Icewind Dale is one of those RPG titles that has been getting much attention lately. Although… lately… you can say that it’s been having alot of attention since the first screenshots were published.
Although I’m not one of those die-hard RPG-fans that take hours and hours to get their party together (you have to make a party of 6 in Icewind Dale, so that will take several hours for those die-hard RPG’ers), I did wonder what Icewind Dale would bring to the gaming community so I decided it would give it a shot, and seeing that most reviewers liked the game, was an extra impulse for me to start playing
While watching the intro, I found out that Icewind Dale was not a person, but a small town (boy, was I wrong on that!).
An old man tells the story of Icewind Dale from the book of the Forgotten Realms (it’s AD&D people !). During this intro you get to know that there has been a horrible fight between 2 army’s, and that a magician had opened the ports of hell and unleashed hordes of demons to make sure his army would win. He didn’t think though that the demons would start slaughtering everyone, so that both army’s faced the same enemy.
To make this a little shorter, it comes to this : a magician from the other army, jumps into the port to hell, making it to close and all the demons get killed and that’s where you begin.
After making your crew, you start in a bar in Icewind Dale, and there’s the first hacking to be done. After some talking, you find out that there are some nasty bugs in the cellar so to help the bar lady out, you go down and kill the bugs.
Then you go to the hardware store next door to buy some weapons and shields, pick the storekeepers closets and have some arguments with him (he’s really not a nice guy).
I got bored with this guy so I decided to kill him which brought me up 5 points in experience but made me loose 5 points in popularity.
Back outside suddenly some heavy armored dude came to my party and started hacking on them. Although I wanted to start hacking on him too, my party was swindling their weapons into thin air, and got slaughtered.
I guess killing the storekeeper was not a good idea.
One thing I found to be really strange was that while I was in the weapons store, one of my characters suddenly couldn’t move anymore although no spell of any kind had me casted on him. Is this a bug ? I don’t know. All I know is that after the rest of my party being slaughtered outside, I could keep playing altough my single remaining character was some kind of frozen (believe me, I tried everything to get him to move, but although he nicely looked the way I was pointing, I couldn’t make him to go anywhere)
Icewind Dale uses the Baldur’s Gate engine (not BG 2!) and that makes that the game runs only at 640*480 which was abit of a disappointment to me. On the other hand, you can put it on 32 bit color, and the game runs better than Diablo 2 without you seeing any real jagged edges around the characters.
The interface is pretty easy to use, so even less skilled RPG’ers will be able to handle it (like me :p), and the sounds that make up the atmosphere are really well-done.
Although you have the ability to do alot of talking, this is not soreally necessary. Most talks don’t really give any information that you REALLY need. Do make sure that you save often, since while talking is not so very important, fighting is. And you’ll notice that there’s ALOT of it.
If you’re into AD&D or RPG’s, you’ll have several hours (days) of fun with this game