After previously releasing on the Xbox One and PC, Neverwinter is finally hitting the PlayStation 4. With a free-to-play model, multiple classes, plenty to do and the Dungeon’s and Dragons name behind it, there are multiple reasons to be excited for its release. While all this sounds good on paper, is Neverwinter worth your time or is it another free game that is free for a reason.
Neverwinter starts with a visually impressive opening that leads to the beginning of the game. You’re attacked, a rag tag group of heroes across multiple races save the day, leading to your quest to help defend the land. It isn’t much of a story, but enough to start your series of quests and grinding to defeat the threats that plague the world.
From there you get to create your character. The customization system is not the best, but certainly better than a lot of games and offers a fair bit of control over your characters. You can change hair/eye color, height, various sizes, races and more. From there you can select your class, a choice that is largely influenced by how you want to play. So if you want to be an archer you play as one class, where as magic users will select a different one and so forth. Each have their own quirks, giving you something to learn and master as you progress through the adventure.
Even though the start is great, the actual adventure isn’t amazing. Neverwinter starts with a series of quests that serve as a tutorial. Here you learn how to attack, basic quest mechanics and are introduced to some of the story. It isn’t a bad tutorial, just one that predominantly tells you things you should know or quickly figure out.
As you progress the deeper mechanics add a fair bit of depth, trial and error and so forth to fights, but most of them will boil down to using the same skills, the same way, for the life of the game. Having said that, Neverwinter has some interesting skills and mechanics that make the combat a little more exciting than swinging a weapon until one of you fall.
The real issue with Neverwinter is not one of gameplay or customization options, but visuals. The UI is really cluttered, gives a lot of information and is not as effective or easy to use as it could be. This alone is enough to turn some people off, though you can clear it up and eventually get use to it through experience. However, the same can’t be said about some of the models. Things like riding a mount could be much better, with the animation looking less like someone riding and more like someone riding a bull. It isn’t a pleasant visual or anything, but this is also expected of a game like this.
Overall, Neverwinter is not a terrible game, but it far from a perfect one either. The core gameplay is accessible enough for newcomers to have fun, with enough there for experienced players to play around with. Combine that with a fair bit to do, multiple classes and more and you have a decent experience that is at least worth attempting if you have the space to download it.