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Posted on Jan 7, 2007 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

2006 Game Awards

Editorial Staff

And the runner-up is…

Alright, before the d20 rollers get all up in arms, let us explain. Neverwinter Nights 2, the latest release from Obsidian, is excellent, to say the least… at least, the first half is. The rest of it, we’re not entirely sure where it went. On the whole, Neverwinter Nights 2 is up to par and exceeds the excellence of its prequel. The combat is fluid, and the stats management and group tactics are fairly intuitive as to not be intrusive in the overall experience. The graphics are decent, as are to be expected, and the sound follows suit.


What kills Neverwinter Nights 2 are the bugs. Bugs, bugs and more bugs. Don’t expect to be able to crank this game out on last-gen hardware, as clipping, slowdown and crashes will bring your system to its knees. Instead, be prepared to shell out for an otherwise inefficient engine, trying to eke out what should have been optimized before release. If you’re a die-hard D&D fan, then by all means, splurge on this game. However, when placed against the brilliance of other RPGs available today, prepare to roll d10 for disappointment.

And the winner is…

Call it a cheap World of Warcraft, if you have to. It has all of the expansiveness but none of the annoying thirteen year-olds screaming in the microphone. But make no mistake, all other RPGs this year have paled in comparison to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It’s often hard to believe that the guys at Bethesda Softworks have the ability to print quality in a manner that they have done time and time again. The graphics are beyond eye-popping, the combat system has vastly improved since the prequel, Morrowind, and the quests… oh the quests…

It’s impossible not to be lulled into the world of Oblivion. Bethesda makes sure they never disappoint when it comes to content. Consider that there’s not only a main quest, but six side quest lines and a nearly infinite number of miniature quests that pop up in places that you may never actually explore during your eighty or so hours of gameplay. The control and interfaces are so intuitive as to be nonexistent, so even if you’ve never played an Elder Scrolls title before, you can pick Oblivion up and play it as if you were a master from the get-go. There isn’t a single RPG out there, save Oblivion‘s prequels, which offer such a delicious conglomerate of quality and quantity. Oblivion does not disappoint.

[next, Best Grand Strategy Game]

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