game (as well as a lovely breath weapon), and the Bard song is still pretty handy. I'm tempted to experiment with a Pale Master as well, since there are still a few encounters with Undead in the game. The offer on Play for the Deluxe Edition of NWN and both expansion packs is definitely worth a crack for £18, if you've never tried your hand at an RPG.

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