Neverwinter Nights

aka: NWN, Wu Dong Zhi Ye
Moby ID: 6771
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

A plague known as the Wailing Death is terrorizing the city of Neverwinter. Lady Aribeth summons an adventurer, who teams up with her fiance Fenthick Moss and his friend Desther to capture four monsters which are needed to prepare the cure. However, the matters become more complicated when the protagonist is attacked by mysterious assassins. It seems that an evil cult is behind the infestation, and the hero must find out what its ultimate goals are, and eventually save the city.

Neverwinter Nights is a role-playing game based on the third edition of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules. The game utilizes 3D graphics with a zooming function and free camera rotation. Combat is handled in real time, and is similar to that of Baldur's Gate series, allowing the player to pause in-battle to issue orders. Unlike other RPGs that utilized this system, Neverwinter Nights allows the player to fully control only one character. Various "henchmen" may join the hero during the journey, but their functionality as party members is limited, as they cannot level up, have no inventory, and only follow general commands.

The multiplayer modes include Dungeon Master, in which a "DM" controls the traps and battles set for other players in the dungeon, and a range of game types such as hunting for treasure or a simple death match battle between players. The game also comes with an extensive tool kit for the construction of custom adventures. It allows players to create their own maps using a tile system. It is possible to add objects to the areas and even produce scripted events, cutscenes, and conversations.

Spellings

  • 无冬之夜 - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • 絕冬城之夜 - Traditional Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

313 People (287 developers, 26 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 88% (based on 73 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 199 ratings with 10 reviews)

Excellent computer RPG

The Good
The story, the new rules (3rd Edition), the depth of character development, the graphics and artwork, the gameplay.

The Bad
Only one henchman instead of a party, sometimes the graphics look rather blocky,the dialogues and the GUI were better in previous titles.

The Bottom Line
When I first played Neverwinter Nights, I had a feeling like I was returning to a place I left long time ago. Actually, back in the 80s, I was addicted to "Pools of Radiance" (TSR/SSI), the game made me spent hours, weeks and months in front of the computer. 3 hours into NWN I knew this was going to be more addictive for me than "Baldurs Gate" or "Icewind Dale", and 10 hours later, I was proven right. The new, more detailed skill/feats system is sometimes as motivating as the one found in "Diablo 2", and it lets You customize Your main character in a lot of ways within the boundaries of the class/race. The combat looks great, better than ever before, the weapons are fantastic (double bladed sword a la Darth Maul anyone ?), and the talents show in combat (multiple hits, hitting specific parts like arms/legs etc). The gameplay is really at the same time classic and innovative, the story is deep and the characters as cliched and typical as You might exspect from an epic fantasy game. The graphics are well done, not as good as Dungeon Siege, far behind Morrowind, but You will apperciate the little details and the general look after a while, because the lighting/shadowing system is truly atmospheric. The dialogue/interface system is the only point where I would say that is average at best. In previous Bioware games, this part was good enough, but here, the system looks a bit halfbaked because for example there are two windows where You can follow the dialogue (main event window/dialogue window), which is not necessary. Also, the windows such as automap, inventory etc look like they can be moved around (windows style), but they are fixed in place and can only be resized. Speaking fo dialogue...this part could have been better, in fact in NWN I found myself clicking away the dialogues as fast as possible, because it just feels a bit clumsy to have to read through them. This was easier and more pleasing to the eye in BG, IWD... But these are just minor problems, the improvements are too good in comparison, and I want to recommend this game to any serious roleplaying gamer.

Windows · by Emmanuel Henne (23) · 2004

Worth playing? YOU BETCHA!

The Good
I care nothing for "constructing" games or for multi-playing, so this review concentrates on the Single Player game only .. with all patches applies.

I knew that NWN was a long game before starting. So I waited to play it when I could give it my full attention. And, believe me, it takes that .. I have been engrossed for weeks now.

I hadn't played an AD&D game lately (my most recent was the original Icewind Dale, which I liked very much) and Neverwinter Nights has gotten some really good commercial reviews, so I figured this was a natural choice. The reviews here on Moby thus far are varied, but lean towards the "bad" side. Well, although I agree with some of the other reviewers, my opinion leans heavily toward "good".

