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Icewind Dale is Better than it Gets Credit For

Exactly what it says on the tin.

I recently made a video talking about how much I enjoy this game and why I think it often gets overlooked in favor of other CRPG's, both inside and outside of the infinity engine lineage.

Let me know what you think and enjoy!

Comments

  • UnsanityUnsanity Member Posts: 48
    I didn't watch it, I really dislike watching videos, but I agree it's a great game and should get more credit that has gotten over the years. I have played many TSR/WoTC (D&D, AD&D) computer games and a lot of them were garbage. The best part about the game was making the characters. I gave most of mine away and kept only a few. I didn't even give DDO a chance, nor did I get into Baldur's Gate or Neverwinter Nights.

    My first run-through of this game was epic. I loved it. I didn't even know you could pause the game. I killed the last boss using that 'special' sword, at the time I didn't know I needed to use it to beat the game, because I liked it better than Pale Justice. I died so many times to range and spell casters, but I had a blast. I rarely saved the game as I was playing, having to back track a bit after my whole party wiped. My second party didn't use that 'special' sword and the last boss killed my whole party because it was stuck on 1 hit point for ever. Lesson learned! Even after so many years I REMEMBER!!!!!

    Many years later and I am back for the Enhanced version. I like the new stuff. I am getting a kick out of the Priest of Talos and being able to roll a Half-Orc, going Fighter/Cleric of course. That Givingstar is nice. I remade a party so I could end up using that. I changed the alignment from Chaotic Good to Chaotic Neutral because I didn't want an evil alignment. I am messing around with more than one party now. I have paused 3 of them right before the Severed Hand. I am trying out different class combos, kits, races, and such. So many options. I can theory craft a party for hours.

    As for being the black sheep? Baldur's Gate was VERY popular. I remember stores having a hard time keeping that game stocked. Neverwinter Nights? Meh, I would see a copy here and there. The one time I saw Planescape: Torment, I bought it. It was one of those games that occupied a 3 or 4 copy space on the shelf. I got lucky with the last one too, mine. I was happy. I always saw Icewind Dale boxes. They rarely sold any of them. There were quite a few on the shelf too. Oh well, my gain.

    Rarely anyone talked about Icewind Dale., but they talked up a storm about Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights. I haven't met anyone that played Planescape: Torment. I figure, popularity wise, that one should be the black sheep, not Icewind Dale.

    Of course, vs. other games, Icewind Dale wouldn't even be in the conversation, especially since it's D&D. Also, can we say Diablo 2? I remember playing the first one. WOW! That was a game. That blew me away. I was thinking THIS is what a D&D computer game should be. There was a crossover from Diablo 2 to D&D tabletop. I remember seeing the monster books. YES!!! I never got to play in any groups, but I watched a lot of them. It really got me into Diablo 2 and this game even more.

    Of course, I eventually forgot about this game and played D2 months into the launch of WoW. I gave the disc to a friend of mine since he was really into D&D at the time. I stumbled on the EH version of this game via GoG after I got Diablo, Doom, and later Grim Dawn. Somehow it caught my eye and YOINK mine. So happy. I know there is a lot of competition out there, especially now vs. 20 years ago, but this game is definitely worth the price and then some.

    The one thing this game has that others don't, replayablity. Plus, you can play the game without an internet. Too many games these days are internet only. I have lost interest in those. If they had offline mode, then maybe, looking at you Diablo 4.

    Yeah, this game doesn't get the credit/attention it deserves. One of the most fun games I have ever played. I bet, after a few play throughs, I will be back in another couple of years for more. TO ARMS!!!!! RAWR!!!!!!! LET ME AT THEM!!!!!!!!!
  • spacejawsspacejaws Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 378
    Great video and absolutely agree! Icewind Dale almost has a stigma as being the 'mediocre' IE game which is just untrue. Even though it is largely combat based there is still a ton of heart in it's locations and characters.

