Icewind Dale II

Good
  • Strong story and characters provide a fantastic foundation for your role playing adventure ahead
  • Develop a large party of 6 adventurers with countless customisation options to define their role
Bad
  • Some clunky movement controls that can stop you achieving your intended tactics
  • Lumpy difficult scales that peak start and end with a sometimes boring middle
8

Icewind Dale II expands the game mechanics of the original successful role playing title allowing players once again to lead a party of customised adventurers through various trials. Released in 2002 (2 years after Icewind Dale) players will be exploring the fantasy Forgotten Realms with a band of mercenary heroes that are surrounded by a war of religion and race. With real time playing an even greater critical role in this addition to the franchise players once again have an action packed journey before them.

icewind-dale-ii-gameplay-character

Your story begins around 30 years after your first adventure in the harbour town known as Targos that is currently under siege by a goblin army. Being direct by the Legion of the Chimera these goblins are part of a broader threat force that is composed of the outcast fantasy races.

To defend against this large scale force Targos turns their wealth into hired mercenaries of which your mercenary group is one of many that arrive to defend the harbour town. Following this initial defence you’ll explore outwards towards towns, monasteries and magical locations that each have their own game lore to ultimately defeat the opposing army force and uncover the reasons for the attacks in the first place.

icewind-dale-ii-gameplay-party

The core of gameplay within Icewind Dale II is the D&D Third Edition ruleset with some small changes although most notably the game plays in real time using an isometric perspective instead of the turn based ruleset it is based on. Despite this shift the game manages to capture the core role playing elements and still provide players sufficient role play strategy to explore and master. Further to this players will also find that Icewind Dale II features branching dialogue options, multiple difficulties and hundreds of items which drop randomly from enemies providing one of several progression paths.

This progression is across each of your heroes with support for up to six characters under your control. Each of these can be customised for class, attributes, alignment, race and visual options which ensures each has a party role and feels distinct. Core races include familiar fantasy options like the dwarf, elf, gnome, orc, human and several sub races within each that impacts directly on attribute strengths and weaknesses leading to a preferred class.

icewind-dale-ii-gameplay-story

Taking dwarves as an example you’ll find that they have a natural resistance to poisons and magic while being adept at finding things hidden in the darkness although lack the same charisma as other social races. This results in the dwarves having boosts to attributes like constitution, search, fortitude and an efficiency in combat against orcs, goblins or bugbears while having negative modifiers to charisma.

Layering this race with one of the core classes of barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, fighter, monk, paladin, ranger, rogue, sorcerer or wizard which impact on your skills, hit points per level and the attributes you’ll want to invest your level gains into. This results in a RPG experience where there is truly no shortage of variation in your party makeup and enough room around the core classes to create some variations on familiar archetype formulas.

Summary:

  • The second high quality game in the Icewind Dale series that brings the D&D rulesets into a real time combat environment.
  • Create your own party of 6 adventurers as you customise race, classes and other RPG decisions as you progress.
  • Rich story and game world with many choices to make that impacts on the story you experience.
  • Collect hundreds of unique items and equipment to customise your mercenary group further.
  • A classic PC game in the role playing genre.

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Review Platform: PC

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.
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