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Icewind Dale By John "Award" Del Percio, August 6, 2000
Developer :Black Isle Studios
Publisher :Interplay
Release Date :Early July 2000
Demo Available : No
Table of Contents

· Introduction
· Closer Look
· Facts
· Final

Ogres and Mages and Bears, Oh My!

Any Dungeons and Dragons fan you talk to will be suffering from the same common ailment. While they will refer to it as having consumed an elixir of slow, the true reason for their appearance is simple: fatigue. Yes, we spend all night in our mythical little world delving deeper and deeper into the depths. It is the single most complete fantasy world ever created, spanning several different realms, and an innumerable amount of monsters and creatures.

When I first heard of Icewind Dale, and heard it was set in the Forgotten Realms and used the Infinity Engine, I immediately thought it was simply more Baldur's Gate. Not that I'm complaining of course, as I literally spent months roaming the Gate, but nevertheless it seemed as though it was a sequel between the real sequel. It was not until I had it on my hard drive that I realized how truly different it was.

Walking among ominous shrines
Beautiful artwork
Tangled in a web
Stoning the Verbeeg

All the Black Isle Studios games are, in an odd way, part of a series; they are all AD&D (Advanced Dungeons and Dragons) games. Any game that is part of a series is by far more difficult to review than a single one-shot game. For a normal game you simply discuss it, and convey what it is about since nobody knows really knows anything about it. In a series, there is a certain amount of things that are expected, improvements that were awaited, and comparisons to the previous, the future, and similar titles from other companies. Suddenly you find yourself writing a twenty page review that nobody feels like reading. With this title, there were several ways I considered reviewing it. For those familiar with Baldur's Gate, there are the many comparisons and improvements, let alone the differences between how they play. For those familiar with AD&D, and maybe the Gold Box games, but not BIS (Black Isle Studios) games, there is the description of how the games work in general. For those familiar with Action RPG's such as Diablo, Everquest, Darkstone and the like, who are wondering what on earth a 2D10 is, and what all this talk about a dice roll is, and how the AD&D games compare to the Action RPG's. And for those not familiar with RPG's in general, what it really is. After much consideration I've decided, that as there are many more people familiar with Action RPG's than with the AD&D games, I'd focus on those differences, as well as the improvements and differences since Baldur's Gate. For those of you coming from the PandP (Pen and Paper) games, or the Gold Box series, you'll feel right at home. For those who are still trying to figure out what an RPG is, well... what can one say?

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