Saturday, March 24, 2012

Icewind Dale and The Wizard's Apprentice 2

Not feeling particularly inspired on the building front recently, I turned my time over to playing the two big recent releases, the Icewind Dale remake and The Wizard's Apprentice chapter 2. They are both excellent and worthy of play, but for different reasons.

Icewind Dale remake is exactly that, a remake of the original game using the nwn2 engine and ruleset. It's not aiming for innovation, it's aiming for faithful recreation. And it succeeds. Everything you remember from the first game is in there (except the use of one substitute creature model). Yes, the frozen aquarium is in there, it's a custom metatile in all it's 3d glory. There is a lot of new custom content in terms of tiles and placeables. And the area design captures the feel of the original areas. The voiceovers, the book style cutscenes, all there. So is the difficulty of the original. Slowdive fan has already released a post 1.0 update to address bugs found post release. I played the 1.0 version and found it generally bug free.

The Wizards Apprentice 2 continues the story from the first. TWA is a wizard adventure, so I eagerly played it to look at how others are approaching single class focused adventures. TWA1 was pretty humor oriented. TWA2 changes that focus to a more traditional adventure, though there's some significant early bits of humor in TWA1's style. TWA2 benefits from the transition, at least for me. The area design is top notch, there are well done cutscenes, and the scripting work is similarly excellent, and plentiful (for example as the player can knock icicles from the ceiling at one point and they actually fall, not just a fade to black and apply the effect of the fallen icicles). Similarly there is regular use of wizard spells to do things like optionally casting stone to flesh on a petrified dwarf to gain information. There's a lot for the wizard that doesn't launch fireballs all day, using spells in the environment or to aid quests.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kamal,

    Both of these mods sound interesting, but I have such a backlog to play that I imagine it will be some time for me. ;)