Ever since a new Neverwinter title was announced last year, I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on the game.
Even with the free-to-play MMO title in front of it, I was hoping that the action-RPG element of the first game would still be there. After playing as the control wizard during a hands-on demo at E3, I’m happy to report that fans of the series shouldn’t be disappointed.
The demo we saw only showed off three characters: the guarding fighter, trickster rogue and my control wizard. While the first two characters are obvious (DPS and stealth), the control wizard was a bit less about arcane attacks and more about controlling and breaking up groups. It’s a class I play little of in MMOs, but one that was actually fairly easy to pick up and learn in the game.
One of the first things that surprised me about the game was the gameplay itself. The team is sticking towards some of the older mechanics the original titles had, such as no auto-attack. Instead, you spam the left mouse button to launch attacks, while the right mouse button normally has a constant stream attack you can use for a bit before it recharges.
Daily Abilities that the Dungeons and Dragons series is known for are also in the game, but aren’t really daily. Instead, you just fill a bar up from using skills (which cool down on a timer) before using an ability and resetting the bar.
Skills can also be combined together. The wizard had two abilities in particular that could lift an enemy off the ground before launching them back. However, it should be noted that bigger enemies will often be immune to skills like this, which comes as no surprise.
The demo we saw was actually just a part of one of the dungeons the game will have. The full world will let players wander and kill and quest to their hearts content, but instances will be for up to five people.
There were plenty of enemies to fight and loot to find in the dungeon, along with a miniboss and boss to fight. What was impressive, though, was the graphics. They looked like something you would see in an MMO with a monthly fee, not something that’s releasing for free.
Like other titles the studio has released, expect plenty of content and support to come coming after the release. Considering how big the world already is, this means there should be no shortage of gameplay anytime soon after the game’s late 2012 release.