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Neverwinter Nights (Classic Game)

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  • yearing for the gold to buy better equipment
  • You live in a fantasy land of your own
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      15.04.2003 19:24
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      • "You live in a fantasy land of your own"

      Baldurs Gate, Baldurs Gate 2, Silver, Dungeon Siege, the Might and Magic Series, to name but a few of the great role playing games of PC history. These are all blown away in the glory and success of Neverwinter Nights. It just reeks of quality, imagination, effort and most of all it is there to take away precious sleeping time! Buying the game cost me £30.00, because I'm a cardholder at Game, but it will have come down to about that by now as I got mine the week it came out. It is a three CD game altogether, requiring all three for installation. The installation took a good 10 minutes, as my computer only just fits the requirements for the game. The background of the game stems back to the classic "Dungeons and Dragons" era, when fantasylands were sweeping nations across the world. It follows the rules of Dungeons and Dragons, and if you are not familiar with these rules, it does not matter, just as long as you are interested in fantasy, adventure and medieval/old age genres. The storyline is totally original and takes many twists and turns, leading to an absolutely awesome finale, with a somewhat disappointing aftermath. I will only describe the first part of the story, as I do not want to ruin anything for new players. Those who have already played it will already know of the storyline. You are a character (chosen out of your own tastes, which I will describe shortly), starting in the training school, in which you have practicing for some time. The training school is set in Neverwinter, which is ridden with plague (similar to black death) and is rumoured to be incurable. You start off in your chamber and after leaving there you do a little training and receive a "graduation" from Aribeth (a female elf, working very high up in Neverwinter. Suddenly enemies appear and a battle starts. The building is awash with goblins and evil priests. You battle your way through and eventually come to meet Aribeth once more. She tells you that the animals, which could be linked to a cure for the plague, were in these barracks and have been stolen. It then becomes apparent it is your job to recover these animals. How is that for an explosive start? This is not the main story either!! I managed to complete this after hours of play, and thought to myself "Wow, what a great game!? It turns out that is about 30% of the game completed! I was gob smacked! Anyway, let us move onto the bit you want to hear about! The first screen has fantastic art, as just the background. It is of a bearded man holding a quill, a really nice touch for you to see when first loading up the game. Neverwinter Nights is composed of four different elements; Campaign (the story mode I have described above), the Toolset, DM (Dungeon Master) client and the Multiplayer option. The toolset allows you to create campaigns of your own, with statistics for enemies, items and quests. This is very interesting and some of the most intelligent and controversial gaming ideas I have come across. It is quite surprising as it gives full power to the player and almost creates a whole new "gaming station" for the player to create his own game! The DM client is very complicated. It allows one to control what happens in the game, to any and every extent. You can possess characters, changes settings, create enemies and all in real time, just at the click of your mouse! You can be a God and do whatever you please! Impressive or what? The multiplayer option. This is where you can load up a saved character (a different option in game, to saving the game) and play with your pals online. You are able to play the storyline, gain experience or items or just explore levels you have not been able to get to before. The whole concept is very much about exercising your free will, because the whole game is about broadening gaming boundaries and allowing oneself to explore every possibility. Sele cting your character. Now this will all boil down to your personality and personal tastes. I, for instance, am a Dwarvish Fighter. I do not like chitchat and I want to get the job done, regardless of consequences. You may want to be a halfling rogue. Someone who is sneaky, and do anything in his power to kill a group of orcs without being seen once! A cleric would fight for what is right, and heal himself on the way there. You get the idea! The races