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<  Game reviews  ~  Neverwinter Nights (PC)

Michael
Posted: Thu Aug 15, 2002 10:48 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
We have bought 1 copy of Neverwinter Nights and with the help of a crack, we are now playing a LAN game together. How dare they demand that you buy full copies for each LAN client!



Anyway. At first there was my usual awe and flabbergasting about the Dungeons and Dragons theme. I really don't get it. I don't see the appeal of submitting one's inspiration as a designer to the strict rules of the D&D rulebook (3d edition in this case!). Nor do I see the appeal to players of this very very shallow and meaningless fantasy universe. Furthermore, as a European, I am shocked and insulted by the way D&D abuses European historic and cultural themes. It's another aspect of American capitalist neo-colonisation. And it hurts.



Anyway. After the first grumbles and sighs about the theme and the bewilderment about the insanely complex and inconsistent and un-gamelike (but very much Excell spreadsheet-like) interface, I started to enjoy myself. Yes, I did. Especially the interaction between characters was charming (despite the pitiful acting). I like the way that you are left alone to figure out what exactly the purpose of this game is. It seems to be far less linear than "Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance" and it contains many sub-quests. We haven't really figured out how they all fit together and which are required, which only adds to the fun.

Also, playing together, you don't need to be in the same screen all the time (as in Dark Alliance). It is very possible for players to be in very different parts of the same game, doing very different things. This really adds to "feeling-in-a-space" aspect of the game.

Even the whole inventory system with the buying and selling and the bartering is starting to grow on me. Though I wish they had built a nicer interface for this. Objects are, eg, represented by a drawing that only vaguely resembles the thing in the 3D world. Etc.

In any case, it was 2 AM before we knew it...

More later.
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Michael
Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2002 11:31 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Ok. We're still playing Neverwinter Nights. I have totally lost my issues with the Dungeons and Dragons-cliché. This game has a lot more to offer in terms of plots and sub-plots. So much that it's hard to keep track of. Not that that's necessary. You can freely roam around the town of Neverwinter and talk to people (kill them, rob them, whatever) and never get bored. I'm in awe of the amount of content that the makers have put in this game.

And the interface, daunting at first, is offering lots of nice things too. Silly things like being able to make your character laugh or make gestures are a lot of fun to a child like me. And, while dying happens often, it does not seem to be a crucial part of playing, as in so many other games, and the dying-respawning cycle has become part of the game. To be reborn, you simply pay some of your hard-earned gold pieces.

We are playing with two but we asked an NPC to come with us (also for a price; good thing I robbed that priest Wink ). And we can summon other creatures. So we're a nice little party roaming around plague-infested streets, letting our friends take care of the boring parts (killing villans) while we can look around and talk to the hookers.

Contrary to a lot of story-based games, this game does not feel linear at all. There does not seem to be anything that one has to do in order to progress. Everything seems optional and you just choose to do what suits you.
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Michael
Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2002 8:43 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
I'm starting to develop a serious problem with Neverwinter Nigths, namely that playing this game is so utterly pointless. One could argue that this applies to many games or that pointlessness is indeed a part of the concept of playing. But I am longing more and more for games that can have a place in my life. When playing the game, enriches your life the way that reading a good poem or seeing a good painting does. These experiences become part of my life, they have a place in it. Rather than re-place it momentarily, like Neverwinter Nights does.
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