Neverwinter Nights is one of those exceedingly rare games that has a lot to offer virtually everyone, even if they aren't already into RPGs.
You might think that a game like Neverwinter Nights probably isn't very healthy for the gaming industry. After all, this is the sort of game you could easily play for months or even longer. Simply put, once you get into Neverwinter Nights, you'll likely have no need or desire to play another role-playing game for a long time--or any other game for that matter. And while that's unfortunate for any game trying to compete, it's certainly a good thing as far as most gamers should be concerned. They'll find that Neverwinter Nights is indeed the end-all, be-all Dungeons & Dragons RPG that it's been touted to be for the last several years.
They might also be surprised to find that Neverwinter Nights is actually very accessible, much more so than most RPGs, making it equally recommendable to new players and to hard-core role-playing fans. Yet the latter group especially will appreciate Neverwinter Nights, since it includes not just an excellent stand-alone RPG, but also BioWare's powerful Aurora toolset, which effectively lets aspiring dungeon masters create their very own adventures. They can then get their friends together to play these modules and manipulate them--DM them--in real time. So here it is at last: the pen-and-paper D&D experience on your PC. In short, Neverwinter Nights was definitely worth the wait. But it's not necessarily what you might have expected, particularly in its campaign and multiplayer features.
To set the record straight, Neverwinter Nights basically contains four different elements: the campaign, the toolset, the DM client, and the multiplayer mode. The first of these is the brunt of the game, and it's by all means a lengthy, highly entertaining D&D campaign. It's comparable with and in many ways superior to BioWare's previous RPGs--or any other top-notch RPG to date for that matter. If Neverwinter Nights offered nothing other than this campaign, it would still be one of the best RPGs to come out in years. If you're looking to buy Neverwinter Nights for a traditional role-playing experience, then this highly replayable 60-to-80-hour campaign, with its great story and countless optional side quests, won't disappoint you, despite having a few minor problems.
But then there's also the Aurora toolset, a separate utility for creating your own campaign modules. This is an impressive program that's reasonably user-friendly, considering how much it lets you do. In the Aurora toolset, you basically get the license to use the Neverwinter Nights game engine to make just about any type of fantasy adventure you can imagine. Some technical aptitude is required, and some programming knowledge will help if you wish to script your own events, making the toolset's learning curve not at all comparable with the learning curve of a typical game. Coming to grips with the toolset is rather more like trying to learn programs like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. That is, you can figure a lot of it out on your own, you can learn a lot of it through instruction, and what you can do with it is limited only mostly by your own skill and talent. The game doesn't ship with a complete set of documentation for the toolset, but because of the community appeal of Neverwinter Nights, the answers to any questions you might have about it are just waiting to be read on the game's official message boards.
In addition to the campaign and the toolset, Neverwinter Nights includes a DM client, which lets you play the game using the godlike powers of a pen-and-paper D&D dungeon master, able to manipulate the proceedings of any module in real time and at your whim. You can take control over any character, you can give players items and experience, and do much more. Like the Aurora toolset, this isn't easy--especially because you're something of a performance artist in your role as DM, and your audience's enjoyment depends largely on your actions. But the DM client has an efficient interface and is one of the key differences that can separate a Neverwinter Nights module from a player-generated map for some other game. After all, though you can use the toolset to create a fun-filled stand-alone dungeon hack of some sort, in conjunction with the DM client, you can truly create a unique role-playing experience for someone--and for yourself. If you've ever played a pen-and-paper RPG, especially as the DM, then you probably have an idea of the Neverwinter Nights DM client's potential.
Regardless of whether or not you wish to be DM, the multiplayer option of Neverwinter Nights basically lets you host your own module over the Internet or join in on someone else's game. Neverwinter Nights doesn't ship with a built-in multiplayer content, but the campaign can be played through by groups of players that can cooperate or try to foil one another along the way. Beyond that, the game's multiplayer mode is completely community-driven. Essentially, in making Neverwinter Nights, BioWare created a powerful toolset and then used it to build a superb role-playing game that should be inspiring for any would-be module maker, and now, it has opened the floodgates for user-created content.
- Player Reviews: 213
- Game Universe:
- Neverwinter Nights (PC, MAC),
- Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark (PC, MAC),
- Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide (PC, MAC),
- Neverwinter Nights 2 (PC, MAC),
- Neverwinter Nights 2 Platinum (PC),
- Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir (PC),
- Neverwinter Nights 2 Gold (PC),
- Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of The Betrayer (PC),
- Neverwinter Nights: Diamond (PC),
- Neverwinter Nights (ZOD)
- Number of Players: