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Which FR/Infinity Game Would You Recommend?

I have never played any game other than BG/BG2. Except for one where it deserted the top down isometric thing and you wandered around looking through the characters eyes and got seasick with all the camera swooping around stuff. Never finished that. What one was that, started off in a city(?), lots of sewers?

So thought it's about time I expanded it a bit, not that I'm slow off the mark or anything. :#

What I'd like is basically the same thing, good story, joinable NPC, well written, isometric.

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Comments

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 7,188
    Other than Planescape: Torment I can't think of an isometric game that has joinable NPC's.

    ThacoBellAerakar
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,211
    The closest you can get to BG for Infinity Engine is IWD. But it doesn't have joinable NPCs. It does have a legit story though. Its encounters are more weighted in favor of warriors though, a mage heavy party will hit several walls.

    Aerakar
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    There's also Forgotten Realms: The Archives - collection 1, 2 and 3. Very old titles and thus not for everyone. But they do have isometric battles.

    Other than them there's also Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone. While this particular game has a 3rd person camera view similar to NwN2, it's still a rather nice title with well written joinable NPC's. It's somewhat similar to Planescape: Torment, since you're controlling premade characters instead of creating your own protagonist.

  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 1,201
    ThacoBell said:

    The closest you can get to BG for Infinity Engine is IWD. But it doesn't have joinable NPCs. It does have a legit story though. Its encounters are more weighted in favor of warriors though, a mage heavy party will hit several walls.

    For the IWD to be played in the fashion of BG you have still to wait a little while, it is in the making. It will be IWD-in-EET, where your BG party can visit and play through IWD1 + HoW like it were another EET mod.

    AerakarRaduzielOrlonKronsteen
  • RhamnetinRhamnetin Member Posts: 3
    Planescape: Torment and Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer are the only FR video games I consider to be well written.

  • AerakarAerakar Member Posts: 760
    I seem to recall a FR isometric dungeon-crawl game from Ubisoft way, way back, but my memory could be faulty and it may in fact not have been isometric :) I remember fighting lots of drow and undead and being able to use sneak attack for my rogue character.

    I don't recall if it had joinable NPCs either, but I believe yes :) (although I recall they had zero personality).

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,147
    ThacoBell said:

    The closest you can get to BG for Infinity Engine is IWD. But it doesn't have joinable NPCs. It does have a legit story though. Its encounters are more weighted in favor of warriors though, a mage heavy party will hit several walls.

    So you make the NPC yourself?

    So how is there any interaction?
    How do they talk to you as nobody would have known what character they were to script anything?

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,147

    There's also Forgotten Realms: The Archives - collection 1, 2 and 3. Very old titles and thus not for everyone. But they do have isometric battles.

    Other than them there's also Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone. While this particular game has a 3rd person camera view similar to NwN2, it's still a rather nice title with well written joinable NPC's. It's somewhat similar to Planescape: Torment, since you're controlling premade characters instead of creating your own protagonist.

    Does the game I mentioned in the OP sound like NwN (just can't remember the name of it, going back some and never finished it)?

    If so, then that's going to be a problem if Demon Stone is the same. I found it very awkward to play.

  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859

    ThacoBell said:

    The closest you can get to BG for Infinity Engine is IWD. But it doesn't have joinable NPCs. It does have a legit story though. Its encounters are more weighted in favor of warriors though, a mage heavy party will hit several walls.

    So you make the NPC yourself?

    So how is there any interaction?
    How do they talk to you as nobody would have known what character they were to script anything?
    Yes, you make the NPCs yourself. No, there is no intraparty interaction as a result. There's some interesting reactivity buried where the NPCs respond to your characters.

    As an example, there's a man who commits a crime and the evidence is hidden inside a locked dresser. You can pick the lock, collect the evidence, and confront him with it. If the player that confronts him is a Paladin, he'll say something to the effect of "some Paladin you are, breaking into people's dressers".

    It's pretty small and mostly serves to give the game a bit of flavor, but it's an interesting look at reactivity in a way that BG never attempted. (There's also a *lot* more stat-based dialogue options that only open up if you have high enough Int, Wis, or Cha, but "a lot more" still doesn't mean "a lot".)

