By Adam Miller
Setting: Home-brew world
Environment: Remote village, but all the action is in an ancient keep.
Time: c. 8 hours, if everything works as it should.
Type: Puzzle-heavy dungeon crawl, limited combat.
Replayability: annoying if some scripts fail to execute properly
Dark Waters is the first module in a series by Adam Miller, who wrote one of the most popular module series for NWN1. This one starts of with a small group of people who live in an isolated fishing village, and their attempt to explore a local mystery. When you get trapped inside an abandoned structure, the rest of the adventure is spent discovering why you?re trapped and how you can get out.
This is an unusual module compared to most existing ones for NWN2. There?s only a limited amount of combat, most if which is quite easy even when a character is separated from the rest of the party. Combat doesn?t give you XP, those are only awarded for continuing the story-line. You?re likely to spend more time solving puzzles than fighting. Asking another party member to solve them can circumvent a lot of these. There?s not a great deal of treasure and most of it comes in the form of equipment, which you will have no opportunity to sell during the module.
It?s an interesting starting point for a story, but it is only a starting point. There are hints about other things that are happening, but until later modules are released it?s hard to judge the story. There are also some interesting puzzles, and if you like solving them then you?ll enjoy parts of this module. The interaction with other party members is interesting and gives you enough choices to fit most characters, and the voice acting on this is good. It doesn?t flow quite as conversation, as there?s a delay between the end of one person speaking and another starting. It isn?t a module for those who enjoy challenging combat, as nearly all fights can be won easily.
The world is an unusual one compared to most modules. At some point in the past there was a great catastrophe, and a lot of knowledge was lost. At various points in the module you will encounter muskets and pistols, various sorts of machinery, and psionics. If this isn?t to your taste then it?s quite hard to ignore these aspects of the module. I?d also say that virtually all the module is spent wandering through an abandoned castle, and after a while the corridors and rooms feel very alike and rather dull. Since you can?t be sure which rooms have something interesting in them you have to explore virtually the whole of a level before you can carry on, which also seems unnecessary.
Perhaps the biggest problem with the game is the scripting. You can?t always be sure that an event that?s supposed to fire will, and since they happen in a lot of places you will probably miss some. They aren?t all critical to the adventure but some are. It?s enormously frustrating when someone runs up to you, announces, ?Follow me,? and then stands still. I recommend up-to-date save games at all times.
I?d recommend this module to people who like solving puzzles, who aren?t interested in combat, and who like to feel that there?s a big story developing around them. People who want challenging battles and like to see their character advancing in experience, or who dislike puzzles, will probably not enjoy it.
Edited by Bluenose, 19 May 2007 - 04:36 AM.