    I honestly think the biggest hit was not having recruitable NPC's. That seemed to affect people the most when it came out and reinforce the idea that it has no story/dialogue/RPG goodness which is just untrue.

    It's a shame because I think the Icewind Dale name is a bit poisoned but I would always love someone to tackle a third game with more adventures in the 10 towns and nearby cities like Neverwinter/Luskan. Always hoped Beamdog would do it as I would have loved to see it in IE engine.
  • DazarloDazarlo Member Posts: 3
    To be honest, for me, this is a much better game than BG or BG2. Personal preference I know but I really don't get what is so special about BG or BG2. Don't get me wrong I have clocked up many, many hours on both of these but I keep coming back to IWD for replayability.

    I hadn't even heard of IWD until I bought BG2 when it was first released and IWD had been included as a playable demo up to the end of the Vale of Shadows. I found the game amazingly atmospheric and immersive and went out to buy it the next day. I hardly played BG2 as a result.

    My only real complaint would be that despite the fairly recent patch the pathfinding doesn't appear to have improved and still appears to be based on an episode of the Keystone Cops.
  • FandraxxFandraxx Member Posts: 191
    spacejaws wrote: »
    Great video and absolutely agree! Icewind Dale almost has a stigma as being the 'mediocre' IE game which is just untrue. Even though it is largely combat based there is still a ton of heart in it's locations and characters.

    I honestly think the biggest hit was not having recruitable NPC's. That seemed to affect people the most when it came out and reinforce the idea that it has no story/dialogue/RPG goodness which is just untrue.

    It's a shame because I think the Icewind Dale name is a bit poisoned but I would always love someone to tackle a third game with more adventures in the 10 towns and nearby cities like Neverwinter/Luskan. Always hoped Beamdog would do it as I would have loved to see it in IE engine.

    Totally agree! The original draft for the video included a mini-rant about how it's completely unreal to me that two games with same engine, released within months of each other, had insane different engines and playing experiences (IWD to BG2).

    The best thing the Enhanced Editions did was update IWD, IMO, bringing it closer to BG2, so how good it actually is can be better appreciated.
  • FandraxxFandraxx Member Posts: 191
    Dazarlo wrote: »
    To be honest, for me, this is a much better game than BG or BG2. Personal preference I know but I really don't get what is so special about BG or BG2. Don't get me wrong I have clocked up many, many hours on both of these but I keep coming back to IWD for replayability.

    I hadn't even heard of IWD until I bought BG2 when it was first released and IWD had been included as a playable demo up to the end of the Vale of Shadows. I found the game amazingly atmospheric and immersive and went out to buy it the next day. I hardly played BG2 as a result.

    My only real complaint would be that despite the fairly recent patch the pathfinding doesn't appear to have improved and still appears to be based on an episode of the Keystone Cops.

    The demo was playable through the Vale of Shadows??? That's insane (Nearly a fourth of the game)!

    I'll always love the Baldur's Gate games, and what they've done for RPG's can hardly be overstated, but Icewind Dale will always hold a special place for me.

    I'll never forgive IWD2 for, ultimately, being a pretty lackluster game (that apparently no one held onto the code for? Which means no enhanced edition?) in comparison to Neverwinter Nights that came out around the same time. Just such a bum note for the infinity engine to go out on.
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,860
    While this is not a statement on the quality of any of the games, Icewind Dale is much less of a black sheep than Planescape Torment. Baldur's Gate has much more in common with Icewind Dale than it has with Planescape Torment.
    Fandraxx wrote: »
    I'll never forgive IWD2 for, ultimately, being a pretty lackluster game (that apparently no one held onto the code for? Which means no enhanced edition?) in comparison to Neverwinter Nights that came out around the same time. Just such a bum note for the infinity engine to go out on.