    There's also a lot more alignment-restricted and race-restricted gear, which helps different characters actually *feel* a bit more different. And it uses random loot tables, which makes each playthrough feel a bit different, too. (It's designed for you to take the same party through the game multiple times if you want.)

    Finally, since your created characters have no personality of their own, (beyond what you choose to role-play for them), the non-party NPCs are a *lot* more vibrant and filled with personality. In BG2, 2nd-tier and 3rd-tier antagonists like Rejiek Hidesman, Mekrath, Tor'Gal, Lonk, Ixilthetocal, etc. are pretty underdeveloped. They're basically one personality trait (if that), a villainous monologue, and fade to black.

    In IWD, the enemies and allies you encounter are much more fleshed out. They lie and deceive, they grow and develop as characters, they have complex motivations, you get much more of a sense that they are people (or near-people) with distinct stories that you happen to play a small part in, rather than that they're people who exist solely to play a small part in your story.

    But by and large, IWD is a dungeon crawl. You're a random party of adventures trapped in the frozen north trying to solve a mystery and save a village. It's linear with no real exploration. Based on what I know about what you like about Baldur's Gate, I suspect it won't scratch the itch in quite the same way.

    You could almost imagine a scale with BG1 on one end, IWD on the other, and BG2 about halfway between. As a general rule of thumb, I'd say if you prefer BG2 to BG1 you're going to really like IWD. If you prefer BG1 to BG2, you won't like IWD as much as either. Or if you do like it, it will be because it scratches a different itch entirely.

    Personally, I love it, though. And it remains to this day the most beautiful game I have ever played.

    ThacoBell
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876

    Does the game I mentioned in the OP sound like NwN (just can't remember the name of it, going back some and never finished it)?

    If so, then that's going to be a problem if Demon Stone is the same. I found it very awkward to play.

    It is possible that you are refering to NwN1, yes. In any case Demon Stone shares no similarities with that game. NwN2 on the other hand allowed for various camera modes, such as its Exploration Mode (which basically is a camera view from an isometric ankle). One of its modes is similar to that of Demon Stone. Which works nicely, given its ARPG nature.

    You may want to check out "Let's Play" videos on youtube to form your own opinion about this title. It's story was written by R.A Salvatore, so that's something to consider.

  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 1,201
    edited July 2017
    IWD and BG have a lot of things in common. If you played modded versions of BG you might have run across IWD-stuff already unknowingly. Modders have since long used IWD resources like creatures, animations, area maps or items and spells and imported them into BG.
    Personally I prefer BG to IWD since the latter misses the openess in party management and travel system. The plot is linear and the party is set. There are no interactions between party members, they are purely functional. The linear stories of IWD1 and Heart of Winter are weaker than the BG one and sidequests are mostly pretty small only. It is not as bad as that may sound but if you played a modded BG first and then play IWD you will find many things similar and many things missing.
    IWD (and that's why modders exploited it so heavily) has very good area graphics, a lot of nice new spells and items, interesting new monsters and challenging battles.
    There is also an addon Tales of the Luremaster which is pretty poor pit fight stuff and not really worth wasting time on.
    IWD 2 is an independent game more or less (not a direct sequel like BG1>BG2) with a completely new story line. It is epic, new and interesting, at least for one playthrough as it has all the weaknesses of IWD1 once again. And honestly, at times some very long intermediate chapters in that story appear like more or less own games that were patched into the main plot. Other than BG2, where those are made sidequests that you can do, in IWD everything lies on the main route, even if it appears like some own story developped by a different team and thrown into the main game at random.

    Just a guess...that sewer scenery mod you mentioned in the first post...I played that entry long time ago but never got past some initial hours of play. I can't really remember what it was (Elder Scrolls? something with *Oblivion* in the title...I had the CDs lying around for years but never could get myself to try it again.)

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,147
    Thanks for all the feedback.

    Seems to me the one that would be the good one to try is Planescape as it ticks most of the boxes?
    Plus as not living entirely in a BG bubble, I have heard a lot of people praising it.

    @SomeSort

    Thanks for the detailed discription.
    TBH, I can live without the interparty reactions (lets face it, I love BG whether using NPC project or not), it's the creating your own that's off-putting.