Hands down, the story is the best part about NWN. Even though the game is a "medieval fantasy", the plot is believable, intriguing and interesting. The script writers must be geniuses! Conversations with each character are unique, and there's very little repetitive dialog.

Second to the story, I think, is the way the game is divided. Each of the Chapters feels like an entirely new game .. new places, new people and new quests. And yet, those parts are flawlessly meshed to bring all of them together towards the finale.

Next .. the "quests" are wonderfully diverse and challenging. There are plenty of dungeons, caves and caverns, plus buildings and landscapes to explore. You don't need to complete all of the quests to finish the game (but it helps build experience!).

The "henchman" idea is terrific! You play your character alone, or with a "side-kick" if you wish. In this game, you don't control their equipment at all so they're not just "pack rats". You give them commands (such as "attack nearest", "follow me", "guard me" or "stand your ground") and can talk to them (something lacking in other games). Your partner should compliment your abilities, so if you're a spellcaster, choose a fighter. The experience points they gain are yours also, so it doesn't seem to matter who kills what. Their level is always one behind yours, which is different too. (I understand the expansion packs add more features for the henchmen, including managing their inventory.)

Although at a glance the graphics don't look different than many other games, some things are better. Special effects are cool especially during spellcasting. You're able to "zoom" in and out for close-ups of everything. In that view even blades of grass become more realistic. Being able to rotate the angle of view also helps pinpoint a particular spot, even when everybody is crowded together (like the "remains" of a chest you just opened).

Playing around with the arrangement of inventory has always been fun, and it's good in NWN, but not perfect. Finding "bags" to group like items together is a plus and they've included different ones here to reduce weight of the items in those bags .. 20% all the way up to 100%. Since the henchmen can't carry any of your gear, this means even a weak cleric can tote loads of stuff around.

This is the first time I've played as a Druid and, as most people know, a druid must keep their alignment neutral. It's interesting to note that conversation choices and actions you take DO have an effect on alignment. Many times I've had to restore an earlier game because something I said or did swayed me towards "evil".

NWN includes other things that I've grown accustomed to .. full maps; being able to add notes to those maps; auto-save; a well-organized journal.

The Bad
The music is nice, but not nearly as beautiful as in other games I've played.

I agree with another reviewer who commented on the maps. Several of the areas dump fully to your screen when you first arrive, complete with annotated locations. So much for discovery! But, that's a little thing.

I wished that when a "like" item was picked up, it would automatically combine with others already stored in one of my inventory bags instead of separately. I also wished that more than 10 potions could be stacked in one slot. (Bolts, arrows & bullets do .. why not potions?)

When levelling up you are allowed to pick new "feats" and (as a druid at least) your new animal companion side-kick. That's okay, but you're not able to increase your core attributes (strength, wisdom, intelligence etc.) except in 5 special levels. If you've made a mistake during those selections, you may never attain high enough qualities to beat the end-game boss. (This is especially important for spellcasters, druids and clerics who need those high level spells.) I didn't like that part. I wished the properties would have automatically upgraded as I advanced.

The Bottom Line
There are several words that I think describe the single-player Neverwinter Nights game .. good, solid, big, engrossing, challenging, interesting .. fun!

I have not been bored or disappointed .. not for a minute.

Sure, as a role-player I'm not as experienced as many of the other reviewers of this game. But, hey, I know what I like .. and I like Neverwinter Nights. I like it so well that I may go for the expansion packs (something I've never done).

Worth playing? YOU BETCHA!

Windows · by Jeanne (75975) · 2005

A huge letdown for fans of the BG and Icewind Dale series

The Good
I loved the fact that a game company was trying to incorporate multi-player AD&D in such a way that it can be controlled by a DM. The module creator is extremely powerful and lets the DM do anything he/she can imagine. Unfortunately, this is about the only thing I liked about this game.

The Bad
Mostly everything. Even on the highest settings with the best machine, the graphics still look mediocre compared to the old engine used in Baldur's Gates etc.. Why go 3D polygons? It ruined it in my opinion. Angles become an issue which you must adjust now in the middle of combat.

YUK! 3rd edition rules.... terrible. What was wrong with 2nd edition? Nothing. I can't stand 3rd edition or anything after it.