include; Human, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling, Gnome, Half-Elf end Half-Orc. All of them have special abilities and "defects" (except the human, because we are just boring, right?). The classes which you can choose after the race are; Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer and Wizard. Giving you a large scope of what abilities and flaws you want your character to possess (all of which are made apparent to you when choosing your character). After this, you are able to choose abilities, skills, feats and alignment of your character. Again all of this relies on what kind of person you are. You can also choose what skin colour and how your character is dressed. As you go on the AI is outstanding, because your weapons/clothes change as you equip/unequip them! During the game, it is possible to hire 'henchman', or companions, to help you during your quest. Theycharge you money, but become stronger and stronger just like you do. You control their actions and request things of them. They are quiet useful really! As time goes on, and you defeat more and more enemies, your Gold Pieces and your Experience gradually increases. You can carry a certain amount of items, which you can sell/use depending on what you need. The Experience will lead you to a new level, and this leads to the learning of new skills and the strengthening of your character, in order to cope with the stronger enemies and bosses. The graphics are just awe inspiring. Bioware have got not hing to worry about here. The detail of each monster has been carefully crafted to every curve and colour. There is even shimmer from heat haze coming from torches on the walls. 3-D shadows are cast as well, depending on where the light is coming from. Of course the graphics will change depending on how good your PC is. On lowest graphic settings you do have amazing graphics, including 3-D shadows, but they could be better. On the highest, the animations and textures are absolutely outstanding! You could not have asked for any better! The game play itself is smooth, crisp, flowing and fast. The battles are awash with colour and extreme interaction takes place. The hand-to-hand combat is to some extent "real" when you zoom in, the weapons collide and shields block etc. Objects become smashed in real time animation, as do doors and the unlocking/opening of doors too. No detail has been spared, except for the uniqueness of the buildings. Unfortunately, they may differ in size, but the all look the same. As do the caves and some areas of the Neverwinter Wood. Unfortunately when talking with characters, you have a little cartoon type picture of him/her in the corner of the dialogue box, which is very unvariable. This does come a crosss a little lazy and quite boring, as the potrayel of the in game graphics reflects poorly on the re-appearing cartoon image of certain races. The sounds correspond very well to the game. Except, some areas of speech are either missing or non-existent. Either way, there is inconstancy, which needs some work on in my point of view. I know it would be difficult to cover the whole game, but the passing in and out of dialogue, does give the game a bit of a shoddy and there it has been unclearly thought through. The music on the other hand is very thrilling and gets you on the edge of your seat. It does tend to die down, but when an enemy is sighted *DUH DUM* you jump up at 3:00am and realise you are wasting your life! ! On that note, you will waste valuable beauty sleep playing this mammoth of a game. There is at least 100 hours of play in this little beauty, but you can easily double that by accomplishing the in game quests and not just sticking to the storyline. Nowadays there are hundreds of modules for you to check out and test. These modules are mini campaigns, which have been created on the toolset (described above). So, if you have a good PC, a good imagination, a good amount of free time to waste and a good 25-30 quid to spend, what are you waiting for? The game is only going to satisfy 11/12 years or older. The path in which you must follow is very simple, but how you get there must be strategically planned and followed up with great thought to get the most out of this game. Anyone who indulges in any type of fantasy (whether it be board games, Dungeons and Dragons or classic novels, such as Lord of The Rings), this game will get you thinking like your chosen character in no time! Give it a go, but be warned there are known to be glitches, which do not ruin the game in the slightest, they just make you think about how it could be improved, which is a little depressing, I suppose! Then you realise it outclasses any other game in my opinion, so do not complain!

