by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
Not a huge fan of Role Playing Games
Historically, I have been more of a Strategy Game than an RPG fan. I found that many RPG’s became repetitive with their quests. There was just too much running from town A to town B to complete a quest only to have to return to town A to receive my reward or my poor mouse got run down with the incessant clicking required.
But recently, I have warmed to some RPG’s. Oblivion was one that – after I got through the initial slowness – sucked me right in. Lord of the Rings Online (an MMORPG) was another that was easier to pick up and play, and gave me that ‘just let me finish this next quest before I go to bed’ syndrome.
The other game that pushed me in the direction of the RPG fanboy club was Neverwinter Nights 2. I found the game easy to get into, and for a relative RPG-newbie simple enough to play. When the expansion pack Mask of the Betrayer turned up at our office, I was quick to sneak away with it.
Betrayer begins after the events of Neverwinter Nights 2. Your character will have transported to a location thousands of miles away from the ending point of the main game, but the time frame is still the same. Now, when I say, your character has been transported, I don’t necessarily mean the same character as the one you finished with. Betrayer lets you choose an existing character or build a new level 18 character. So if you didn’t get around to actually finishing the original, you won’t be disadvantaged (apart from the fact that you don’t know the ending).
After the ending of Neverwinter Nights 2 you are left all alone. You begin Betrayer with the help of Safiya, a wizard. Then along the way you will meet new companions who you can use as part of your group. One feature of Betrayer seems to be that depending on how good or evil you are, certain characters will be available to join your posse. One such character is Okku, a rainbow coloured bear. I don’t want to give too much away (so don’t read the rest of this paragraph), but if you devour his soul (more on that later) you do not get the option to include him in your party.
The main new feature of Betrayer is one that some people will love, whilst others will want it to be removed from future editions. It is the inclusion of ‘spirit energy’. The ‘spirit energy’ hunger acts in much the same way a drug addiction does. To keep healthy and remain alive, your avatar must consume ‘spirits’ or souls. Your character has a spirit energy meter which must be kept up to remain healthy. Let it get too low, and you will need to find some more souls to eat.
No Pros and Cons at this time