Neverwinter Review

Neverwinter (2013)

Developed by: Cryptic Studios
Published by: Perfect World Entertainment

Do you ever get tired of the standard tab-click-spam mmo's? Are you into Dungeons and Dragons? Are you shaking your had "no" because you have friends staring over your shoulder? It's okay, I won't judge you. For everyone else, there's Neverwinter. This fantasy mmo is set in Faerûn, mythical land from the Forgotten Realms set of Dungeons and Dragons. Neverwinter combines classic nerd gaming and atmosphere with ham-fisted action combat in a manner that sets itself apart from other mmo's like a Shamrock Shake sets itself apart from a regular vanilla milkshake: different and a bit niche. Just like a milkshake, anyone can pick it up and take a sip (it's a free-to-play mmo), but not everyone will like it. As a matter of fact, it just might make some downright sick. Because people who don't like D&D to begin with are like those with a lactose intol -- you know what, let's just move this along...

When you begin in Neverwinter, you are able to choose from 9 different races ranging from the standard human to the demonic tiefling to the sinister drow. Each class has its own benefits, but unlike the tabletop game, there are no penalties for choosing a race. There are a 6 different classes to choose from, each with their own primary and secondary attributes on which to focus. When you roll your character's stats, they are randomized, but for the min//maxers, you can reroll as many times as you want until you reach your desired scores. You are also able to choose your own background and which deity you wish to follow. In keeping with the spirit of the classic role-playing game, you are able to create your own back story.

Visually, Neverwinter looks pretty nice. Dungeons are dark and creepy. The countrysides...well, to be honest, visually, the game looks exactly how one would picture the Forgotten Realms after reading some of the books. Never read one? Go do it. They're pretty good, actually.

Combat in Neverwinter is real-time action, as opposed to the turn-based style of the tabletop game. It feels like Cryptic Studios did a fantastic solid to fans by trying to meet us halfway and give combat a more D&D feel. Skills do not use magic points like most (every?) other mmo, but instead are separated into three categories: At-Will (you can spam), Encounter (they have short cooldowns) and Daily (you accumulate action points during combat to unleash a powerful attack). Ultimately, this keeps the action flowing and gives the game a more palatable feel, as opposed to just being like every other mmo on the market.

Another cool aspect to the game is the Foundry. Through this system, you are able to create your own adventures and post them for others to play through as well. You can even get game quest credit for finishing eligible Foundry quests.

That being said, things aren't all sunny in the Forgotten Realms. Unfortunately for those with PvP in mind, there aren't many options available to indulge. This does effectively put a damper on those of a more Chaotic Evil alignment, but perhaps something will change in the future. Until then, Neverwinter is still a solid game with much to offer. Check it out on Steam or through Arc Games.





Overall Rating: Down To The Bone

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