Neverwinter Nights 2 Retrospective Diary, Part One

John Walker has decided to embark on a new playthrough of Obsidian Entertainment's Neverwinter Nights 2 and document his experiences on Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Walker's memories of the game are apparently very positive, though he can't help but wonder how the RPG sequel fares in 2015. The first installment is available online, and it describes his experiences with the tutorial of the game:

I've created a Yuan-Ti Pureblood Warlock by the name of Ophidia Serpentes. The Yuan-Ti are a race of humans descended from some sort of dreadful sexing of snakes, this borrowed reptilian DNA lending them a nature of evil cunning, and (dark agenda). With an emphasis on malevolent charm, the Purebloods are those who can pass as humans, for their nefarious ends. The perfect choice for a bastard. Warlock was the only real choice for class, their power drawn from an internal darkness in their souls. A Hellfire Warlock, to be specific. And then when it came to alignment, Lawful Evil best suited the choices.

Neutral Evil is too bland an evil, too short-term, grasping. Chaotic Evil lets emotions rule, and certainly doesn't suit the grimly charming nature of Ophidia. But Lawful Evil is methodical, based in a twisted notion of honour. It's more careful, more deliberate, and therefore altogether far more awful. A worshipper of Bane, and with a background as a Tale Teller, Ophidia Serpentes, is all set to be quite the arsehole.


I'd also forgotten how clumsy the camera is. Goodness me. I think, in 2006, it was this sublime step forward for such games. But now it's as unintuitive as they get. Three different camera modes all have contradictory controls. There's the sort-of third-person view, where you steer your character like a broken shopping trolley (Exploration Mode). Nope. There's the overhead Character Mode, that's much more useful for, um, exploration. And then Strategy Mode, which is how you want to play RPGs, letting you select squares on the ground, nudge the camera by moving the cursor to the screen edges (once you've picked your way through the million options to find how to free it of your character), and click to move about. But it's clunky, for some reason still restricts the camera from getting too far from your team, and maddeningly resets to a completely useless top-down zoomed in view every time you change location. Goodness gracious, what were they thinking?