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GameTap praises MotB - 7/10
Review - posted by Vault Dweller on Sat 20 October 2007, 18:19:38Tags: Neverwinter Nights 2; Obsidian Entertainment
GameTap has posted a review of Mask of the Betrayer, stating that it's "quite possibly the most original, and best, Dungeons & Dragons game since the days of Baldur's Gate II and PlaneScape: Torment, and that "the quests and story are world class", and rewarding such excellence with 7/10. Well, maybe they have high standards. Let's see... Halo 3 - 10/10! BioShock - 10/10! The Orange Box - 10/10! *sigh*
Mentioning those last two titles is quite appropriate, as Mask feels like a fusion of those two. It takes the epic, high-level combat of Baldur's Gate II (notable the Throne of Bhaal expansion for that game), and fuses it with some of the storytelling and role-playing concepts of Planescape: Torment.He even had to sacrifice experience points to keep his character alive? That's outrageous. How dare they!
Everything sounds hunky-dory, but there is one element that left me ping-ponging between outright hatred and resigned annoyance: the spirit-meter. Without getting into story details, it essentially turns you into a drug addict. You get an extra meter to watch over that continually declines no matter what you are doing. As the meter runs low, you experience various side effects, and if it runs out, you die. To fill the meter, you either have to give in to cravings (which lock you in a cycle of needing an, er, spirit fix even more frequently) or use other abilities to satisfy your cravings.
This sounds interesting in theory, but I got annoyed that when I would rest to recover life and magic, the spirit meter still drains. My evil character was forced to "eat" to raise the meter, as the other way of combating the hunger results in your character becoming good, which can screw with certain classes that have alignment restrictions. And because you're forced to wait five minutes between "eatings," I found myself not "eating" fast enough due to the cooldown period, and was even forced to give up experience points to stave off my hunger. Sometimes, it's a mild nuisance, but for me, it was a major headache.