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      • More +
        05.03.2003 22:55
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        Neverwinter Nights (NWN), is a great game in its own right... but it's far from perfect. If you have played previous D&D and AD&D Bioware games, you will need to enter this game with an open mind as it's nothing .... nothing at all like what you are going to be used to. NWN has 2 modes which are totally different, the first is single player which IMHO is a great let down. Instead of the usual party you control from previous Bioware D&D games you are stuck with just one character, although you are able to hire a "henchman" it does take away a great deal of game play as you have very, very minimal control over this henchman, in fact you have about as much control over your henchman as you do an untrained dog, being able to only issue commands like stay, fight, guard etc. While the single player game is strong on plot it is dry, although this is backed up by the usual seemingly infinite amount of sub quests, it does not help the main flow of the game. The main let down of this is the fact that there is no ending to the game, still to this day there is an online petition urging Bioware to release a proper ending to the single player campaign. While NWN isn't the RPG that BG and BG2 have become so popular for it does have its own perks, throughout the entire single player game there will be moments that will make you say "wow" to yourself, there are some real amazing effects and sounds and I guarantee that there will be moment you are hanging off your chair and even some that will make you jump out of it. In short the single player mode of NWN makes for a nice hack N slash but if your looking for some real hardcore roleplaying this part of the game sadly doesn?t deliver. The second part of NWN is the Multiplayer side of the game and this is a totally different ball game. Even if you have played the single player campaign all the way though and think you have seen everything you are sooooo mistaken. Multi player is handled by custom player modules ( campaigns ) being run on servers which you can connect to and play, without ever downloading the custom module. While there are several hindered modules to chose from some really shine above others and it is here where NWN comes into its own league of game play. Thanks to many very talented individuals within the NWN community the game of NWN has been rewritten for multiplayer, each server has its own qualities, custom ideas, monsters, items etc etc, in short the multiplayer game is what ever you want it to be ( or rather what ever the person who owns the server you are playing on wants it to be ). While there are many, many more features of the game, it would be impossible to write a full review of this game as a worthy review would take some 4-5 pages to do so. While the game is one of the most customisable I have seen ( besides the sims ), it does have certain limits to its customisation, but thankfully the NWN community are breaking these barriers on a daily basis. One other small annoyance is the fact that Bioware appear to be releasing a patch for the game almost every 4-6 weeks and is now on version 1.28 although these are mainly addresses to Multiplayer mode issues and additions. Something to also look forward to is the release of 2 new expansion packs within the near future, which this it is fair to say that NWN is going to be around for some time and can only get bigger an better. NWN is the best online RPG I have ever played BG2 is the best offline RPG I have ever played That?s about as fair as one could be.

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          18.09.2002 16:43
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          Neverwinter Nights is the latest RPG to come from the masters of RPG that are Bioware... Well, I haven't actually played any of their other RPGs(English ones anyway) before, to be honest with you - Neverwinter Nights is the first RPG that I've decided to play. It is based upon "Dungeons and Dragons 3rd edition rules" , but do not let that intimidate you or scare you off! There is no turn-based combat here! Bioware have cleverly designed a real-time system that uses the D&D rules without you even knowing it! There is no frantic hacking and slashing to be found either - you click on the enemy you want to hit, and your character will do so until it is dead. Before I go onto how the game is played we'll take a look at the story. The game has 4 chapters, but we'll just look at the first one, so as not to spoil any surprises -OK? You start off as a newly trained hero in the city of Neverwinter. A mysterious and evil plague has besieged the city and it is up to you to find the cure for it. Simple eh? The young leader of Neverwinter, Lady Aribeth is onhand to answer most of your questions and you'll find some other informative characters around the city too. Well... I suppose I can tell you that some thing is behind the evil plague - and it must be