E3 2008: Atari Expands Neverwinter Nights 2
07.16.08 - 3:58 PM

Atari has served as the publisher for BioWare's original Neverwinter Nights,Obsidian's successor, Neverwinter Nights 2, and all the expansion packs in between. At this year's E3, they showed off Obsidian's newest expansion, Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir. Those familiar with some older Infinity Engine games may enjoy the features found within.

First and foremost, despite being an expansion pack, Storm of Zehir focuses on a brand new party, entirely created by the player. While it is possible to import characters from previous campaigns, the new expansion is meant to be played by a group of low-level characters rather than experienced adventurers. Players may not want to bring their old characters into this new realm, anyway. With the introduction of the new party conversation systems, individual characters can focus their skills on different types of persuasion skills rather than trying to be a jack of all trades. Say your main character is great at intimidation, but that doesn't help in the situation the characters are in - players can swap over to any of their party members at will to join conversation. As such, that cleric in your party with a few points in Diplomacy can step in for the main character. Players will also be able to invest in new party-based feats.

Also added in Storm of Zehir is the overworld map. Players traveling on the map will discover ruins and other surprises, enter random encounters, and will apply skills like Spot and Search. As players travel across the world, their choices will also affect the world's economy. The party members are a part of a merchant company, and their choices can take them from a tiny trading outfit to a massive conglomorate empire. As is expected with any expansion pack, Obsidian is also adding new classes, spells, creatures, items, and playable races.

Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir is slated for release in the fourth quarter of 2008.


John McCarroll

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