|Neverwinter Nights 2|
|Eurogamer||8 of 10|
|Game Informer||8 of 10|
|GameSpot||8.6 of 10|
|GameZone||8.7 of 10|
Reception of Neverwinter Nights 2 was generally favorable. It placed number 6 on Amazon's video game pre-order list the week before its release, and was a best-seller for several weeks afterwards. It received GameSpot's "Best Story" award for 2006, beating out the reader's choice, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It was also nominated for a Golden Joystick Award for Best PC Game of 2006.
While some reviewers considered Neverwinter Nights 2 superior to its predecessor, Neverwinter Nights, the sequel received lower overall review ratings. Implementation of the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 ruleset was praised as faithful to the pen-and-paper version, with GameDaily stating "The 3.5 edition ruleset is in full swing in Neverwinter Nights 2, where critical hits can devastate your entire party." The game's representation of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting was also well received.
The storyline was widely considered one of the game's strong points and an improvement over Neverwinter Nights. GameSpy stated that the single–player campaign was "worthy of its exhaustive pedigree", and Game Informer's reviewer said "This title easily trumps the original NWN’s campaign with a vastly superior story and characters". Another reviewer declared it "one of the best written games in history". Other reviewers were less convinced, with Australia's PALGN referring to the story as "rather predictable and clichéd".
Reception of Neverwinter Nights 2's graphics was mixed. Some reviewers referred to the visuals as "new age" and "beautiful", but others noticed inconsistencies in their rendering and performance, especially on lower-end PCs. The Sydney Morning Herald said "The detailed 3D engine allows for lush scenery, giving you a greater sense of exploration as you poke around the rustic villages and murky swamps". Several comments on the audio and voice acting were positive, though one reviewer expressed disappointment that some sound effects had apparently been recycled from Neverwinter Nights."The music is excellent, with dramatic orchestrated tracks that sound as if they could be taken right from a big-budget Hollywood film. The music does a great job of setting an appropriately grandiose and bombastic backdrop for your adventure, without being overwhelming." —Greg Mueller Neverwinter Nights 2 is about two patches away from being a good game. —Jeff Green
The most common criticism of the game was its numerous technical glitches. Some reviews compared Neverwinter Nights 2 to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, a previous Obsidian game that had received similar complaints. The bugs were described as disruptive to gameplay and "downright infuriating", and one reviewer encountered a "showstopper bug" in the initial retail version that prevented him from playing the game past a certain point. The bugs were said to negatively affect NPC AI, camera operation, and pathfinding. One review stated "The launch–to–load time is fairly long so be prepared to wonder if the game has crashed or is loading." Obsidian was quick to release fixes for several bugs, but later reviews still described the glitches as a serious problem. 1UP.com's review, written two weeks after the game's release, stated "But the sad truth is that NWN2 shipped in a pretty messy state, and even after a couple patches (as of this writing), the biggest problems remain." The Mac version received mixed reception, and reviewers complained about its lack of the editor toolkit and its high system requirements.
1UP.com writer Matt Peckham caused controversy with his initial review of Neverwinter Nights 2. A 1UP editor pulled the review from the site and officially retracted it from the print version of the January 2007 issue of Games for Windows: The Official Magazine, explaining that "we felt that this particular review of Neverwinter Nights 2 did a disservice to fans of the RPG genre." The subsequent review by Jeff Green gave the game a score of C+ and is one of the most negative reviews among major outlets. A modified version of Peckham's review was later published by the Sci Fi Channel, and another version of the review can be found at Penny-Arcade.
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