CoN 20th Anniversary: 1997-2017
The Original Neverwinter Nights

Posted: 28th January 2020 00:23

Black Mage
Posts: 171

Joined: 7/1/2014

Member of more than five years. 
Well, I once again took a trip back down memory lane and play a game that not many folk have thought about in close to twenty years. Unlike some of the other games I've opined upon, this game isn't really too innovative or break any new ground. It doesn't really try in any way to stand out. I'm not going to delude myself into saying any aspect of this game was life changing. So, after playing the game, what did I think of it?

Well, if you're reading this, I guess you're at least curious.

After earning my Ph.D in character design thanks to Advanced Dungeons and Dragons second edition- skills and powers, Wizards of the Coast decided to inject life into Gary Gygax's labor of love by simplifying it and giving you the ability to customize the game. Enter 3rd edition. Now, given my purist background, I didn't want my beloved settings to turn into idiotic collectible card games (nothing wrong with Magic: The Gathering). They managed to leave Forgotten Realms alone, and I started to see a glimmer of hope. (Dragonlance Fifth Age? Aw, dammit.)

Then Neverwinter Nights was released. A Blizzard/Bioware game that seemed like a natural progression to my beloved Baldur's Gate games. In the exotic and wonderful city of Neverwinter, your academy is attacked in the midst of the Wailing Death. The creatures who were to provide the reagents for the cure of this super virile plague. Whilst exploring Neverwinter and the Northern Sword Coast, the story navigates its way through twists and turns, leading to a problem that extends beyond the simple survival of a city along the Sword Coast.

As always, I don't use numbers to rate anything, given the ambiguity of those exact symbols. I simply use a descriptive word or two to describe my feelings as succintly as possible.

Graphics: Standard for the time.
In 2000, these graphics were nothing to wow anybody. A game with a massive budget in that era should at least look that good. The models look fine, the animations definitely pass muster, and the backgrounds and ambience definitely suit the game's needs.

Sound- Above average

Fwakoom, zap, clang, smack, death screams. Those are fine. Can we do more than just one or two short, looping compositions for music?

What language are they using when the characters cast spells? Also, can't they use more than a couple of phrases in that language when intoning spells?

The voice acting is solid, most major characters are definitely enhanced by the acting quality. From Tomi's cockney accent to the lovably ditzy Linu's soft lilt.

Characters- Excellent!

All of the sidekicks in the story have a fair amount of depth to them, and have distinct personality types. Noble Savage, Jilted Lover, Nerdy Wizard, and Lovable Sociopath were all done well enough to actually care enough to listen to back stories and even retrieve certain story items for them through the course of the game.

Lady Aribeth de Tylmarande and Lord Nasher Algorond are both decently done characters, and have personality traits and character moments that will both infuriate you and leave them sympathetic to you. Though Nasher is STILL an idiot.

Story- Simple and sweet.

It's a heroes' journey. Go where you need to go, do what you need to do, help or harm people, make money. It's a dungeons and dragons campaign. It's very cut and paste, but it's executed fairly well.

All in all, it's a good time waster- if you compare games to food, it's akin to a cheese pizza- don't expect to be wowed or blown away by the flavor, but you know what you're getting, and it tastes good.

"So, are you a fan of the Fett?"

"Nah, I'm more of a Star Wars guy."
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