The good news is that it gets a little more interesting once you actually get to Neverwinter; the bad news is that Bioware (or whoever is doing the writing) is just as binary as ever in their thinking so your choice of plot is "join the city guard" or "join a brutal street gang".
The map designs are also very linear, much more so than in NWN 1. Wilderness maps in particular are basically all the same "S-shaped path" design with one or two pockets branching off for side-quest plots, with "the next map" or "the baddie" at the far end of the S.
As for the NPC party members, all I will say is "quite the harem I'm collecting". Aimed at 13-year-old boys much? They're even having bitchfights over me, how sweet. :P If I replay this game, I'll use a female hero so I can bypass this junk.
Finally, while I'm tearing it to shreds, I'll say that I don't care for the interface. Much as I hear people complaining about the camera, I have no problem with that, but they've rearranged about 60% of the keyboard shortcuts and screwed up the quickbar at the bottom. They've put a "mode bar" to the right and a "item bar" on the left that only handles one item per slot. So now, for instance, you have to put both your sword and your shield into separate slots instead of putting them together in one.
In case you're wondering if there's anything I do like about it, I will say this: first, it's the 3.5 ruleset instead of 3.0, so Barbarians, Rangers, and Monks should all be happy (and to that end I am, since I tends to play Barbarians or Rangers or both). Second, it looks like it will make for some awesome modules. The toolset is wonderful -- it's just the writing of the "official campaign" that I don't care for. Which, when you think about it, is pretty much the way NWN 1 was, so I guess it's just carrying on the tradition.
They do get bonus points for bringing back Deekin -- but what is the kobold lifespan? If this is ten years after NWN 1, he's gotta be a rickety old kobold by now! Must be why he's [HIDDEN FOR SPOILER]. I'm just waiting for him to start singing, "Doom, doom, doom! Doomy-doom-doom!"