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Neverwinter Nights (Windows)

89
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Indra was here (19239)
Written on  :  Aug 12, 2003
Platform  :  Windows

8 out of 14 people found this review helpful

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Summary

Close to Perfection! Unfortunately, we spoke too soon...

The Good

The first time I saw it, one word came to mind: Wow! And it did win the first impression.

In the history of Advanced Dungeons&Dragons (AD&D), the Neverwinter Nights no doubt was the closest thing to bringing the concept into reality. Neverwinter Nights successfully created beautiful 3D creatures/monsters in an (almost) stable environment.

This would be the first game ever where you can respect the sheer 3D animated graphics of a Dragon.

The game engine is incredible. Editing your own dungeon, you can create a multitude of creatures all in once big map and watch them slaughter each other. It's basically a home 3D movie. Just bring-out the pop-corn!

The Bad

We spoke too soon...

Eventually the nothingness saw through. Players like myself restart the game a couple of times just to get a touch of the game play, to prepare for the final "perfect, planned and serious" game playing. That's when everything started to go wrong...

After my 4th replay. I realized the game was B O R I N G. It actually started to become boring the second-time around. There was one thing AD&D games always lacked: Intelligent Dialog and an overall good plot. AD&D was basically all action and not enough brains - unfortunately AD&D was always a game for "Fighters...never for Magic-Users". Neverwinter Nights is a statement to that fact. The dialog feature was ugly, empty and (again) boring. In games with good plot and story telling (e.g. Final Fantasy or Ultima) conversations with NPC's is an important aspect if not part of the soul of the game. You "thirst" for such conversations as the information was solid and fun. My experience in Neverwinter Nights (most of the time) was the lack of conversation, due to the fear continuous mouse-clicking due to the long and boring dialog.

Again I proved (well, to myself at least) 3D graphics somehow aren't - how do you say it...artistic? The rough edges, color and occasional bugs just can't seem to defeat the beautiful 2D graphics. It lacked detail. When something lacks detail, it becomes general. General=boring. Imagine playing a single Counterstrike game for 2 hours. No, for a total of 2 hours, but a single multi-player map that you play for 2 hours. Boring, eh?

Neverwinter Nights also introduced "Feats" which they claim was adapted from Fallout. Nice try, unfortunately not. Tell me, does anyone of you like to be restricted in your options in creating a character? Do you want create the best damn character ever? Yes. Easy enough. Don't understand why game developers have the !@#!$!@$ habit of restricting character development. YES I WOULD LIKE TO POSSES ALL THE SKILLS/FEATS OFFERED IN THIS GAME! Or at least give me a technology map like in Civilization so I can plan ahead without !#!$!$! restarting every time I make a wrong choice. Character development is supposed to be fun and to be anticipated. However, each time I gain a level in games like this, it take 10-20 minutes to figure out which feat/skill to upgrade in fear of making a mistake.

In Neverwinter Nights and some AD&D games, the perfect character becomes a problem in relation to multi-class characters. If it's a single class character, hey no-problem. But who can resist the unique combination of the multi-class feature. Unfortunately, there is a restriction to levels eventually leading to a restriction of skills and feats. Oddly, this level restriction is different from prior AD&D games. Usually, in multi-class, the levels are restricted to a maximum level per class. For instance if your a Mage/Fighter. You probably can reach the level of 8 for Mage and 9 for Fighter. If you were a single class, it would be 10 Mage and 11 Fighter. Fair enough. In Neverwinter Nights, the restriction is an accumulation of levels. It's like this: The maximum level for a single class is Level 20. If you have a multi-class character consisting of 3 classes (e.g. Mage, Thief, Fighter), the maximum level is the accumulation of the three. So Mage+Thief+Fighter=20. You might as well eliminate the multi-class in the first place really... It feels like your half-way on the road to nowhere.

'Scuse my swearing. I have high-blood pressure...hehehe (kid's don't try this at home or anywhere for that matter...)

The Bottom Line

Still worth playing though. Need very high-spec PC to play by the way.