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OK, why am I ENJOYING this game so much?!

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale (Classic)' started by purplesun, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. purplesun Gems: 1/31
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    I've been modding and playing BG 2 for years, and I was deliberately avoiding Icewind Dale because people kept telling me that it's nothing but hack and slash, "it sucks compared to baldur's gate" etc.

    So I started a week ago and ...why on earth am I having so much fun?

    Atmosphere:

    I know that not all gamers care about mood/atmosphere, but for people like me, Icewind Dale 1 is a dream. This game just drips with atmosphere, from the meticulous and beautiful art work to the haunting music. Is it just me, or does Icewind Dale have the best artwork of all the Infinity Engine games? It's even better than IWD 2, in my opinion. You really get the sense that you are in the cruel, yet beautiful frozen North.

    Story: Yep, this was the reason people kept telling me "Icewind Dale sucks", but surprise, surprise, I actually do like the story. Especially how it becomes increasingly epic.

    Sense of adventure:

    I took my time with this game. Exploring the dusty shelves; reading all the books and the weapon descriptions(which are very well done). **If you take time to soak in the atmosphere,** this adds another dimension to the game that I feel many people missed. As I was exploring the Severed Hand, I had a sense of adventure like I haven't felt since way back when I first started playing D & D.

    Combat: I love the combat. It has a different "feel" to it compared to BG 2 combat, though, and I had to change some of the strategies I developed from playing Bg2. However, I understand why people would find places like Dragon's Eye tedious. But, I assure you with proper spells, and a good tank with resistance potions, it's more manageable and dare I say..fun?



    I've been modding and playing BG 2 for years so I obviously love the game, but I think it's unfair to malign Icewind Dale and to tell people to stay away from it if you like BG 2. If you take Icewind Dale on its own terms, and see it for what it is, I think you would be more than pleasantly surprised.
     
  2. Kullervo Gems: 9/31
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    I agree, IWD can be extremely enjoyable. Jeremy Soyles music is excellent, and the graphics are nicely done, too. Both help build up the atmosphere, which is in some areas (especially in Severed Hand) really rich.

    Combat is also fun in IWD, although (or because?) it's different from BG2. I wouldn't call those huge and hectic mass battles against cold wights in Dragon's Eye tedious. It's great that the monsters won't wait nicely in the fog in IWD - they're coming to get you! HoW's Burial Isle gives always that "Yikes!"-effect, when about dozen barrow Wights etc. come charging from the dark.

    There's also some smaller things that make IWD very fun to play. Random items make replaying much more interesting. Different dialogue options for different races/classes also increase the replay (and roleplaying) value - this was taken even further in IWD2.
     
  3. countduckula Banned

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    I was pleasantly surprised with IWD as well. Baldur's Gate II is significantly better (although few games can top BGII), but I enjoyed IWD far more than IWDII and that huge bore Baldur's Gate I.
     
  4. sarevok66 Gems: 9/31
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    BG1 boring? :mad:
     
  5. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    IWD is a great game. I liked it more than both BG games. It's fun to play, it's fair, it's balanced, it's honest and isn't as much about stacking flat entertainment features and powergaming as the BG games.
     
  6. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I don't care what anybody says. Icewind Dale is a much deeper and more interesting game than BG1. The atmosphere and pacing is excellent, I enjoyed the story, and the music was killer. I didn't really miss the inter-party interaction you enjoyed with BG2 (and to a much more shallow extent, BG1). I wasn't surprised that I loved this game, I was surprised by how much.
     
  7. nataben1314 Gems: 10/31
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    What makes Icewind Dale, IMO, is the music and artwork. Not that the story and such are bad (I share the OP's sense of adventure), but without the music and artwork it would be impossible for me to get immersed into the storyline.
     
  8. ChickenIsGood Gems: 23/31
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    I like the music and artwork as much as anyone, but I just don't care for combat all that much. I just get bored of all the fighting eventually, and have to force myself to finish. It's like this with all games that are almost purely combat oriented (though to varying degrees, and does happen with other long games quite a bit). Diablo II was the worst for me, just had to finish, but was so miserable. IWD was kind of like that for me, but in the Infinity Engine, so it had pluses :)
     
  9. Cal Jones

    Cal Jones I'm not dead yet

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    It's a great game, actually, and the music is superb. Once you've done with it I recommend trying the IWD NPC project, to add 5 NPCs who will banter with you (and you can romance some of them, also). I found it excellent.
    Icewind Dale NPCs


    There's a similar mod for IWD2 over at Gibberlings, also. It's a little buggy in places but with 10 NPCs there's potential for different runthroughs. (To avoid the bugs, don't take Peony - her avatar has problems, and avoid having Diriel and Rizdaer together if you are romancing one of them as the dialogue gets stuck in a loop. Other than that it's fine).
     
  10. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    I think anyone who can call BG1 a bore isnt that involved with indepth storylines. BG1 was like throwing a brick at a stained glass window.

    IWD, yeah, I enjoyed IWD however I was disappointed first off it isnt actually a rpg, its a strategy game, you dont play the role of any character, and yes, it is simply hack and slash missing out on the beauty of the design of the BG series or torment, however it will always hold a place as an enjoyable game despite the poor sound effects and transparent story.
     
  11. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Definitely one of the most enjoyable games i've played in years... i do believe it can out around the same time as BGII, but i purchased IWD 1st and once i got started, i took my time completing, going back for a 2nd run(ALL evil this time):)
     
  12. Berksmasher Gems: 2/31
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    Because it's linear and combat intensive, IWD is driven primarily by one's own desire to complete it rather than to see where the various characters' stories lead, but the story that underlies the game design/layout is remarkable IMO (the only major downfall being that it takes some liberties with setting and storyline that cause it to fit awkwardly in the Forgotten Realms setting for people who follow Realmslore closely).

    The story has as much, if not more, depth and detail as BG2, but the player has to take the initiative in uncovering it. If you play the game just as a dungeon crawl, that's what you'll get, but if you spend the time exploring the dialogue, item descriptions, and thinking about what you're doing and why, it takes on a truly epic quality IMO.

    And I agree, the music and backgrounds are amazing--near the pinnacle of the 2D era in those areas. Those aspects weren't nearly as refined in Planescape: Torment, but both games dispaly an ability to create atmosphere simply with background and sound that is very rarely seen in modern games. RIP Black Isle. :(
     
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