stopped. But thats it. I can't tell you any more without spoiling the fun of experiencing it for yourself! Seriously. You create youor character by selecting race, class (fighter, magician, etc.) and a variety of criteria dictated by the D&D rules. Although there is a huge number of possible combinations, I personally find that most characters look samey - maybe this is so that they blend in with the game... a small gripe. At the start of the game, you can choose to talk to someone who teaches you the basics of the game - this can be skipped if you've played before. For some reason I was quite impressed with this feature. Rather than have a completely separate tutorial mo de - the training is all incorporated to the main game. Very neat. The scripting is very good. It feels like you're reading (or listening) to a fantasy novel when you converse with characters - and this provides an extremely high level of immersion. You see some games are bought, loaded, played, then played again the next day. After that it might be 2 days later. Then a week later. Neverwinter Nights has had me gripped from beginning to the end. And I still want to play through it again as a different character. Thats what you call addiciton. You do have the option of hiring a henchman in the game. The tyhpe of henchman you choose is supposed to be vital in the game. If you are a fighter, then a sorceror is meant to be a good choice. However.....being quite a fight first ask questions later person, I hired the Red Tiger - a huge Uthgardt warrior who could smash up any door, chest or person I told him to! The graphics are very nice indeed. The game is fully 3D, although you'll need quite a good machine to run it on the "Best" setting - like mine..hehehe... Grass blows in the wind - you have multiple castings of shadows - thanks to the dynamic lighting feature... Some of the temples you'll enter look just fabulous. I did read one review of NWN in the US version of PC Gamer Magazine. They said that areas looked samey - due to the tile-set creation method. I would say that this only applies to areas like dungeons and caves... but since you are only based in such a relatively small area around Neverwinter I would expect land features to be similar...(or am I making up excuses for Bioware?!!) The music and sounds are good. Just good. THe voice acting is nice to hear for a while, but I find that I can read faster, so I dont bother listen to what people say. Perhaps this is due to my previous experience of playing Japanese styled RPGs. The music swiftly changes from the calm forest music to the battle anthem wh eneve r you..erm...battle. This somewhat reminds me of the old LucasArts SCUMM games - y'know Sam n Max, Day of the Tentacle.... Bioware include a map-maker-thingy that lets you create your own missions and quests. I havent had the time to tinker with this yet.. but I'm sure its good. CHeck out the official website and you'll find loads of fanmade modules to download.. The controls are good too. Nothing to shout about - then again you can't really innnovate with control systems can you? ANyway - onto the GOOD and BAD. First with the BAD. There are a few bugs in Neverwinter Nights. Some annoying, some just minor. I'm sure they can be fixed by downloading a patch....but I'm just sooooo lazy to bother! Basically the most annoying one is when I reached the end of Chapter 2. Nothing would happen. Do you know how mad I was? I was thinking...all those hours of gameplay wasted! Looking back on the experience it made me realise how much I love this game! I managed to progress the game thanks to its handy Debug Mode... which also can be used for cheats (if you like doing so). I had to search for at least an hour on the internet before I found a way round the problem.. THe minor bugs include: the way your character sometimes does nothing. You tell it to hit the big baddie...and nothing. He/She just gets beat up. Also, your henchman has an affinity to getting stuck in walls. Or just not moving at all. I recall once in the first chapter where I managed to get stuck on the roof of a building. A quick reload was the only cure!However because I like the game so much, I'll over look them:) The GOOD The graphics, the story- oh yes the story! Never has such a plot with so many twists and turns been incorporated into a game so well before. Maybe my opinion will change after I play some more RPGs, but for now - I am deliriously happy! THe plot keeps you guessing as to what will happen next, and some of the decisions that othe r characters make will shock you, or maybe confirm your suspicisions. One more thing....you won't go out much when you play this game.. AND it affects your mind....I mean - when I went to church on Sunday I was looking around frantically for some sorta chest or big wooden door to smash up and loot.... then I realised I was in the real world!! Its not often that a game has that affect on me! I think I've rambled on enough now. I think I've covered everything.. if I haven't then tell me. I'll fix it up. This game deserves that!