    Going back a long time, I loved Dungeon Master on the Amiga and managed just fine inventing the party interactions ect. in my head. I always used to have a party where they paired off, hated each other, didn't like standing next to each other ect.

    But it's not having anything to build on, even just a picture and a name.

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,147
    @PaulaMigrate

    Thankyou.

    I don't play that many mods that add extra content, though I have tried a few. I admire the dedication and the work put in but find I prefer the ones that add a little to the game without going overboard with too much XP and lots of extraordinary items. So another pair of BOS great, a pair of boots that might let you "ride a dragon" for example, not so keen.

    I think the game mentioned must be NWN as @Kamigoroshi said. So looked it up and "the wailing death" rang a bell, so must be that one.
    I have deserted very, very few games over the years, probably mainly because I don't play that many, if I like a game I stick with it. So it must have been pretty dire IMO.

    ThacoBell
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859

    Thanks for all the feedback.

    Seems to me the one that would be the good one to try is Planescape as it ticks most of the boxes?
    Plus as not living entirely in a BG bubble, I have heard a lot of people praising it.

    @SomeSort

    Thanks for the detailed discription.
    TBH, I can live without the interparty reactions (lets face it, I love BG whether using NPC project or not), it's the creating your own that's off-putting.

    Going back a long time, I loved Dungeon Master on the Amiga and managed just fine inventing the party interactions ect. in my head. I always used to have a party where they paired off, hated each other, didn't like standing next to each other ect.

    But it's not having anything to build on, even just a picture and a name.

    If that's the potential issue, there are solutions. I haven't tried it, but there's a mod to add pre-generated recruitable NPCs to IWD. Complete with banters and romances, apparently.

    UnderstandMouseMagic
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,415
    IWDNPC is a great mod. It is compatible with both IWD and IWDEE (and IWD-in-BG2).

    There is also IWD2NPC, which adds 10 joinable NPCs for IWD2.

    http://www.gibberlings3.net/iwd2npc/

    UnderstandMouseMagic
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,211
    SomeSort said:

    Thanks for all the feedback.

    Seems to me the one that would be the good one to try is Planescape as it ticks most of the boxes?
    Plus as not living entirely in a BG bubble, I have heard a lot of people praising it.

    @SomeSort

    Thanks for the detailed discription.
    TBH, I can live without the interparty reactions (lets face it, I love BG whether using NPC project or not), it's the creating your own that's off-putting.

    Going back a long time, I loved Dungeon Master on the Amiga and managed just fine inventing the party interactions ect. in my head. I always used to have a party where they paired off, hated each other, didn't like standing next to each other ect.

    But it's not having anything to build on, even just a picture and a name.

    If that's the potential issue, there are solutions. I haven't tried it, but there's a mod to add pre-generated recruitable NPCs to IWD. Complete with banters and romances, apparently.
    The only problem is that its entirely a party of boring elves and half-elves.

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,415
    ThacoBell said:

    The only problem is that its entirely a party of boring elves and half-elves.

    It's actually mostly humans (3), with 1 elf and 1 half-elf.

    Also, IWD-in-BG2's tweakpack has a component to install some BG1-like NPCs (i.e., mostly silent). Maybe someone could adapt that to IWDEE (with @DavidW's permission).

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,147
    @AstroBryGuy

    That sounds much better, thankyou.

    @ThacoBell

    Don't like dwarves, halflings or orcs much anyway so that's not a problem for me. I make an exception for Kagain but that's about it.

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,415
    @UnderstandMouseMagic - You're welcome.

    One more thing - Since the mod only has 5 NPCs, their classes are somewhat customizable at install to better fit your "CHARNAME" for IWDEE. For example, Severn is by default a bard, but you can choose a fighter-mage, mage, or sorcerer version instead (just one that worked as a minstrel in the past).

    http://forums.pocketplane.net/index.php?topic=24937.0

    The class lists at the above link are a bit out of date, since they don't reflect the options (e.g., kits) added for IWD-in-BG2 and IWDEE.

