Monday, 4 December 2017

Adventuring Through Impressions - Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Digital Deluxe - Head Start

These impressions are based on roughly an hour's time with the latest version (as of writing) of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Digital Deluxe - Head Start (which is basically a beta version available to those who pre-order). Check out my thoughts after the jump!

A little background: I played the original campaign of Neverwinter Nights roughly a year after its release. It was nothing special, but it had a great atmosphere and the story and characters were interesting enough to keep me playing. More than a decade later, Beamdog announced Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, which I pre-ordered in order to get access to the Head Start. I think it's safe to say that was a good decision.

First off, it was refreshing to be able to launch the game with no fussing about with Windows compatibility settings or configuration files. I fired up the Hordes of the Underdark campaign, selected a previously created character from my copy of Neverwinter Nights Diamond, and dived in. Don't worry, I'll keep this spoiler-free for anyone who hasn't played Neverwinter Nights or HotU. What I can say is that, although the depth of field effect looked slightly odd, I got used to it fairly quickly, and the graphics looked somewhat cleaner and had slightly crisper textures. I am hoping to see better anti-aliasing implemented, as there are still some jagged edges on corners and character models here and there. Beamdog are claiming that they will continue to enhance the visuals and gameplay, so we shall see. The enhancements, and the fact that I didn't experience any crashes or serious glitches in my time with the game, are promising, but it's early days yet, so I look forward to the future of NWN: EE. Beamdog have apparently fixed a number of bugs related to game mechanics, as well as various optimisations for the game engine, as detailed in the release notes they put out for the game.

A screenshot from HoTU, with all of the graphical options turned up to the max.
They have also included all six of the premium modules with the Digital Deluxe edition (the standard edition includes three). Both Deluxe and Standard include Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark. I have only tried out HoTU so far, but I am already fairly satisfied with the level of stability and smoothness of the gameplay, as well as the (admittedly minor) game mechanic fixes and visual touch-ups. Long live Neverwinter Nights!

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