Neverwinter Nights 2 Previews

Both GameSpy and GameSpot have released their own previews of Neverwinter Nights 2, based upon what they saw at a recent press event for the game. A snip from GameSpy's four-page article:
As difficult as all of this was, Baudoin does admit that the Neverwinter Nights 2 team had one advantage that most earlier teams working on Dungeons & Dragons games didn't -- the current 3.5 edition rule set for the game. "It's a great system, and most of it translates really well to a videogame setting." According to Ferret, one key element of the 3.5 rules was the rebalancing of classes -- classes no longer "front-load" their coolest abilities into earlier levels, leaving a "dead zone" in which gaining a level is greeted with boredom rather than excitement. That re-balance has made creating and stocking areas of the single-player campaign much easier because of the more consistent growth pattern in a player's abilities. They've also included every Forgotten Realms playable race and sub-race in the game as a player option -- the first time this has ever been done in a D&D game.

And a snip from GameSpot's much shorter article:
Perhaps the biggest improvement will be seen in the single-player campaign, as the original game suffered from a somewhat weak campaign. "Bioware spent a lot of time working on the engine," said Feargus Urquhart, CEO of Obsidian. Since Obsidian doesn't have to worry about the engine, the designers can focus more on the actual gameplay. And Obsidian is no stranger to creating follow-ups to excellent Bioware RPGs. The company's debut title was Knights of the Old Republic II, and the developers are taking some of the elements that appeared in that game and transferring them to Neverwinter Nights 2.