Jon Irenicus, a sadistic secretive powerful mage bent on revenge, captures Gorion's ward and his/her party for a diabolical experiment.Jon Irenicus, a sadistic secretive powerful mage bent on revenge, captures Gorion's ward and his/her party for a diabolical experiment.Jon Irenicus, a sadistic secretive powerful mage bent on revenge, captures Gorion's ward and his/her party for a diabolical experiment.
The BG line was on rudely broken by the NWN series and in that period you had to find your party-rpg needs in games like KOTOR and Jade Empire. Not that NWN 1 was bad, mind you, but it was just not a BG kind of game. With the creation of NWN 2 the AD&D series is progressing back to the BG branch with notably a better storyline and the ability to control a party of individuals with their own stories to tell. 'Re-inventing the wheel' is the phrase the dutch use.
Of course modern hardware and software has enabled better graphics, camera handling and many more things and in this respect BG is dated. But modern hardware can't provide us with a well told story. Or to put it in another vein: it can't make up for the lack of it. There are many developers who use the better performance of modern system to make up for the lack of a good tale. Usually in time these games disappear after a while because newer game that perform even better surpass the. Stories however are of all times and in this they are timeless and it is a well told story which is the cornerstone of BG 2 which makes the game last so long.
A big contribution is made by David Warner as the voice of Jon Irenicus. While the lines are probably written by others, it is Warner who uses his voice to add that extra layer of evilness which make Irenicus one of the outstanding bad guys of all games, a quality he shares with Vlad Lem from Max Payne 2. It shows that Warner has played Evil in the movies time bandit's and it is that same acting he uses to portray Jon and it works very well. A good antagonist is very important, but Warner takes it one step further and this is one of the many factors which makes the game shine.
But many other factors contribute to the game. There is much in this game but in an incredible refined mix. Just not to much to bore and enough of it to keep things interesting. An example is the way in which a quadruple betrayal is used in the dark-elf(aka drow) city with one faction using the players to set up an other faction and a third drow requests to player to betray the first faction too and finally the player betraying them all(well so to speak). It's a well thought plot that sounds preposterous when written here, but actually very well illustrates how that dark-elf society is portrayed in fantasy writing.
The main plot is at thankfully different from those overused bad-guy-plotting-to-subject-the-world and has a note of sadness in it. I would like to add more, but the space is limited here and I can only point you to other reviews to see what is in this game.
Well written, well voiced and developed with much fun the game still overshadows many of it's successors. A must for anyone who loves the rpg genre and can live with the now dated graphics. My hopes is that new software and hardware will not put an end to this game.
- Dec 15, 2007