Neverwinter Nights 2 First Impressions

GameSpy, IGN PC, and RPG Vault have all dished up their initial impressions of Obsidian's Neverwinter Nights 2, now that the RPG sequel has officially been released. A snip from GameSpy's article:
Fans of games like Baldur's Gate and KotOR will be happy to know that the depth of character interaction found in those milestone RPGs is present in Neverwinter Nights 2 in top form. Through the expansive dialog options available in most interactions, you're able to role-play your character in a variety of ways -- principled, miscreant, reserved, rambunctious, or what have you. Also, depending on what "social" skills you choose -- such as bluff, diplomacy, or intimidation -- you can change the outcome of certain scenarios, to the extent that you can even bypass combat in many situations. What's more, most of the characters that you can enlist have stories and conflicts of their own, and depending on how much work you put towards nurturing your relationship with them, you can experience encounters and scenarios unique to them.

A snip from IGN PC's article:
Only four characters including yourself can be in the active party at any time. After playing for a little while, you'll have to start making decisions as to who to keep in and who to leave behind. Thankfully, NPCs not currently in the active party are stored at an inn in Neverwinter's Docks District. Should you return to the inn, the party configuration can be reorganized as you see fit. While this is convenient, we wish there was some kind of global inventory management system in the game. There are a lot of items to collect in NWN2. From magical weapons, armor pieces, and jewelry to the enormous amount of reagents required for crafting armor, potions, scrolls, and weapons, it won't take long for each character's inventory to get crowded. When switching out companions for your current party, a significant amount of time can be spent swapping them around to make sure the right items accompany the right characters.

And a snip from RPG Vault's article:
The sequel incorporates a substantial amount of new D&D content such as eight playable races including sun elf, wood elf, drow, gold dwarf, duergar, svirfneblin, tiefling, aasimar, and strongheart halfling. Some other noteworthy additions are a half-dozen or more prestige classes, a four-member party, a crafting system, and a stronghold. As a still somewhat early impression based on around 12 hours of play, the story, characters and overall writing appear first-rate. The narrative seems suitably epic in scope; you rise from humble beginnings as an ordinary citizen of a remote village to become a mighty champion. An initial look at the editor suggests that we can probably expect to see lots of modules from the user community before very long.