Baldurs Gate 2: Shadows of Amn by Al Giovetti
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Baldurs Gate 2: Shadows of Amn Review
History * Company Line * Game Play * Plot * Graphics * Animation * Voice Actors * Music Score * Sound Effects * Utilities * Multi-player Features * Cheats, Hints, and Walkthrough * Journalists * References * Letters
Bioware, Black Isle, and Interplay have taken the lead in Role Playing Adventures both in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and in the Futuristic Fantasy world of the post apacalyptic Fallout. The series now has many titles: Baldur's Gate, Tales of the Sword Coast, Icewind Dale, Baldur's Gate II, Fallout, Fallout 2, and the soon to be released Neverwinter Nights 2. These role-playing games have spawned at least one spin off Fallout Tactics. Hopefully Interplay will continue to keep grinding out success stories using this highly enhanced game engine.
The game employs a real time engine that can be made to work like turns by using a auto-pause mode or simply by pausing the came with the spacebar. Plays a lot like Baldur's Gate, Tales of the Sword Coast and Icewind Dale. The control is primarily mouse.
Statistics play a large part in the game. You need to know how all the numbers work and interact with one another to play the game effectively. Interplay, Black Isle and Bioware will tell you differently, but those who know and understand the numbers will play a better game.
The plot is very complex. You can play as good or evil. The non-player character party members react not only to your alignment, but also your reputation and conversation choices. Too many good choices and the evil players, like Edwin, leave the party forever. There are multiple solutions to many problems.
The personalization factor is very high in the plot. Depending on which profession (Class) you pick, you will be immersed in one of eight different stronghold quests.
Each stronghold quest can be quite involved. Not only do you have to make yourself available if your stronghold has problems. You have to manage the finances, settle disputes, with the keep you must withstand a siege, and other inesting options to make money and also spend money to maintain the operations.
I was very disappointed to find out that the quests deadended if you made a bad choice through omission or error. There were no second chances. If a character walks, you never see them again. The plot line has a lot of loose ends to tie up that would never be tolerated in a movie.
If do not go quickly enough to resolve the individual NPC party member quests, they will leave you forever and you can no longer do the quest. This seems rather severe as a consequence. Again no second chances.
If you have a stronghold and you do not pay attention to it while you are sleeping or resting for as little as 8 hours, you may loose the stronghold. I would have preferred to have a runner come by, while I was awake and warn me in plenty of time to react. Or even better just take the money from my bank account if a payment was needed.
Sexist? Is the game sexist? I have heard the following complaints from players:
"The male players get three love interests and the female players get only one." (Actually Bioware was working on Valygar's script as a love interest and they stopped working on it due to "time constraints." The script with Valygar is still in the game and he will continue with the romance until he runs out of script and starts repeating himself.)
"Anomen is just not a good love interest." "If Bioware thinks that Anomen is what women want in a love interest, no wonder they go dateless for so long." I have to agree that Anomen is anoyingly egotistical and arrogant and any woman would find him a challenge to love.
"The female voices are very bad." "I had to take the gruff Klingon sounding voice just to avoid the other two unacceptable voices."
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