Dungeons & Dragons is back, one of the oldest RPG franchises of the gaming industry has returned in form of a MMO created by Perfect World Entertainment and Crytptic Studios.
Neverwinter is a free to play MMORPG, that brings together ideas from a few other games from the same genre that have been released in previous years while mixing up new and exicting ideas like The Foundry that allows the player to create his own adventure via a map editor within the game.
We’re going to start the review with the story of Neverwinter. I must say it was a bit complicated for me to understand what was going on in the first place in terms of overall story when I first started, I’ve never been into the D&D franchise in terms of lore before so Neverwinter was a fresh start for me.
The game story is set after a post volcanic eruption that destroyed the Neverwinter city, and almost killed everyone, the moment we start with our character Neverwinter has been rebuilt and has a new leader Lord Nevermber of Waterdeep, this leader is calling upon all the adventurers and heroes to help defending the city and push back the evil foes that want to destroy everything. In terms of story progression its like any other MMORPG, each quest has a chunk of lore attached to it and so does every single dungeon in the game. For lore fans the D&D fans will find it’s home for sure, so by all means don’t skip any quest text.
As soon as we start the game we can select the character’s race, class and background story (sort of like Mass Effect background story). There’s 6 races to chose from and each own has it’s own special Racial traits. Quickly after chosing our race, we can select our class there are 5 unique classes in the game, and all of them feel and play difrently from each one. I’m not a huge fan of being a rogue in other MMORPG’s but in Neverwinter the dodging system makes it pretty fun.
I’m going explain a bit who is what in terms of classes in Neverwinter. The Guardian Fighter (A type of Warrior Tank), The Great Weapons Fighter (A 2handed sword melee class), The Trickster Rogue (A stealthy rogue that uses dual wield daggers ), The Control Wizard ( A mage that uses a ball to attack and cast his spells) and The Devout Cleric (The healer, what else it could be right?). Neverwinter also features professions, Mailsmithing, Platesmithing, Tailoring, Leatherworking and leadership are the professions in the game. Leveling up them is easy and fast although the end game items required the use of very rare materials.
But what Neverwinter really in fact surprised me was in terms of gameplay, I’m an avid MMORPG player but due to the fact of playing so many MMORPGs that are clones to each other, the thing that gets quickly boring is the combat, and that’s where Neverwinter really differentiates from other games.
Neverwinter is an “Action MMORPG” with that being said you, know it’s not gonna be the same type of combat that you see in other MMORPGS, Neverwinter combat is although similar to Guild Wars 2 , you have more control on your character and your attacks. You can dodge,parry, block or even evade enemy attacks and this is one of the most important things you must take in consideration when you’re fighting an enemy.
The abilties maping are Q,E,R and you have two special attacks called the “Daily Skills” that can be used pressing 1 or 2, although you have to take in mind that after using them it might take some time to use it again.As I’ve stated before, The Foundry is one of the best features ever seen in any MMORPG game.
The Foundry is player generated content, there could be anything from Role playing adventures, combat based missions where you objective is to slaughter or even dungeons, there’s really no limit to what you can craft with The Foundry, you are able to filter missions by languages, time and author. But nothing is perfect and The Foundry does have some problems, there is no moderator or someone from the developer’s team taking a look at the content that is put there, also the tool system is a bit limited but we can expect to get updated with time due to it’s popularity.
As for end game content, Neverwinter does not currently offer many options. The PvP in the game is lacking, with only 2 maps for a 5vs5 battle to be honest there is no reason to keep playing PvP without finding it boring, many promises were made regarding the PvP aspect of the game and they’re yet to be fulfilled. As for PvE, players must complete Dungeons and daily quests as your end game content, having a serious PvE guild is not necessary due to the fact that a random “PuG” is enough to complete these dungeons.
In technical aspects, Neverwinter shows that the Free to Play market has the ability to show some good graphics. The graphics of Neverwinter are decent to good for a free to play MMORPG, Cryptic Studios made sure that the game graphics would be at almost the same level as paid MMORPG’s. The game does not feature many bugs or glitches, there’s some voice glitches but it’s rare to see it happen. The quest givers feature voice dialog where we can see the perfect lip syncing done, it’s rare to find free to play games like Neverwinter in terms of the technical aspects, the sounds are your typical fantasy games so there isn’t much to add to it.
One of the letdowns is the voice acting that does not convinces the player in terms of emotions, which is a letdown and a waste of lip sync. We hope with the next expansion Cryptic Studios got some decent voice acting going that show emotion in their dialogues so a player can get more immersed in the storyline. The worst aspect in the game, is the in game store that allows you to spend Zen to get potions and gear, in my honest opinion this is the major let down of Neverwinter alongside the lack of the end game content, but besides that the game is worth to play since it’s free to play.
Neverwinter is an MMORPG that worth’s checking it out if you want to try something new with a feature like The Foundry, or you want to experience a different type of combat system unlike the traditional MMORPG’s.
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