Neverwinter Nights 2 is a role-playing video game from Obsidian Entertainment and is the sequel to the acclaimed Neverwinter Nights. Like its predecessor, Neverwinter Nights 2 is set in the fantasy world of the Forgotten realms, and sources much of its character creation rules and combat mechanics from the Dungeons & Dragons rpg games. Players create a hero (or anti-hero) character by first selecting a race, which range from a diminutive gnome to a hardy dwarf to an adaptable human. Races harbor their unique strengths and weakness, which are reflected in bonuses and penalties in one or more of the six abilities that comprise a character’s stat sheet. This predisposes races to specific classes, such as how most dwarfs are suited as fighters due to their natural robust constitution or how the dexterous Halflings best fit the role of Rogues. Of course, the choice still comes down to you, but remember that going against it will impose a few inconveniences such as penalties when multi-classing.
After picking a race and a class, Neverwinter Nights 2 players are asked to assign skill points which will determine the abilities they can use in and out of combat. The game also follows a d20 system where each action requires a roll of a 20-sided die to determine whether an action succeeds or not, and how effective its intended effect becomes. This system is what makes Neverwinter Nights 2 quite unique from more recent RPG Games since an element of luck will sometimes determine your survival in battle as opposed to pure skill. Combat occurs in real-time but it can be paused for you to give out a string of orders which will be executed once you un-pause the game.
Another game-defining feature in Neverwinter Nights 2 is the keep – a base of operations from which your hero can add improvements and protect against invaders. This is similar to the housing feature implemented in MMO games. NPC vendors can be recruited to reside in your keep and provide their much-needed services. Party members are also recruited to join you in your adventures during the single-player campaign. You can then issue commands manually for each party member, or set general orders for them to follow such as healing when health becomes low or focus firing on your target. In multi-player online mode, these NPC party members are replaced by human party members. Multi-player groups can also take on custom online modules separate from the main campaign. Additional premium modules, races and classes can be unlocked through the purchase of the three Neverwinter Nights 2 expansions.