Icewind Dale II takes place a generation after the event of the first installment of the series. Once again, an unknown evil threatens the ten-towns and a brave party of adventurers is hired to investigate and defeat it. What begins as a simple goblin invasion targeting the city of Targos quickly turns out to be the vanguard of something far more sinister...
Like its predecessor, ID2 uses Black Isle's Infinity Engine and the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms setting. The rules have changed though, as ID2 uses the third edition D&D ruleset.
The player controls a party of up to 6 adventurers. Battles are a mixture of realtime and turn-based (player's choice). As an Icewind Dale series game, it is much more combat-oriented than other Infinity Engine games like Planescape:Torment or Baldur's Gate. There are more races (such as Drow, Tiefling or Aasimar) and classes choice (monk, sorcerer...), thanks to the third edition D&D rules.
The game includes a multiplayer option, as well as an Heart of Fury mode, in which combat is much more deadly but where the characters can reach 30th level and find better equipment than in normal mode.