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            05.08.2002 02:25
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            Neverwinter Nights allows you to build your own worlds and let up to 64 people play it. This is a huge part of the game weather your a player or game designer. Theres a great feeling when you have people playing your module on the internet so heres some tips for creation. 1) Saving Always save your module every change you make. The module toolset is quite buggy and does crash quite often. Some people dont get any errors and some crash every five minutes The point is that the toolset is unstable so take care not to loose your work. Its also worth mentioning that you should also not overwrite your previous saves - make multiple copies. It may take up disk space but if the editor crashes while your saving you dont want to loose the lot do you? 2) Plan your module. Dont just think of one good idea in a dungeon and start building from the inside out. If you have a good story idea or an idea for a weapon or encounter, dont just start to create an area around it. Start from where the players will start and build it upwards. This stops lots of time later on which you spend filling plot holes badly. Plan a definate start, middle and end. Some modules are excellent but fall down when they leave the players wanting when the end is an anti-climax. 3) Introduction. This is where the players start. Dont just drop them in a dungeon. Most of the time a village or tavern will be the starting point. If its not a single player module then give them things to do while waiting for other players to join. If you dont they will get bored and leave. Make sure you give them an introduction from a book or speaking to a character. From this they should know where to go and what to do and any reward. This may sound basic but you would be suprised at the amount of modules I've joined to be dumped in a forest or dungeon not knowing what to do. 4) Configure module properties. This is what the players s ee when choosing a module to play. Give details like advised party size, player level range, if its mainly fighting or roleplaying etc. 5) Make sure new players can join existing games. If a party is already on level 5 of the dungeon, how will new players join them? Do they have to wade through corpses for an hour to catch them up? Can they teleport to a waypoint that has been activated by the main party? Do they have to wait to form there own new party? These are all questions that you will have to deal with. 6) Make encounters respawn Theres nothing worse than joining a game and all the monsters have been killed by someone else earlier. Make monsters respawn for the next party to come across. 7) Play testing Make sure you have played your module end to end and it all works. If you release a module that people play for 2 hours and then cant complete it - its a bad advert for you module, even if you fix it later. Put out a beta release for people to play and give you feedback. 8) Plagerise code. It will take a while for you to pick up the scripting side of the toolset as its like the C programming language. Until you have mastered this, copy code from the Scripting Forum on the Bioware website. Just make sure you credit the people that originally wrote it. 9) Balance The encounters should be at a level that arnt easy or impossible for the players. There are a few modules where you spend a few hours killing things easily and the boss at the end is near impossible. 10) Advertise Upload your module to nwvault.com and wait for feedback! Host a game yourself and wait for the players to start. I've designed a few modules and hopefully these tips will help new module designers. Happy building!

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              16.07.2002 05:19
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              Introduction Neverwinter Nights is destined to be the biggest free-time absorbing black hole in my entire PC games collection. Leaving aside the finer details for a moment, there is a huge single-player campaign that has already sucked up many hours of my time, and yet I am only two thirds through the second chapter, with more chapters yet to come. Added to that is a multi-player adventure provided with the game. The real lasting value of the game shines through, however, with the inclusion of a full-blown adventure toolkit, allowing fans of the game around the world to create their own masterpieces and share them with others. The potential gameplay time is therefore unlimited, and I, for one, look forward to seeing many high quality productions appearing around the internet for download. Character Diversity Neverwinter Nights is based upon the Dungeons and Dragons pen-and-paper role-playing game, and as such has a great deal of game rules and material to draw upon. Players have 7 races and 11 classes (professions) to select from, and the skills and feats system makes an even greater amount of diversity possible within even just one class. For example, one fighter may be an enormous powerhouse capable of cleaving heads from shoulders, whereas another may be a slender dextrous marksman who can pierce your eye with an arrow from 50 yards. Also, the ability to choose your alignment from the nine available (a combination of lawful/neutral/chaotic and good/neutral/evil) allows yet further diversity in the way a