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About the Product
- Your city is under quarantine as a deadly plague decimates the population is running amok. You are sent on a quest to find a cure.
- You'll journey through ancient dungeons, battles allkinds of monsters, and learn the skills you need to become a mighty warrior
- Hire muscle or join up with other travelers to form war partys
- Incredible online multiplayer action -- you can be the dungeonmaster and control every facet of the adventure
- The unique new scripting language lets you design your own encounters
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Neverwinter Nights uses the Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition rules in (nearly) all their complex glory. It's the first game to attempt to fully support D&D 3E's customizable features, and more significantly, it's the first game designed to re-create the experience of playing tabletop D&D. You can play BioWare's extensive campaign alone or online with your friends, or you can use the included Aurora toolset to build your own adventure module and run it for your buddies with all the control you'd have if you were running a tabletop game. The powerful Dungeon Master client lets you put words in nonplayer characters' mouths, control monsters, alter the game world, and customize your adventure on the fly. If playing is your thing, you can join other people's games and play through encounters with other gamers around the world.
Everything works as it should and the game is beautiful to behold. BioWare has used a limited 3-D engine to allow you to spin your viewpoint around your character and zoom in on the action. During combat, Mages unleash spectacular spells, Priests raise their symbols to drive undead hordes back, and Rogues tinker with locked chests, while Fighters dodge, parry, and strike ferociously at any attacking beasts. The sound is topnotch, with BioWare's typically high-quality voice acting and music from composer Jeremy Soule.
But all isn't perfect.
The game makes a great effort of implementing the full D&D 3rd Edition rules, but doesn't quite succeed. In NWN, Paladins lose their Detect Evil and Mount abilities. Druids can shape change into animals, but can't change back to human form at will. Darkvision has no noticeable in-game effect. Troublesome issues for hard-core D&D fans, but it's understandable that some changes would have to be made in order to shoehorn a freeform tabletop RPG into a computer program.
Other issues are not so easy to understand: the camera controls are simple and will not allow the user to lower to decrease the camera angle--you'll never get anything approaching a character's-eye view of the world. Moving to a new section within a building or going from an indoor to an outdoor area takes you out of the game and presents you with a (mercifully short) "Loading" screen. There is an artificial limitation on how many henchmen you can hire in the single-player game: you're limited to one hireling, and Baldur's Gate fans will miss the squabbling party from earlier games. More significant are the problems that arise from trying to re-create a social experience like D&D in a computer game. Multiplayer games with strangers are confusing and not as fun as they sound and, like the tabletop game, they're really only as fun as the players and especially the DM you're playing with. Multiplayer NWN is only worthwhile if you have a dedicated group and a DM that knows what he or she is doing. The last drawback is the documentation. The manual is large and detailed but it omits key help in module creation; you have to buy a separate strategy guide if you want that information.
But though slightly flawed, NWN has indisputably won the holy grail of RPG gaming: getting the Dungeons & Dragons experience into a personal computer. The included campaign is fascinating and the tools are powerful enough to ensure a steady stream of module content from devoted fans. Make no mistake, Neverwinter Nights is an achievement and will likely change the way CRPGs are played from now on. It's a game no RPG fan, no D&D fan, should miss. --Bob Andrews
- Almost perfect implementation of D&D 3E rules
- Deep single-player game
- Intriguing multiplayer game
- Powerful module creation tools
- Not quite perfect implementation of D&D 3E rules
- "Loading" screens
- Inflexible 3-D camera
- Only one henchman
- Multiplayer is dependant on quality players and DM
Top Customer Reviews
Neverwinter Nights (NWN) is not a Massively Multiplayer Game, it wasn't designed to be such. It is not a single-player Game although it will ship with a single-player campaign. NWN was designed for a small group of players (up to 64 currently) to play through 4-5 hour modules (adventures) very similar to the way Pen and Paper Role-Playing campaigns are structured.
One person controls one character either totally independently or under the supervision of a live DM that can control the playing environment (for instance scaling back an encounter that is too tough for the players).
To PnP roleplayers this game will be a dream come true, a chance to move into the computer game world and create modules without having to learn complicated graphic arts and computer programming techniques. It will also be attractive to the MMORPG player who is tired of the endless pointless series of combats who craves a Roleplaying experience. It will challenge Mod Designers who have up-to-now had their own private playgrounds due to the steep learning curve cost of entering the world of Module Design.
Will this lead to a plethora of modules being produced (most of them bad)? I personally hope so, because as with PnP roleplaying it was typically never the bought modules that yielded the memorable experiences.
Neverwinter Nights will not be Baldur's Gate and it will not be EverQuest. It will be something different, its own game.
You see, Neverwinter has a different purpose (which I don't like)... and that's multiplayer, and creating your own "worlds" with the tool set. Don't get me wrong, the game is still fun... but it plays like a souped up version of Dungeon Siege. Unlike Baldurs Gate, Neverwinter lets you control only one character, instead of a whole 6-man/woman party. True, this is dissapointing in a way, but the game is meant for playing with other people, and that's where the parties form... so not really anything to worry about.
The game looks and plays almost identical to Dungeon Siege (which I hated)... the only difference is that Neverwinter uses the 3rd-Edition Dungeons and Dragons rules. And no, I'm not going to explain it. But just expect lots and lots of hack n' slash.
So, basically, this game really isn't anything special. It really isn't. Behind all the flashy D&D rules, lies good ol' hack n' slash. The only thing is that it's fun when your doing it with other people. I don't understand why many are saying that Baldurs fans will love this game, because I'm a huge Baldurs Gate fan, and I don't love it. However, I do LIKE it... it's a good, fun multi-player experience. No, it's not the end-all RPG... not even the best RPG this year (Morrowind is 20 times better). But if your looking for some fun multi-player gaming, then buy Neverwinter Nights. Just don't expect another masterpiece like Baldurs Gate II. And if you don't own Morrowind, get that instead of this...
Having said all that I want to comment specifically about the SP game: opinions are deeply divided on this issue, but IMO if you liked Bioware's previous CRPG offerings, the classics Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate 2, you are probably going to be disappointed with the NWN single player campaign. In a nutshell, you don't get a full party but instead can hire a single henchman, who has about as much character as a cold bowl of oatmeal. The story line is very linear, some would also say predictable. Loot is randomly generated, so you spend a LOT of time smashing open chests and barrels because you never know when you'll find something good in the most unlikely of places. All the screen art is composed using a limited set of standard tilesets, so it gets repetitive fast. The side quests, such as they are, tend strongly toward the "purolator" variety in which you simply retrieve an item and return it to the person who gave you the quest for a reward. Depending on which class you choose to play you may also find combat generally unchallenging. I could go on, but you get the idea. For many of us who thoroughly enjoyed the BG and BG 2 experience NWN was a major letdown.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Disks had been opened and there were notes written in the manual. Installation disks were corrupted; would not install. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY!!!!!!Published 16 months ago by Illinois/Texas Guy
12-8-2014: I've been playing NWN for most of my adult life. I learned to script and build my own world. It has not only been a game to me, but a creative outlet. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Seriously now
One of the best games I've ever played. Not only is the campaign amazing, but the extra modules are also great. The toolset is easy to use, and very functional. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
Good product, delivered quickly, and I have enjoyed it very much.Published on July 5, 2014 by Jerry
Lovely, often propelling, this game proved that core D&D play could be developed for a PC. Recommended for fantasy buffs.Published on June 25, 2014 by George Carr
After buying this game based on its touted "Almost perfect implementation of D&D 3E rules" I was infuriated to find that is a real-time rather than turn-based game, and as... Read morePublished on January 23, 2014 by Bohandas Banannafannafofondas