E3 2008: Neverwinter Nights 2: The Storm of Zehir First Look

Create your own party and dominate the land in Obsidian's anticipated expansion.

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We stopped by Atari's booth at E3 2008 to get a quick look at The Strom of Zehir, the much-anticipated expansion to Neverwinter Nights 2. The first major addition that fans of the NWN franchise will eat up is the new party-creation feature. Instead of starting your voyage with a cast of preset characters, you'll design your own friends, give them names, and even create your very own motto for your party. Obsidian said that many players felt that the relationships with preset characters felt forced and artificial, whereas this new creation system will allow for relationships and personalities to evolve dynamically. We didn't get to see the tool for ourselves, but love the idea of creating our own friends--we always need more.

You'll navigate the high seas on board the Vigilant, and it will quickly become apparent that your trusty ship has been sabotaged. With your party in tow, as well as the famous bard Volo, you'll begin to explore the land of Samarach and all of the mystery that it holds. We watched as Volo ran into a group of menacing goblins. Not being fluent in their language, Volo managed to insult the goblins and instigate a full-scale battle. You can expect plenty of such tomfoolery from Volo as you progress through SOZ.

Instead of the two-dimensional map in past NWN games, you now have access to a 3D overworld map that looks as if it was taken straight from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, for you NES fans. Here, many of the extra Dungeons & Dragons attributes from the 3.5 edition of the rules come into play, such as search, listen, and evade. Improving these will help you to spot enemies on the map from further away and avoid them, if necessary. Merchant wagons also dot the landscape, and you can buy low and sell high on your own virtual Wall Street. Many of the items will fluctuate in value and you can trade them in for cold, hard coinage.

Obsidian promises that SOZ will offer about 15 hours of additional gameplay; we'll have to take their word for it, given that we saw it for only about 15 minutes. You can expect to see Storm of Zehir sometime in the fourth quarter of this year for $29.99, or roughly 600,000 copper pieces.

Discussion

33 comments
AdrianWrz
AdrianWrz

I am gone buy The Witcher Enchanced before ;) this expansion pack that for sure ;)

OndonaFlash
OndonaFlash

Will this be a continuation of the character's story from the original NWN2 or will it be a character with a new backstory? That's what I want to know. I don't want it to be like the Neverwinter Nights expansion where in the first expansion it was a whole new character removed from the plot of the first game, and in the second expansion it was a follow up on the character from the first EXPANSION.

Slash145
Slash145

The story got much better but more annoying at the same time with Mask of the Betrayer because of the curse and some other problems but this one looks pretty promising as long as they make sure the created friends have backstories and some kind of personality because that's what made the characters in the other games interesting.

Signal2Noise
Signal2Noise

NWN2 & MotB have been sitting on my shelf for almost a year. Maybe I'll get around to playing them finally.

Jackyll87
Jackyll87

I hated NWN1 only because it took up so many hours of mt life and by the end i was completing it out of habit rather than enjoying it. And as soon as i heard that NWN2 is NWN1 with better graphics i stayed away from it like hell.

Kez1984
Kez1984

I'm glad there adding full custom support.

Hungry_bunny
Hungry_bunny

Haven't played NWN yet... but I've always wanted to try it...

ognen
ognen

Ah, this is gonna be hell of a game.

Mehfuz
Mehfuz

another expansion, great

gmax
gmax

Something for the Neverwinter fans...

MattRorie
MattRorie staff

Broncosfan, we actually showed the demo of this game on a Vista machine. I'm not sure what problems you're having, but the demo ran fine.

forhekset
forhekset

Seeing how they evolved their story telling skills from the original to MotB, this expansion should be incredible, though I assume not as epic.

Cube_of_MooN
Cube_of_MooN

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

worldind913
worldind913

sure the camera sucked a bit, but it's not the end of the world

Warghost2k
Warghost2k

Being a huge fan of computer RPG's, it's sad to see more time and money being given to this game. The main problem is simple, the camera control scheme sucks. It always did, and it always will. Even after they supposedly "fixed" the camera issues, it's still not nearly as good as it should be. How hard can it be? Give us camera controls that mimic WoW, and by hitting the space bar we can zoom out to an isometric perspective like Baldur's Gate had. I won't spend another penny on NWN2, and I'm going to read about the new re-release of The Witcher. I'd be more willing to spend $45 buying that game again instead of buying this expansion.

broncosfan
broncosfan

Yeah but if it's still incompatible with Vista, then up theirs. I have a copy of the expansion that is collecting dust because it CTD thanks to their total lack of care that most new computers have Vista on them now, not XP. Heck, even old games like Dungeon Siege run great on my Vista machine but a newish game doesn't because the devs are %*(#!

Sins-of-Mosin
Sins-of-Mosin

They need to drop NWN2 and work on the 3rd one. And this time make it better then the previous game.

Antinate
Antinate

According to Obsidian, during conversations there's a little menu that's like the Quick Chat Voice Menu on the side somewhere. When you have dialogue options, you can choose between your characters for which one you want to reply. This is good because the speaker you had to initiate conversation might not have high enough Diplomacy, so you can choose another character to see if they have a Diplomacy line available.

edubuccaneer
edubuccaneer moderator

Just knowing that Matt Rorie is working on this is an instant plus for me regarding this game. They just need to lower NWN2's price here, and I'll buy it.

jekaboom
jekaboom

im so lookin forward to this!

grambyte
grambyte

I'll keep my eyes and ears open for this one.

BontraXenderKyl
BontraXenderKyl

I wish they'll focus more on the gameplay than the creative options so that it would imitate (in different ways) WoW, GWN and even more :D

rosen22
rosen22

so how are the conversations going to work with creatred npcs? wil there be no background stories or stories about your allies? its a good idea. just worried how its going to work and will it sacrifice a key thing loved about nwn past games. This series was unique with its own brand of making conversational choices, how will this work if they arnt set characters :S

Fandangle
Fandangle

Like the ability to create own party members - another game added to the list

worldind913
worldind913

create a friend lol, can't wait for this expansion, hopefully the overworld and openendedness(if that's a word) isn't too much like oblivion(w00t 1st comment)