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Cryptic Studios | Play Now
MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 06/20/13)  | Pub:Perfect World Entertainment
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download,Retail | Retail Price:n/a | Pay Type:Free | Monthly Fee:n/a
System Req: PC | Out of date info? Let us know!

Don't Call This D&D

...and not a particularly interesting game in and of itself.
Disclaimer: The following article is the sole opinion of its author and does not represent in its thoughts or opinions. This is not an official editorial article.

The only reason I played this game at all was because it said, "Dungeons & Dragons" on it. Oh, I try out different games, it's not like I am fixated on D&D or anything, but it is one of my favorite franchises.

And Perfect World just @#$!ed all over it. Seriously, this game is horrible, even accounting for the bugs:

-The mandatory mouselook would have been enough to drive me away by itself, even after I had gotten over...

-4th edition; what were they thinking?! Oh, they weren't, obviously, or they would have taken the guy who suggested it and thrown him out the window, asking him to drop off his security card with HR on the 5th floor as he went by. As if that weren't bad enough...

-They managed to make it worse! 4th edition was already ridiculously simple, and they took away what little customization there was. The game is one-dimensional. Speaking of which...

-Graphics from a decade ago. Not that I really care; I would play a game animated by claymation if it was fun, but when it comes up short by that measure, too, the only thing that can possibly save you is to avoid...

-The rails. I won't say that this game is worse than any other, but I can't think of another game that offers less in the way of choices as you progress, either in terms of character or quest progression, equipment, gameplay, tactics....

-Wait, tactics? This is easily the worst thing that I could say about any game, ever: The person playing could be replaced with a macro that randomly activates different abilities, and not only would it work, I don't think that anyone else would notice the difference.

This game would have failed even if it hadn't been named after the most iconic RPG franchise in the world, thus guaranteeing tougher scrutiny and more invested players; as it is, they couldn't have offended more people if they had opened a BBQ restaurant called "Hitler's Place."

The die rolls are fixed; you aren't rolling so much as scrolling through the allowed set of numbers for your class. This isn't a request for the ability to reroll yourself into a demigod, but it literally will not let you, for example, take both 16 STR and 12 CON on a rogue, or 14 STR and 12 CON on a cleric. For that matter, clerics don't even have the option of hitting something instead of casting a spell.

Rogues are more like TWF rangers; stealth/dps. Trap skills are secondary, at best, and absolutely unnecessary. There is no need to read the abilities, they are just more buttons to push when the timer counts down.

The only actual choices you get to make come when you pick your paragon path: Clerics, for example, get an option of 3 different paths, all of which focus on party support and healing. 

The worst of it is that, because DDO is still going strong, no other D&D MMOs are likely to come out any time soon, which means that you are stuck with either this WoW-clone or the ludicrous Monty Hall campaign that DDO has turned into. I'm just glad that I still have the full NWN2 series to carry me through these troubled times.

Final Score


 Easy; maybe good for children?
 You will recognize the names, if not the game
 Not D&D
 No multiclassing
 No meaningful character customization
 The worst user interface I have ever used, and I used to run OS/2 and Novell 3-4 networks

More Neverwinter Features:

Neverwinter - The Maze Engine, Retooled Dungeons & More Interview added on Tuesday February 23
Neverwinter - A Peek into the Underdark Column added on Thursday October 15
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