  • JumboWheat01JumboWheat01 Member Posts: 1,028
    While not Infinity Engine (and admittedly, the Aurora Engine is far from the greatest,) the Neverwinter Nights games are great plays for anyone who wants more games in the Forgotten Realms. The first game's two expansion packs have a fairly good story line, and introduce one of the best characters for you to party with, one kobold bard by the name of Deekin. You just want to hug him.

    The second game lacks some of the story polish I feel of the first game, though it has a much better party system, and it uses 3.5 rules instead of 3.0. Both games can be played in an isometric view, if that's your preference, but also in a "drive cam" view, more akin to Dragon Age games.

    There's also Sword Coast Legends but... I really don't recommend that.

    tbone1
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,147
    edited July 2017
    ThacoBell said:

    @UnderstandMouseMagic GASP! Scandalous ;)

    I so knew that would be the reaction. :D

    I read about "shorty bonuses" and always think to myself, "well they need something to make up for being so tiresome".
    Can't get the Mazzy love she's got a pole up her arse or something, Jan Janson needs to just shut up, Alora should be caged, Korgan bores me, Yeslick is useless by that point in the game, Monteron is grubby, skin crawlingly so.

    Kagain though is horrible enough to actually be entertaining.

    Edited to add

    And don't even get me started on Dorn.

    DreadKhanThacoBell
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    Ah ha! Dorn has intimidated you so much that you will not dare speak ill of him! ;)

    tbone1
  • JumboWheat01JumboWheat01 Member Posts: 1,028

    Can't get the Mazzy love she's got a pole up her arse or something.

    Well, to be fair, Mazzy is essentially a Paladin in all but name, and as we know, "Stick up the Arse" is a Paladin class feature. Some of them even use it to browbeat others.

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,147

    Can't get the Mazzy love she's got a pole up her arse or something.

    Well, to be fair, Mazzy is essentially a Paladin in all but name, and as we know, "Stick up the Arse" is a Paladin class feature. Some of them even use it to browbeat others.
    I know this is sacrilege...........so I'm going to whisper it

    I don't like the voice acting

    Too pushy, too try hard, which is really good for the character, but the whole package just makes me want to swat her.

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,147
    DreadKhan said:

    Ah ha! Dorn has intimidated you so much that you will not dare speak ill of him! ;)

    You wish. :p

    DreadKhan
  • JumboWheat01JumboWheat01 Member Posts: 1,028

    ...but the whole package just makes me want to swat her.

    Make sure you kneel before you do so, Mazzy being a halfling and all. Also, watch out for the rebuttal. Paladins don't take kindly to swattings.

    UnderstandMouseMagic
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,211
    @UnderstandMouseMagic "Can't get the Mazzy love she's got a pole up her arse or something" Interesting, Mazzy is actually one of the more tolerant Lawful Good NPCs. She will try to advise the other party members, but I don't recall her coming to blows with anyone of the original NPCs. She will try to guide, but not shove it down your throat. Personally I think she is the best written lawful good character I've ever had the joy of interacting with.

    tbone1
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,996


    Don't like dwarves, halflings or orcs much anyway

    To quote Emo Philips, "Die, heretic scum!"

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,147
    ThacoBell said:

    @UnderstandMouseMagic "Can't get the Mazzy love she's got a pole up her arse or something" Interesting, Mazzy is actually one of the more tolerant Lawful Good NPCs. She will try to advise the other party members, but I don't recall her coming to blows with anyone of the original NPCs. She will try to guide, but not shove it down your throat. Personally I think she is the best written lawful good character I've ever had the joy of interacting with.

    Did I ask for guidance?
    From someone I found stuck in a prison doing absolutely bugger all useful? Having managed to kill off all the people she was apparently giving "guidance" to?
    With "guidance" like that, who needs enemies?

    And then, should you take her with you because you feel sorry for her uselessness, she keeps getting a share of MY xp.
    It's just not on I tells ya, bloody freeloader.
    And then she vandalises an ancient monument by scratching graffiti all over it. Such a yob.

    All the other NPC's stand around looking embarrassed thinking,
    "well we might be evil but we do have a healthy respect for heritage and keep our subscriptions to the National Trust up to date, who is this chav?"

    DreadKhanKamigoroshiOrlonKronsteenArdul
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