This new expansion pack offers darker themes with the standard role playing/strategy action and with great mental puzzles thrown into the mix, so be ready for the challenge. New races come in the form of the elemental genasi and wood elves plus new character and prestige classes.
Of course, players need Neverwinter Nights 2 to run this expansion, which players can pick up very easily, even beginning the expansion at level 18 or higher if you imported your existing character. Here players encounter a shadow plane, an alternate dimension, which primes interest for the next expansion pack to see if players will eventually escape this place. It’s a menacing settings like Rashemen and Thay, which may not mean a lot , but they roll off the tongue well. The characters have several creative and helpful self explanatory names like Toasterhead.
As you’re exploring, players will want to tweak their camera options for the best angle. Sometimes, you have to reset when bringing in a saved game or starting a new level, which provides some relatively minor frustration to an otherwise high quality title. Players get to explore the new areas like the wizard academy while they contend with various spirits and entities plus a surprising amount of problem solving skills and challenging puzzles to complete. The built-in editor that lets you build your own adventures as producers fill in the blanks with great social interactions and dialogue.
Players can also use slow motion option during a fight to see each action element occurring. An effective option that boosts a player’s emotions, which puts them deeper into the role playing experience. Mercy, imagination and plain common sense open more doors for companions, putting even more of the control in the player’s hands. The moral ambiguity of situations where these decisions stem from play a larger role in this expansion pack. When opportunity knocks, the door will open most of the time, though you’ll enjoy a few surprises.
New challenges include the constant spirit hunger, which matches the new darker theme, but has a fairly high adjustment and initiates a new addiction-related theme due to the quantity you can consume at one time or your can curb your enthusiasm for souls and keep them in check. Characters can help you with the spirit hunger challenge, which can bog down the game if you let it. It’s a constant balancing act which boosts the challenge even further. Producers really push the mental aspect of the game. Overall, the spirit hunger enhances the story, but largely exists to keep players in a constant state of management, which depletes the entertainment factor a little. Deep interactions and investigation opportunities let players get deeper into this experience (not to mention a high replay value), but most importantly, let’s them understand it more so they have a better sense of purpose.
Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Alcohol Reference, Blood, Mild Language, Sexual Themes and Violence.