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Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn is a role-playing video game developed by BioWare and published by Interplay Entertainment. It is the sequel to Baldur's Gate (1998) and was released for Microsoft Windows in September 2000. Like Baldur's Gate, the game takes place in the Forgotten Realms—a fantasy campaign setting—and is based on the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition rules. Powered by BioWare's Infinity Engine, Baldur's Gate II uses an isometric perspective and pausable real-time gameplay. The player controls a party of up to six characters, one of whom is the player-created protagonist, while the others are certain characters recruited from the game world.
Set in the fictional Forgotten Realms, much of Baldur's Gate II takes place in and around Athkatla, a city in the country of Amn. Opening shortly after the events of Baldur's Gate, the game continues the story of the protagonist, Gorion's Ward, whose unique heritage has now gained him or her the attention of Jon Irenicus, a powerful and sinister mage. The storyline revolves around the machinations of Irenicus and the player's encounters with him.
Development began in January 1999. BioWare set out to improve upon the first Baldur's Gate in every way possible. From a list of constructive criticism—compiled from the suggestions of fans, reviews, and internal suggestions—a list of features to be added to the game was distilled: some of these were 800 x 600 resolution, 3D support, and character kits. In Baldur's Gate, the game's engine and content were being developed at the same time; whereas in Baldur's Gate II, the engine was running from the start. Having a completed engine meant they could direct their efforts towards producing content, instead of focusing on basic functionality.
Shadows of Amn received critical acclaim, being praised for its gameplay, artwork, and voice acting, and is often noted as one of the greatest role-playing games of all time. GameSpy, GameSpot, and IGN awarded it their "Role-Playing Game of the Year" awards for 2000, and the game has sold more than two million units. An expansion pack, Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, was released in 2001. Besides adding a large dungeon and enhancements to the game, this well-received expansion concluded the Child of Bhaal saga. Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal have also been included together in various compilations. In 2013, an enhanced version of Baldur's Gate II was released, bearing the title Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition and using an updated version of the Infinity Engine.
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Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn System Requirements
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP
- Processor: Pentium 1 0.3 GHz
- RAM: 32 MB
- Video Card: 16 MB
- Hard disk space: 800 MB