|Role Playing Game|
Interplay £19.99 PC CD-ROM Out Now
Pentium 2 266MHz
64MB of RAM
600MB Hard Drive Space
+ a copy of Icewind Dale
Heart of Winter is the official add-on for Icewind Dale. The pack adds some new territories, raises the experience cap, adds further spells and features and best of all updates the graphics to look as beautiful as those found in Baldur's Gate II. There are several ways you can play the game. You can either start from scratch (play Icewind Dale from the beginning) with all the new features from the off or you can resume a saved game from Icewind Dale or you can just play the expansion levels with a newly created party. If you want to play the expansion territories from a previously saved game your characters must be level nine or above (a 5/4 split is allowed if your character is multi-class). To access the Heart of Winter areas you must goto Hjollder's house in Kuldahar. If your characters are not level nine or above Hjollder will tell you to return when you are stronger.
about 100 new items. More powerful weapons can be located in the new territories.
There are also 59 new spells including Lance of Disruption and Sunfire.
There is also gem bags, scroll bags and potion bags. These allow you to
carry more items as the bags only take up one item slot and they themselves
can hold quite a few items. The interface can now be dropped away either partially
or fully. Personally I found it unfamiliar without the interface and always
played with it but its nice to have the option. Some character classes have
received new abilities. An example of this is the Ranger who can now use the
'Tracking' ability to ascertain what type of creatures have recently passed
through the area. It is also possible to get your characters to level 30. Also
some of the abilities that your characters receive at certain levels have now
The main problem with Heart of Winter is that the extra territories within the game are far too short and will only take a day or two to complete. Don't get me wrong Black Isle Studios are masters of the RPG and Heart of Winter is no exception to their excellent catalogue. However, because of the shortness of the game you won't get to appreciate all the fine tuning and additions that they have made to Icewind Dale which is the greatest shame of all.
The Black Isle Studios/Interplay RPGs have always been wonderful for deaf gamers and Heart of Winter does not disappoint. The reference chart and manual are both useful but it is the quality of the subtitling within the game that really shines. All the actions within the game are very visual. From the spells to the quality of the tooltips and general layout of the interface these games are wonderful to play for anyone.
Click the thumbnails to see the big picture.
Overall Game Rating: 9/10 Very good but let down somewhat by its shortness.
Quality of text: 10 Perfect. If only every game was as well subtitled.
Graphics: 9 2D graphics are stretched to the limit.
Interface: 10 Makes a complex game a doddle with its wonderful interface.
Gameplay: 7 Too short. Very good but too short.