character is played. A chaotic good fighter could be a Robin Hood type who defends the needy, whereas a chaotic neutral fighter could be a loyal mercenary - but only loyal to hard coin. Plot The plot of the single-player campaign starts with a deadly plague that neither medicine nor magic seems capable of curing. As the plot unfolds, the player becomes instrumental in the search for the cure. I will say no mor e since, as every true RPG player knows, the plot is everything, and I don't wish to spoil it. There is one strong central plot line to follow, plus plenty of side-plots which can either be ignored, or pursued for the rewards of experience (which in turn awards additional levels for your character, meaning greater abilities and powers) and treasure (such as magical items to enhance your character further). Personally, I follow every lead and complete every task offered to me, in order to enjoy the game to the full, and also in the aim of reaching the highest character level possible. It is also worth mentioning one feature regarding the plot that seems scarce in many games; non-linearity. By this, I mean that you are not fixed to one particular order of doing things, nor are you forced to complete everything if you choose not to. At one point in the single-player campaign, you have three very distinct areas to search, and these are each huge, and can be worked through in any order, and you can even tackle all three simultaneously, a bit of each at a time. Variety is also present, so that you do not spend several hours hacking through the same old enemies over and over again. Microsoft's recent game "Dungeon Siege" suffered in both these areas - the plot was very linear (you just kept plodding along the single path through the game) and at times tedious (repeatedly encountering the same creatures over and over again, and with very little to do besides the main story). Henchmen Whilst the single-player campaign revolves around your single character, it is possible to be 'in control' of multiple people/creatures. You are able to hire a henchman, and it is also possible to summon animals and other creatures if you have the relevant spells and/or abilities. My druid is regularly accompanied by my henchman (a rogue, able to detect/remove traps, and pick locks on doors and treasure chests - invaluable talents), m y animal companion (a dire wolf), and a summoned creature (usually a dire tiger or dire bear). Whilst these extra people/creatures are under your control via orders ("attack nearest", "follow me", etc.), they have minds of their own, and therefore choose their own targets in battle, and can also disobey your orders if tempted (although I have found that continually repeating orders often works around this problem if you desperately want your followers to remain out of the area affected by the particularly devastating spell you are halfway through casting!). Role-playing The above method of having a single player accompanied by computer-controlled assistance is a step away from the party-based predecessors, and takes a little getting used to, but ultimately means you concentrate on the play and development of a single character, which I find more interesting and somewhat easier to develop a personality for - this can be particularly relevant for multi-player games, since you can elect to join a multi-player game with emphasis on role-playing, where you act the part of your character, rather than just being a gamer. I have joined a few games now with my druid, and I have been known to attack other players when they have needlessly harmed animals, something my character would feel strongly about. Whilst it wasn't the best decision in terms of surviving (I had to flee when the majority of the party took the other player's side), it was fun to play; temporarily sacrificing my character's progress in favour of acting the part. Role-playing games aren't just about winning through to the end, but about the fun of playing a character who may act, feel, and believe differently to ourselves. Graphics Unlike the fixed-camera isometric-like view of this game's predecessors (such as Baldur's Gate), this game uses a movable camera centred upon the player, which can be rotated around the player, and also tilted to view from directly above (birds-eye view) or almost level. The bird's-eye view is often helpful for a strategic overview of a battle situation, whereas the more level view is handy when exploring, as you can see more into the distance to help you see what lies ahead. I have a reasonably powerful graphics card (a GeForce2 Ultra), and thus am able to raise all the detail settings to maximum without much slow down, and this results in a very detail-rich view, from the textures used to the shadows. The shadows are particularly effective in the nighttime, creating a very enthralling and engrossing atmosphere. Another graphical extravaganza is to be found in the magic system - casting spells plus the spell effects themselves are extremely impressive. Finally, the combat graphics are entertaining to watch - rather than repeated clashing weapons together, there are various manoeuvres such as ducking under and jumping over swipes, dodging out the way, and parrying. Sound The sound also adds to the atmosphere, with different background sound effects for day and night that help set the scene, plus in-battle music which raises the tension. I am also impressed with