    Icewind Dale 2: Enhanced Edition is in development!
  • FandraxxFandraxx Member Posts: 191
    OlvynChuru wrote: »
    While this is not a statement on the quality of any of the games, Icewind Dale is much less of a black sheep than Planescape Torment. Baldur's Gate has much more in common with Icewind Dale than it has with Planescape Torment.

    A couple of years ago, I probably would've agreed with you and it was something I thought about a fair bit in the editing/production. But, whether it be the Enhanced Editions or just the widespread internet making things more accessible, Planescape has long-since gotten it's credit.

    Icewind Dale is the only infinity engine game that hasn't received some sort of modern sequel (SOD, Torment: Tides). IWD might have more in common with BG, but it hasn't aged as gracefully.
  • VWoodVWood Member Posts: 11
    The Dungeon crawling in Icewind Dale is terrific. Thieves are truly a non negotiable class, in fact every class, spell and ability is useful and important, and must be considered carefully. This is what I love about Icewind Dale.
    Also the fact that each area has it own theme, like undead or elemantals, means that you can prepare spells and equipment accordingly, instead of just having a general selection all the time.
  • orchidMantisorchidMantis Member Posts: 17
    I was able to play IWD without resting, I mean without having to do other things like watch TV series or play other games, in one go, then I started with BG, the problem was that there were many places to go, minor encounters with enemies and every once in a while some big boss who I really had to think about how to fight. However in IWD every advance was a challenge, that's why I prefer IWD and I would love a sequel, or even a second EE after so many years, and for the record the second EE should not change the gameplay, just improve the graphics please, don't believe you are the heroes, the heroes are already in history.
  • AerakarAerakar Member Posts: 829
    This thread is now distracting me from my current BGEE game and tempting me to start a IWD run...must resist...
  • FandraxxFandraxx Member Posts: 191
    Aerakar wrote: »
    This thread is now distracting me from my current BGEE game and tempting me to start a IWD run...must resist...

    Never resist! The frigid wastes beckon you! Heed the call!
  • Looney_CartoonyLooney_Cartoony Member Posts: 31
    I forgot how boring this game was. I am falling asleep here. I cant play it longer than 20 minutes. No wonder I wanted to jazz it up with Simpsons characters. I was thinking about Looney Toons next, but no thanks. I think I will complete the game with the Simpsons and call it quits. I don't even want to try the other games, I am sure they are just as boring. I see why no one plays this game and why there is very little activity on these forums. I will wait for the next Monkey Island. Now that is a game I can play for hours.
  • MERLANCEMERLANCE Member Posts: 416
    I forgot how boring this game was. I am falling asleep here. I cant play it longer than 20 minutes. No wonder I wanted to jazz it up with Simpsons characters. I was thinking about Looney Toons next, but no thanks. I think I will complete the game with the Simpsons and call it quits. I don't even want to try the other games, I am sure they are just as boring. I see why no one plays this game and why there is very little activity on these forums. I will wait for the next Monkey Island. Now that is a game I can play for hours.

    If I can get through Dragons Eye and the Burial Isle, Im usually able to finish the game. IWD isn't a bad game, but theres a reason I don't play through it every year like I do the BG saga. I think the linear nature of it has something to do with it. BG series you can wander off and explore the wilderness for a while, plus the huge variety of mods.

    As for why the forums don't have so much activity these days, theres a few reasons for that but bad games isn't one of them.

  • oakheartoakheart Member Posts: 60
    IWD is, without doubt, my favourite CPRG. I've been playing it on-and-off for 20+ years. The game's atmosphere is second to none (largely due to the outstanding music). I also consider it a superior roleplaying game to BG/BG2 as it leaves more to the imagination. I'll never get tired of it.
  • RawrbarianRawrbarian Member Posts: 40
    In those moments when your D&D group falls apart or when you can't seem to find one, there is Icewind Dale.
  • AerakarAerakar Member Posts: 829
    Agree with @oakheart on the atmosphere and music. I have the IWD music CD in my car and play it occasionally to get me in the mood for BG or IWD.
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