Hey everybody! Lurchman here with something new from the Thieves Guild. Starting this week we will be review different single player mods and posting them here. We hope to have a new mod review for you every two weeks. These will be in depth reviews and we hope you will find them informative and enjoyable. The purpose of the reviews is to let you know exactly what the mods are about and what they're like. And this should help you find just the kind of mod your looking for.
Our first mod is one called Moonshadows: Chapter One.
The Thieves Guild Mod Review
Moonshadows: Chapter 1
A Mod by Alex 'Hugie' Hugon
Submitted / Updated
-- 09-16-2007 / 11-09-2007
-- Single Player
-- Combat, Dungeon Adventure, Epic, Forest Adventure, Mountain Adventure, Temple / Crypt Adventure, Twisted / Dark
-- Part of Series
-- This is an exploration-driven module with heavy combat and a story that really gets going towards the end. Subsequent installments in the series will continue the story in a more linear fashion.
This mod is downloadable from NWN2Vault. You can follow the link below for more info, or to download the Mod.
Moonshadows is definitely a combat driven mod, but I found it to be well put together. If you're into Hack and Slash, you will want to try this one out. And even if you like to explore and solve a few quests, this mod has it. There is enough variety in the scenery and the combat to appeal to just about everyone. Although there is a main plot, it doesn't really get going til you're near the end of this chapter. Chapter one seems to be designed to get you familiar with the areas, and to give you some fun exploring and some combat experience. Several small quests will take you on a tour of the unique lands the author has created. And the combat you'll face will help your character to level up and find new and better equipment. When you first start the mod, you will be asked if you want to use a saved PC or make a new one. Once you chosen and are finished,you'll find yourself in a kind of staging area. There will be an Orc here by the name of Grump. Grump is here to help you get started. There are four chests here from which you may take what you want as far as weapons, armor, etc. You will also be asked if you want to level yourself up or start as is. Level 8 is the maximum level you can start at. So if you use a saved PC that was level 23, it will be leveled down to 8. Once your all suited up, speak to Grump and he'll get you going. To load the game, start NWN2 as usual. At the main menu choose new game, then new campaign.
You begin the game on a trail in an area called the "High Forest". A brief narration will set the mood for the scene. From here, the trail leads north. In a short distance you'll come to your first encounter with one of the other NPC's. There is a Elfin encampment here, and they will tell you of their troubles. This will be the first of several quests you can take. The Elfin camp is about the center of the map, and you can go west and north from here. As you do these minor quests, you will pick up items that are related to the main quest. It is possible to start the main quest without doing the minor ones, but I believe you might be getting in over your head. The minor quests are designed to help you level up.
The combat is well balanced, and can vary from area to area. At times you may only fight a couple skeleton warriors, but the next time it may be five of them, plus two ghasts, and a dire wolf. Enimies include humanoids, the undead, animals, spirits. And the occasional "boss" creature. They vary depending on which quest you're doing. I leveled up five times before reaching the end. And I found the combat challenging, but not over the top.
The author did a lot of work to make areas that were quite different. Grassland and forests, creepy woods in a mountainous area, with narrow passes. Rocky mountain sides with small grassy areas and paths. Dungeons and ruins hidden in ravaged countrysides. And they are all very well done. I found no seams or obvious overlaps, and traveling from area to area was very smooth. I got caught off guard a few times because I was staring at some of the backgrounds.
There is not a lot of dialog it this chapter. You do meet various NPC's here and there. And from them you will receive your quests. So there is some dialog at these times. But most of the dialog is of the narration type. Chapter one seems to be more of an introductory to the lands and it's inhabitants. You don't really get too involved with the main plot until later in the game. More than likely there will be more person to person type of dialog, as the game becomes more involved with the main plot. What dialog there is, was well done and well thought out. I will say that, at times it did seem a little too much. As if the author was going to great lengths to make sure you know what is going on, or describing the area your in. But I consider that minor. There are no other major NPC's that you meet. So there are none that you form any kind of relationship with, male or female. And no one who joins your party. Agan, that may come, as the main plot advances.
I thought the author chose some good pieces for the soundtrack. The music was chosen to fit the mood of the area your in and whether you were just walking or in combat. It wasn't loud or over powering, nor was it annoying to listen to. A good background score.
The Crystal Rumor:
This is your "main" quest, which begins with this chapter. As you do the minor quests you will pick up things that will be needed for the main quest. So make sure you check everything out good. Below I I have described breifly, a few of the minor quests. Just to give you an idea of what they are like.
Just Another Drow Plot: This quest involves the band of Elves you first encountered. It seems that a group of Drows and Orcs have been raiding their homes and taking prisoners, to be used as slaves. You speak to an Elf called Riviella, and she'll tell you that they were raided and then ambushed, trying to free their friends. Riviella tells you that they have lost all hope. And then you, quite graciously, agree to take them on, and free the prisoners. Your destination, the Endless Caverns.
Black Hearted Scoundrels: You meet Kaftar the Wanderer. He tells you of the plight of the animals. It seems as though something is causing the animals to become twisted in their nature, and attack everybody. He suspects that there is a cult at the bottom of all this. He tells you that one of his animal contacts told of some old ruins where this cult might be.
Kerru's Conundrum: You encounter a foreign warrior by the name of Kerru, who comes from Durpar. He has been searching for an ancient magical shrine, that has magical spring with healing waters. Only he can not make it through the Dire Wood, to reach this spring. So it will be up to you to fight your way through the creatures that inhabit it, and return with the magic water for Kerru.
A Friend in Need, is a Friend in Deed: Jingleshod the Iron Axeman, was the henchman of an old wizard. When the wizard went mad, Jingleshod tried to kill him. When he failed, the wizard turned him into the form he is today, doomed to live as long as his master. Of course, you offer to bump the old guy off for him. In this one you be up against an army of undead, and a Lich.
The Stronghold of the Nine: As you venture to your last unexplored area, you come to a glade, where you find a druid, and a portal guarded by the apparition of a strange woman. The druid tells you that she has blocked path, and he wants you to speak to her. In doing so, the woman asks you to aid her, and come to her aid in the tower of the Stronghold of the Nine. Lots of undead, and an evil wizard in this one.
Wrap up: All in all, I found this mod to be a lot of fun to play, despite the couple of minor short comings. It definately is well worth downloading. I'll be keeping my eye out for the next chapter, so I can let you know how that one is. But give this one a try, I'm sure you'll like it.
Rated 8 out of 10. Very Good.
Reviewed by Lurchman 11/21/07
Constructive comments and opinions can be posted. Let us know what you think of the mod.