the amount of dialogue that is accompanied by speech, rather than just having lots of reading to plough through. I find having a voice to associate with another character in the game adds a great deal to the experience of 'meeting' them. Nearly every piece of conversation from the major plot characters is accompanied by the relevant speech. Controls Since the game is mainly designed to be played in real-time (although a handy pause feature is available in single-player mode so that you can sit back and make some tactical adjustments in relative safety), it was important that the game developers created a slick control system in order to make it easy to control your character. Fortunately, they succeeded. First of all is what is referred to as th e 'radial menu' - this pops up with a right-click of the mouse, and is context-sensitive; right-click on your henchman, and you are presented with options relating to your henchman. Right-click on yourself, or an enemy, or a locked chest, and you will be presented with different menus as appropriate. However, whilst this presents all the available options in each case, it can be a little unwieldy in the middle of a battle. Thankfully, the quick-bar is the solution to this problem, presenting three blocks of twelve quickslots to which you can assign any spell, ability, piece of equipment, command, or any other menu item. One block of twelve is visible at the bottom of the screen, and the other two blocks can be brought up by holding either a shift key or a control key. The actually quickslots can be activated by a simple click, or by pressing the relevant function key. Whilst this takes a little while to get set up exactly as you want it, once done, this provides a very quick and intuitive way of accessing the frequently used abilities of your character. With my character, I am able to have all my spells and druid special abilities (such as shape-shifting) accessible from the quickbar. Pen-and-Paper to Computer, and the DM client Dungeons and Dragons is itself a pen-and-paper based role-playing game, with much of the acting done in person ("speaking in character") and much left to the imagination. I am a huge fan of the game itself, having played it on and off for the last twelve years. I was interested, therefore, to see how Neverwinter Nights compared with the "real thing". I am impressed. I honestly believe that Neverwinter Nights has the ability to steal a great number of people from the pen-and-paper-based game; I'm sure, conversely, that there will still be plenty of die-hard role-players that will stay loyal to the old ways. One feature of the pen-and-paper game was the requirement to have a Dungeon Master. The 'DM' is responsible for much, from the creation of the adventure the players will play through, to the management of the foes the characters will face, and even as referee when the written rules don't quite cover a particular situation. With a computer on the scene, however, the need for a DM is greatly diminished, as much of the game mechanics are now behind the scenes and automated. Also, whilst someone still needs to actually create an adventure, they are not necessarily required to actually run it, since the computer can be programmed to deal with most likely events. However, the Neverwinter Nights developers added the ability for a player to take part as the Dungeon Master, using a special game client which enables full control over the various components of the adventure; particularly useful when one of the players wants to ask a question of the all-powerful allied wizard which the creator of the adventure did not foresee. Whilst I have yet to experiment with this feature of the game (or indeed the adventure creation toolset), the information I have read states that the DM is able to 'possess' people, thus enabling him to override any pre-programmed responses, or even provide answers to those unforeseen questions. As may be obvious, this feature alone allows even greater flexibility and depth to what is already a very varied and engrossing game. NWN vs BG I am a great fan of the Baldur's Gate series, owning all four products (BG1 + expansion, BG2 + expansion), and greatly enjoyed the unfolding storyline. Other fans of this will be pleased to hear that the story in Neverwinter Nights is of similar excellent quality, not only with the main plot, but the side plots as well. There are even some side plots that are character-class specific; for example, my druid has taken part in a druidic contest. The move away from a party-based system to a character-based system was a bold mo ve, and I believe it has worked well. After playing all four parts of Baldur's Gate, something different was required. That said, I will disappointed if there are no further games akin to Baldur's Gate, too. Also, the change of perspective, graphically, was a major change, and again I believe it has worked well. Whilst having a revolving camera takes a little getting used to, I found it easy, especially having played Dungeon Siege lately, which has a very similar camera system. Gripes Neverwinter Nights is not perfect. [cue gasps of surprise] Firstly, I find the interface a little confusing on occasion. This is not helped by the fact that the minimap is a fixed orientation, with north always at the top. When you are facing a different way, it sometimes takes a few attempts to start walking in the correct direction! Another