This game was basically boring and a terrible let down. This is a perfect example what happens to a named like D&D when it gets sold and passed around from company to company and bastardized over and over. Atari really should have no involvement with AD&D. Either should Wizards of the Coast. Its too bad TSR had to sellout.. This game was a big let down and the only way to redeem themselves is to go back to the old engine and hand-drawn art work like in the older games. Graphics, sound and gameplay are all very mediocre and disappointing.

The Bottom Line
I bland attempt at AD&D compared to its predecessors. Some might enjoy this but most everyone i've talked to, hates this game and all like it. Is this an example of how all their games will be in the future?? Lets hope not.

Windows · by OlSkool_Gamer (88) · 2004

[ View all 10 player reviews ]

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Neverwinter Nights appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Advertisement

To coincide with the US release of Neverwinter Nights, Infogrames bought a full page ad for the game in the men's magazine Maxim. The interesting detail is that unlike other publicity for the game this one was a unique layout that mimicked the monthly "Have you seen this girl?" one-page pictorials of the magazine, which contain a full-page picture of a hot babe along some minimal info à la Playboy (likes, dislikes, etc.). In this case the pictorial shows a nymph named Anna, (wearing nothing but some seashells and vines). Her comments in case you are interested include: "I'm all about beauty but height has never been an issue" (on her dream guy) and "I'm not just a fantasy girl" amongst some other stuff.

Engine

Neverwinter Nights uses the Aurora engine, but originally it was going to use the Omen engine, developed by Bioware for their third-person action title MDK 2.

German version

In the German version, the in-game gore setting was removed, i.e. permanently stuck on the lowest setting.

Intro

Although the opening intro has literally nothing to do with the main game besides the symbol on the sword, a keen observer may notice that the hero wears the same armor as Lord Nasher of Neverwinter, and their basic facial features seem to match, although the hero at the beginning is clean-shaven and far younger. According to The Art of Neverwinter Nights, a compendium of all the artwork that went into making the game and bundled exclusively with the Collector's Edition, it is in fact Lord Nasher.

This video sequence premiered at the 2002 Game Developer's Conference in San Jose, California.

Music

The game's music files are listed with a *.bmu file extension, but in actuality they're encoded in plain-old MP3 format. So basically, you can listen to them in Winamp without any special form of decryption required.

Neverwinter

The city of Neverwinter is located south of the Spine of the World where the Icewind Dale games take place, and north of the Sword Mountains, the northern extremity of Baldur's Gate.

Ports

Original plans were to include the Linux and Mac versions (and eventually a BeOS version) in the same box as the Windows version. Though the game code was said to be fully portable, various design decisions - most important: the use of the Miles Sound System, which was not available for Linux at that time - delayed these versions for over one year. Official movie support and the Aurora toolset were never finished, the BeOS version was never released at all.

References

In the courtyard of the Arcane Brotherhood you can hear the chant used by the temple healers in The Bards Tale 2: Destiny Knight (Amiga version).

Support

Publisher Atari halted support for the game in May 2006, with no more patches or premium modules for the original game.

Violence

Tweaking some of the game's configuration files makes the violence in the game much more graphic. Several mods for the game use configuration files tweaked in this way to create a more visceral effect.

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2002– Best PC Role-Playing Game of the Year
  • Computer Games Magazine
    • March 2003 (No. 148) - #2 in the "10 Best Games of 2002" list
  • Computer Gaming World
    • April 2003 (Issue #225) – RPG of the Year (Readers' Choice)
    • April 2003 (Issue #225) – Best Development Tool of the Year
  • GameSpy
    • 2002 – PC RPG of the Year (Readers' Choice)
  • PC Gamer
    • April 2005 - #35 in the "50 Best Games of All Time" list

Information also contributed by Alan Chan, Iggi, Jason Musgrave, kbmb, Michael Palomino, PCGamer77, Sciere, Zack Green and Zovni

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kartanym.

Macintosh added by Corn Popper. Linux added by Iggi.

Additional contributors: Droog, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Christian Boel, Sciere, Pedro_Hebeler, Zeppin, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added June 24, 2002. Last modified February 13, 2024.