Icewind Dale was developed by Black Isle Studios and released for the PC by Interplay in 2002. It is set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, spanning across the realm of Icewind Dale.
Unlike other Infinity Engine games, Icewind Dale does not offer joinable NPCs to accompany the player in their travels; instead, full control over the six-member party is given. From the start, all six slots can be created with characters using AD&D 2nd edition rules that, by the end, can hack-and-slash their way through even the most difficult of foes.
Some non-combat aspects of CRPGs are not so well-tended as the combat system, and those used to other Black Isle Studios games may find the lack of side quests and party interaction disappointing, but the game is fast-paced and action-packed enough to make up for some of these disadvantages.Storyline
Your party is based in the town of Easthaven, where the town leader encourages you to accompany an expedition to the village of Kuldahar, where many strange things are reported to be happening. An ambush by frost giants and a subsequent avalanche almost completely destroys the envoy, leaving your party as the only survivors with no way of getting back to Easthaven.
You must press on to Kuldahar to meet with the Archdruid, Arundel, who informs you that because of many odd and harmful things, the Giant Tree is dying. He then asks you to try to find out what exactly is going on in Kuldahar, and stop it before the tree dies, taking the village of Kuldahar with it.
There is an expansion pack for Icewind Dale, called Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter, which adds a completely new campaign to play through, as well as changes and improvements to the ruleset, introducing several D&D 3rd Edition features.
Additionally, there is a short official add-on available for free download, called Heart of Winter: Trials of the Luremaster. IWD: TotLM adds another new campaign, as well as numerous new monsters and over 20 new areas to explore.
While there is not much active modding for the game, Icewind Dale has not been forgotten; there are a number of mods and customisations available at Sorcerers Place, and there is a Tweakpack available at the Gibberlings Three.