Neverwinter has been a successful MMO on the PC for a number of years and I think with the newer hardware on the Xbox One and PS4, we are likely to see a few more MMORPG’s crop up in the next few years. With the trend towards co-op gaming only growing, MMO’s are a more and more attractive business model and I am happy to see the gap between console and PC experiences closing.
First of all I want to talk about how Neverwinter feels to play. The framerate is… not great. It’s almost exactly what you’d expect from the PC version which is a variable framerate, but that is not what we are used to on the consoles, and with no variety in console specs, we shouldn’t have to expect a sub par framerate. That being said, for a massive game like it is, it looks great. There is A LOT of stuff to do, especially in the main hub and to manage to get the game looking like they did is no small feat.
I now want to talk about the free to play model that this game has adopted, and why it’s a better system than most people think! This game is completely free to download and play, you can play this game for as long as you like without paying a single pound/dollar. The way Neverwinter makes its money is through Zen, an in-game currency you can either buy with real money, or do a bit of grinding and earn it through time. The great thing about this system is that there is no pay to win, because everything you can buy with real money can be earned in game with a bit of time investment. This is by far my favourite payment model for a game because it doesn’t matter what your situation is, you can get exactly the same items as everyone else, regardless of whether you choose to pay or not.
With all of that out of the way, let’s get down to how the game immerses you. The storyline is mostly pretty good, and by that I mean if you pay attention you will pick up on how your actions are going to affect the people of the world. There are so many side-quests that you will never be short on things to do and they are all do-able solo. That being said, it’s incredibly fun to run quests with your friends, and trade items you need for items they need. As far as I’m aware, the only things you can’t do by yourself is obviously the PvP, and the bigger end-game dungeons. The hometown of Protectors Enclave feels alive, with upto 100 people running around doing their own quests and missions and you feel like you’re a part of a greater good!
The loot system is cool too. I don’t think there is much else to say about it other than that it’s very intuitive and it doesn’t feel broken in any way. I especially like the Need/Greed/Pass mechanic. This is a system, borrowing from it’s Dungeons and Dragons roots, where you select whether you need the item, just want it to sell, or whether you don’t need it at all and will let everyone else roll for it. You all then roll the dice for the chance to get the loot and whoever rolls highest gets the item. It seems pretty cool and is a unique and interesting way of doing things.
All together, Neverwinter’s port to the console is a great addition to the Xbox’s repetoir, and may possibly be a console seller for some. The only real issue I have is the variable framerate, but I imagine that is something the team behind it are looking into fixing and improving. The questing is enjoyable and it seems like with the hack, slash and loot this is going to be a time-sink for so many people, myself included. The home town feels alive, the dungeons feel spooky and the atmosphere is set perfectly. You honestly have no reason not to try this game out, it’s free for everyone on the Xbox One store!
+ Great quests
+ Great co-op experience
+ Cool loot system
+ The world feels alive
– Framerate issues