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Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask Of The Betrayer (Expansion Pack) Review

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Keeping the hardcore RPGer happy

★★★★

It’s hard not to be cynical about expansion packs. While they’re a great way to spend more time with a game you love, the development budgets for add-ons are only a fraction of those devoted to new titles, and consequently they often suffer from a tragic lack of ambition. But while Mask Of The Betrayer is still haunted by many of the nigging problems that made its forebrearer a troublesome companion, it’s still a gripping attempt to keep the sprit of hardcore RPGs alive.

The biggest change since the resolution of the main game is your hero’s constant need to consume souls, adding extra pace to the quest if you choose the route of evil and need to feast regularly to keep your strength up, or a more measured approach if you remain wholesome and don’t become a slave to your cravings. The focus has also shifted from NWN2’s gung-ho swashbuckling to include a wealth of ingenious puzzles, creating a more mature adventure and showing how the series is growing up with its loyal fanbase.

Sadly, Mask Of The Betrayer is still beset by problems that blighted the main game - including a jittery camera that adds a layer of frustration to most battles, and occasional bugs such as items disappearing or levers that won’t pull properly - bewildering quirks that won’t alienate NWN fans but may make newbies wonder what all the fuss is about.

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