problem with the interface seems to be the inability to move the 'windows' around - e.g. your inventory, the map, etc. I would particularly like to move the compass from the bottom right of the screen to the top, to help combat the problem with the map I just mentioned. It can also be tricky to click on a specific item such as a crate or chest, particularly when you are well endowed in the henchman/creature department. I usually have four team members (including my own character), and trying to click on an item amongst them all is tricky at best. Usually I have to resort to either the birds-eye view, or even moving away, telling everyone to stay where they are ("hold ground"), and then have a clear shot at the item in question. A similar clutter problem occurs when I click on a locked item - my henchman rogue usually has a hard time negotiating his way past my two creatures. Again, I regularly have to move away from the item to create space, tell my creatures to stay put, and then try again. Whilst these interface problems are all irritation s, it is at least possible to work around them. The two latter problems certainly don't tend to occur much at all when there are only two team members present. Another gripe I have is the multi-player requirements. Each copy of the game comes with a CD key, and this enables you to register an account on the Neverwinter Nights central servers. One copy, one player. You cannot play with the same CD key on more than one machine at any one time, meaning anyone else in the house, including a visiting friend, is unable to play in a multi-player game with you. Considering the (in my opinion) high prices of computer games, I find this grotesquely unfair. Whilst I realise this 'feature' is present to help combat piracy, I think it is overly restrictive, and a limit of four players per CD key would stop excessive 'sharing' whilst still enabling more people to enjoy the multi-player game. I will leave this topic alone here, since I have written about it elsewhere. I just wanted to point out the overly restrictive requirements of this particular game here. Conclusion As I stated at the beginning, Neverwinter Nights is destined to be the biggest free-time absorbing black hole in my entire PC games collection. Overall, the gameplay is exquisite, and highly enjoyable. The expandability, thanks to the provision of the toolset (which, incidentally, was actually used by the developers to create the massive single-player campaign) is truly unlimited, and that should provide much entertainment for many months, even years, to come. It will be very very difficult indeed to ever become bored with Neverwinter Nights, and that makes the game extremely good value for money. There aren't many ways to get hundreds of hours of entertainment in a 30-quid package.

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                12.07.2002 23:34
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                • "yearing for the gold to buy better equipment"

                Neverwinter Nights neither disappoints nor gets u frustrated. I have played most adventure and RPG's but this certainly ranks as the cream of the crop. It has taken the crown from Baldur's Gate and ascended to another level. Diversifying plots, multiple paths, and a great multiplayer ...... I just can't get enough!! Beware the high caffeine factor and lack of sunlight or sleep .... this game will have you playing for aeons and even then u'll only make a dent into the gameplay! Just get over the key assignment and keyboard control hurdle and u'll be well away with the greatest of adventuring!!! I take my hat off to you Bioware! :o)

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                  09.07.2002 01:09
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                  Frankly disappointing. After being addicted to Baldurs Gate 1&2 I was hoping this was going to be at least on similar lines, but better. While I welcome innovation they've chopped out too much that worked and replaced it with stuff that doesn't. Most annoying - no party = goodbye to complex - but controllable - fight tactics. The change means there is considerably less scope for changing tactics in particular battles. The henchmen system just doesnt work as well. Navigation is also a pain, and the drop downs are slow and unwieldy. The continually shifting camera direction is a pain, and offers little gain in terms of what you can see in comparison with the steady state environment of Baldur's Gate, whilst losing a lot in terms of controllability. The alternative camera angles offer too little information about what is going on around you.

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                    05.07.2002 18:51
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                    This is the best yet! fantastic graphics, plot,plenty of characters to choose from. brilliant game play. It really has me spellbound.I cannot stop playing this game. Once I found all the waterdavian creatures I thought that was the end but not so.That is just the begining.I have now got onto the next level.This I hope is where the real fun starts.It is so addictive. I want to get to the end. So far I have tried using three types of characters and they all play completely different. If you play as a fighter that seems to be the best option

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