John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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The Strange Puritanism of NWN 2

Technically, Neverwinter Nights 2 is quite nice; but the writing is awful. So far, with the exception of the dwarf (who is a real mensch), every NPC who's foisted themselves upon my party is a bitchy little brat who, if my character was actually able to, he'd shove into a mudpile and walk away from. Unfortunately, they've got plot immunity. Oh for the days of Tomi and Linu! I think at some point I'm going to have to play Jade Empire just to get the taste out of my mouth.

But that's not what this post is about! This post is about an oddity of character design, which is this: everybody's dressed like a Puritan. 0.o

The game starts in a little farming village, so I assumed the fact that the men all had turtleneck tunics and gloves, while the women all had ankle-dresses, high collars, little hats, and gloves was just to give it a kind of "Amish village" feel. Even my barbarian is wearing a hide apron, and if you take off the character's armor, he's wearing the same turtleneck-and-gloves outfit as the rest of the village. So, uh, no Arnold-style flexing for my barbarian whether I want him to or not, eh?

But what really got me was when I actually got to the big, cosmopolitan city of Neverwinter. You'd expect busty tavern wenches, beggars in loincloths, perhaps a few street performers with wild tattoos, perhaps? Well, you'd be disappointed.

The first thing that really struck me was that the sorceress who is forced into my party looks like Hester Prynne. Literally. One of these days those fire spells she's always tossing off are going to make a giant scarlet "A" float above the tavern or something.

And get this: the Moonstone Mask, Neverwinter's famous "Everybody-Comes-to-Rick's" style brothel, has been completely sanitized into a, er I guess you'd call it a nightclub (although it sounds more like a community center that rents out meeting rooms), and the one dancing girl is wearing a frock from neck-to-floor and, again, gloves! Her one line of dialogue is "Do you like my dancing, m'lord?" to which my mental reply was, "I wouldn't know, I can't see it."

Nobody in this game even has short sleeves for crying out loud.

I've commented before on water-balloon women in videogames, or on the ridiculousness of chainmail bikinis and barbarians in fur diapers, I fully admit that. On the other hand, if we have to choose between that extreme, or living in a world envisioned by Oliver Cromwell, I'll take the jigglies any day! I gotta wonder what the people at Obsidian were thinking with this thing -- and I only hope that some future patch or expansion will fix this particular bit of nonsense.

Oh well, just another good reason to play Jade Empire!

-The Gneech
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