Neverwinter Nights was originally released in 1991 for MD-DOS (PC). It was then completely re-made in 2002. The enhanced edition was released on 3rd December 2019, which is now available to play on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. The Neverwinter Nights franchise stems from the Dungeons & Dragons family of games. Neverwinter Nights is a role-playing game that was originally developed and published by BioWare; however, the enhanced edition has been developed and published by Beamdog. Beamdog have developed and published similar titles, such as Baldur’s Gate I & II: Enhanced Edition. On their website, they boast that Dungeons & Dragons classics are now available on consoles.
Become a Hero
Our tale begins when the city of Neverwinter becomes infected by a plague called “The Wailing Death”. This has forced Neverwinter into a state of quarantine. Within the city, there is a college of students being taught by the greatest minds and healers, and it is under the authority of Lady Aribeth. The aim of the college is for everyone to work together to find a cure for the plague.
When you first begin the game, you will be given the opportunity to create you character completely from scratch. The character designs are true to the Dungeons & Dragons style. You can customise how you want your character to look, what skills they have, if they have a god, what that god is called and a lot more. When it comes to choosing your skills and your class, there are a lot of options. Don’t worry if you can’t decide on just one because you will get the opportunity later on to add other classes. But if you have a favourite class, you can just focus on mastering it instead of choosing more than one.
After you have created your character, you will go through a short tutorial on how to play the game. This is when the college turns into chaos. Your mission from there is to help Lady Aribeth in a mission that could cure the plague. It is completely down to you to save the whole of Neverwinter, and what seems like a simple and straightforward mission soon becomes a crazy adventure filled with twists and turns.
What Has Changed?
Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is based off the 2002 version of the game. The enhanced edition is an exact copy of the 2002 game with a few minor changes, and these changes are mainly cosmetic. The environments and landscapes are a little bit more detailed. Compared to the dark and pixelated version of the original, the enhanced edition is brighter and offers players a bit more definition to the overall appearance of the game. This applies not just to the surroundings but also to the characters themselves.
In the original game, you can barely make out the faces of the characters or their clothing and equipment. The enhanced edition has brought definition to this as well. This is especially noticeable with the solidification of the weapons that you will use to fight off enemies and the detail of the characters’ faces and clothing. Everything in the enhanced edition of the game is a bit sharper when it comes to appearance.
What Hasn’t Changed?
As I mentioned, Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is pretty much exactly the same as the 2002 version. The story and gameplay are exactly the same. Unfortunately, something else that has also stayed the same are the amount of glitching and loading issues. Just like in the original game, there are rooms and shops that you can’t enter because they never load, and this causes the game to crash. There are glitches with your companions where they randomly stop and do nothing while you get brutally murdered by enemies. Sometimes you will also need to use an item a few times before it will actually activate.
Neverwinter Nights was amazing for its time when it was released in 2002. Unfortunately, because not a lot has changed with regards to the gameplay, it hasn’t really had the same effect this time round. Some of the loading, crashing and glitching issues definitely should have been addressed in this enhanced edition. Even though there has been a lot of definition added to the game, making it look better than ever, it hasn’t really changed much. I would have liked to see the story stay the same but have everything else be completely re-created.
Neverwinter Nights Overall
Playing Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition makes me feel as if I may as well be playing the original. It was great to be able to play the game on console instead of PC; however, it hasn’t really changed at all. For people that have played the original, I would tell them to just stick to the original. The small amount of definition and visual changes that have been made aren’t worth purchasing the game again.
For people that have never played Neverwinter Nights, I would recommend it because it is a great game. Neverwinter Nights is a fun adventure with lots of twists and turns. It feels as if you are playing a visual version of a Dungeons & Dragons story. The character customisation is great, and the possibilities are endless for how powerful you want your character to be.
One thing that I will give to Beamdog for creating the enhanced edition is the control system. When playing a game on PC, there can be a crazy amount of controls because you have a lot more keys on a keyboard compared to buttons on a controller for a console. Beamdog have been able to adapt the controls to console very well. Normally, when a PC game is moved to console, you have to sacrifice one or two abilities or skills, but Beamdog have managed to include everything.
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 3rd December 2019