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2000 RPG Game of the Year
GameSpy looks back at the year 2000 and pays homage to the best of the bunch.
By The GameSpy Staff

RPG Game of the Year
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
BioWare and Black Isle Studios

For over twenty-five years, Dungeons and Dragons has been a popular and dominant franchise for fantasy role-playing. Two years ago, the Forgotten Realms adventure Baldur's Gate from BioWare appeared in Christmas stockings and went on to win computer RPG of the Year. BioWare did not rest on their laurels, but set out create an even better sequel, incorporating many fans' suggestions. Their efforts have paid off as Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn is an exceptional game and our RPG of the Year.

After your victory in Baldur's Gate, you are mysteriously kidnapped to the southern state of Amn, and imprisoned in an unusual jail where you are experimented upon. You escape captivity, but soon learn your nemesis is the mage Jon Irenicus, after he whisks away your friend Imoen and torments you in your dreams. To piece the complex plot together you must roam throughout Amn, the Underdark and even the Abyss. Joining you in your adventure, are an opinionated selection of non-player characters, including the beloved Minsc and his trusty hamster Boo.

Many new features were added to the Shadows of Amn including 800 x 600 resolution, a hideable interface, 3D spell effects, and all new animations. The ambient sounds, music and voice acting were all excellent. Characters could be from a new race, twenty new subclasses, and now use over three hundred spells. One-hundred monsters were available to torment your party including five types of awesome dragons, so big they blocked much of the screen.

The word that sums up Baldur's Gate II the best is depth. In recent years, no other title has given you so many choices and so much gameplay, in such a polished package. BioWare continues to raise the bar for the game's they, and we, want to play.

For the winner of the Gamers' Choice Award in the RPG category, visit RPGPlanet.

Baldur's Gate II Essentials: Next: Diablo II and Vampire...

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