While I was at Atari’s booth at Gen Con, I was able check out the upcoming Neverwinter Nights 2 expansion, Storm of Zehir. The first thing that caught my eye, and additionally one of the key new features of the expansion, is the new Overland map. Players will now be able to navigate a fully realized map to fight monsters and find hidden dungeons and items. When I say hidden, think about how some of the caves in the original Legend of Zelda were dispersed in the trees.
Another point of interest stems from the new party dynamics being introduced. Players will be able to not only form parties, but also enjoy the external benefits from having them. Players will be able to engage in conversation with members and have access to a “Teamwork Benefit System” which adds modifiers in battle for having a consistent party and utilizing talents well. Two new classes have been introduced, as well as several spells and creatures.
The thing I was most impressed with while watching the game was how the developer Obsidian was able to put these new features into effect without sacrificing the core gameplay of Neverwinter Nights 2. The game looks better and allows almost total freedom, but still feels like a Neverwinter title. Storm of Zehir is being published by Atari and is slated to hit shelves at the end of this year.