A team of 4 players, from different parts of the world ranging from Florida to Sri Lanka, explores an ancient underground fortress in Faerun, the world of Neverwinter Nights.
Atari's Neverwinter Nights has just been made available as a DRM free download for $10 at Good Old Games.
More than 8 years after it's original release NWN remains the most revolutionary cRPG ever made.
The adventure isn't that special. If you're a casual cRPG fan it's worth a play, but it won't rock your world. Baldurs's Gate 1 and 2 are both better cRPG experiences for the RP lightweight (and both are available on GoG). The official campaign is weak at best. The first expansion, Shadows of Undrentide, is MUCH better. In fact, just skip straight to "Shadows" (known in the NWN community as SoU). It's no Baldur's Gate, but at least it gives BG a run for it's money. The original campaign doesn't even try. The last full length module, Hoards of the Underdark (or HotU) is a sequel of SoU and is without doubt the best of the three modules, but it's also epic level. I wouldn't recommend making HotU your first NWN experience.
No. As far as the single player game goes it falls into the "meh" catagory. The graphics are dated, and in the OC the plot is lame, linear, and riddled with painfully 2 dimensional NPC's.
But it's still the best cRPG ever made.
What makes NWN stand apart from any game that came before it is the Aurora Toolset and it's multi-player features.
The toolset is easier to use and more powerful than anything ever released before or since. Dungeon Siege, Morrowind, even Oblivion have toolsets that pale in comparison to NWN. While the sequel, NWN 2, has a toolset that offers a building experience with much better graphics, it offers nothing in terms of improved game play and is much more complicated and time consuming. NWN is also highly modable. It's relatively easy to create and animate 3d models, so fans have fleshed out the game with custom clothing, models, buildings, monsters... you name it. The system is so flexible that it has been used to create d20 modern and even sci-fi modules. NWN is the perfect platform for the amateur game designer. As a result there are literally thousands of fan made modules, and literally hundreds that are actually superior to the official campaign.
Still not convinced? Let's talk multi-player. NWN can be played cooperatively or PvP. The official campaigns can be played co-op, but there are scores of fan made modules designed for MP co-op as well. Now there's nothing new about MP support. Baldur's Gate was an amazing MP experience for the few people who tried it, but compared to NWN it's downright primitive and without the toolset the MP experience in these games was intrinsically limited.
And this brings us to the one thing that sets NWN apart from every other cRPG ever made...
NWN has a Dungeon Master client.
NWN's DM client, in combination with the powerful toolset, relegates every other MP computer game on the market to the status of "Poser". This feature makes real tabletop Pen 'n Paper style role playing available in a thoroughly rendered 3-D environment for the very first time.
NWN still has a very active community. IGN's "Neverwinter Vault" is the place to go to find fan created content and modules, NeverwinterConnections is a great resource for finding NWN multiplayer games and campaigns to join, and the Bioware social NWN boards are still very active. There are scores of NWN "persistant worlds", or "PWs". These servers are custom worlds built with the NWN toolset; basically free mini MMO's; and are open 24/7. There's also a fairly active X-Fire community.
BUY NEVERWINTER NIGHTS RIGHT NOW! It's the best game value you will ever find.