by Zonker

? based on one of the greatest Computer RPGs ever
? the map room offers a great way to travel the module
? non-linear
? great story

? numerous bugs really take too much away from the game
? the Hak Pack is a HUGE download
? dialogue system can be frustrating
? restricted access to map room

The Bottom Line – Some great ideas that need to be polished and executed better. A diamond in the rough.

Avatarship Polished: Download


Without a doubt this has to be one of the most ambitious Neverwinter Nights modules yet. Just one look at the size of the Hak Pack (62 MB) will give you a great indication of that. From a map room that allows you to transport to different locations to a dialogue system that attempts to go beyond simple dialogue trees and offer a fuller gaming experience this module is chalk full of innovations. This module even allows you the ability to play poker with none other than Doc Holiday.

It is also does not hurt that this module is based on the vaunted Ultima 4. Although it has poor graphics when compared to today’s games many gamers still consider Ultima 4 as one the best RPGs ever on the PC. That said Game Ogre was very excited to see a module that was based on that game.

Sadly the aforementioned innovations and the fact that it is based on Ultima 4 is where the good aspects of this module end. The long download for the Hak Pack is nothing compared to the bugs that plaque this module. For example I am unable to load a game or exit from NWN while in this module. Every time that I attempt to load or exit my PC freezes and I have to wait until Windows XP steps in to unfreeze it. Talk about frustrating!

With that in mind what about just respawning instead of loading a previous game when you die? Well you are given necklace by Lord British that allows you to respawn in the throne room and the map room is right there. Now if you were given immediate access to the map room it would make moving around the module much easier and would help alleviate some of the game’s most glaring bugs. However that is not the case and you have to make your way out of the castle every time that you respawn until you get the key for the map room.

To complicate matters further the dialogue system has been altered to function more like an early RPG. Instead of using simple dialogue trees the way that the regular campaigns do Avatarship mostly employs a dialogue system where you have to type in certain commands like help and job to get responses from non-playing characters. Although the dialogue system intended to enrich the experience of the module it just added to the frustration level because it is not executed well enough to make such a drastic change.

To sum the review up this module has tremendous gaming value but you have to be VERY patient in order to experience that value. Thus this module is not for everybody. If you are a big Ultima fan and you don’t have the loading and exiting problems that I had you should definitely be satisfied with this ambitious module. However Game Ogre will have to wait until the author releases Avatarship Polished (a very fitting name) to delve deeper into all that this module has to offer.

Game Ogre’s Rating (out of 10):


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