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Old 08-19-2009, 12:26 PM   #5
Darth InSidious
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Beta of Purgatorio is released

The news is a little old, but I only just noticed this thread. >.>

I eventually broke and downloaded it (it's a sizeable download, when you add it all up, too), so I thought I'd give some initial impressions.

The first thing that hits you about this mod is the quite fantastically long load-times. Which should not, I suppose, come as a huge surprise, given the size of Sigil and the Planescape universe more generally. It's forgiveable, given the engine limitations, but still rather irritating.

The UI has been given a new look, too; it feels a little clunky in places, though, and IMO not as cool as Torment's. On an unrelated note, the classes and races added in Storm of Zehir are unavailable, since this beta was chiefly put together before SoZ came out. Still, no biggie. Also, some of the characters look unnaturally squat and distorted. I'm not sure if this is a bug or something, but it is a little offputting.

As to the plot, I haven't got very far, but the words "slow start" come to mind. Again, nothing wrong with that per se, given Torment was hardly fast-paced in its opening, but there's two portals to go through before you even reach the City of Doors, and at least one really huge area to cross.

The town of Hopeless springs to mind in particular - it's an enormous spiral down to the portal(s) at the centre of town, and I couldn't help feeling that the while it may be more atmospheric to have a huge town, it would have helped optimisation and running the damned thing if they'd cut it down a little. Maybe you return there later, justifying the size. I don't know.

Reaching Sigil, you get the first significant amount of dialogue and... it's not bad at all, IMO; very few skill/attribute checks so far, but very little opportunity for them, as well. The voice-acting is not up to much, but amateur efforts rarely if ever are, TBH.

The one thing which does feel irritatingly grating in this version, oddly, is the Cant; somehow, it sounds a lot worse spoken, and while the dialogue isn't bad, it doesn't quite carry it off.

I haven't got very far - only into the Hive - but so far the plot has been a little thin, and at times confusing - it seems uncertain whether the PC knows what you know or more, and there is no explanation given to why you are where you are at the start. There is a journal entry that makes no sense in context, and some missing textures on the journal screen are a little annoying. : /

Further, you ask one NPC what that big torus on top of the spire is, and then to another that you have business in Sigil... so it does all feel a bit confused, and you're given no clue as to what you're meant to be doing.

Rogue Dao have decided to include areas like the Mortuary, which you can walk into unopposed (which seems odd, given all the "You! Are you lost?" dialogues in Torment), which now looks quite a lot different, and is no longer circular, which is a pity, but again, I'm not sure if it would be possible to make it circular given NWN2's engine limitations.

So, a bit of a mixed bag thus far. I've no idea what the plot of the mod is yet, or even where I'm meant to be going - maybe that's the point? Or perhaps the plot has yet to be implemented, I don't know.
Mods Released
That's what Control said.
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