In 2002, BioWare and Infogrames released Neverwinter Nights, a Role-Playing Game (RPG) based on the D&D Forgotten Realms campaign for the PC. Like classic games Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale, Neverwinter Nights followed the Dungeons & Dragons ruleset.
It was widely well-received by gamers and critics due to the campaign, gameplay, and general overall look and feel of the game. The characters were memorable, especially Lady Aribeth, the main NPC that leads the player on their journey, as were supporting NPCs Fenthick, Desther, and Aarin. The story itself was in line with a typical D&D campaign, but with a few surprising plot points and twists.
While there have been expansion packs for the game including Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide (2003), Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark (2003), and Neverwinter Nights: Darkness over Daggerford (2006), plus additional premium packs and re-releases, the game has not officially received any graphics updates for newer PCs.
Fortunately, Beamdog, the developer who know holds the Neverwinter Nights IP, just announced that there will be a Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition for PC.
“Neverwinter Nights was a unique game that distilled the essence of Dungeons & Dragons and allowed players to build, share and act as Dungeon Master for amazing gaming experiences. I think this unique combination makes Neverwinter Nights one of the most versatile role playing game experiences of all time.”
“I invite everyone interested in the future of Neverwinter Nights to join the Beamdog forums. We hope it will become a new home where you can speak directly with the development team. We need to know what YOU want to see Neverwinter Nights become, and we’ll do our best to meet and exceed those expectations,” said Beamdog CEO Trent Oster in a post on The Beamblog, Beamdog’s online blog.
This is fantastic news for RPG lovers who played the original version of the game and the subsequent expansions and modules. It now joins other successful enhanced additions that Beamdog has released like Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate II, Icewind Dale, and Planescape Torment.
The Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition will have a ton of new features. Aside from the original game campaign (over 60+ hours), it will also include two expansions, Shadow of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark. There will also be three premium modules (40+ hours): Kingmaker, ShadowGuard, and Witch’s Wake. And for the GM in you, the Aurora Toolset and the Dungeon Master Client will also be a part of the Enhanced Edition.
As far as the enhanced features go, the game has been updated to run on new computers and the UI will adjust based on your resolution. There are also Advanced Graphic Options, that will allow players to apply all advanced filters to the game, or specific filters like vibrancy, depth of field, and high contrast. The game will also be backwards compatible which means that if you have your old save games from your original NVN games, they will be playable in the Enhanced Edition.
If you want the full list of changes between the recent Neverwinter Nights patch and the Enhanced Edition, you can read the FAQ here.
A release date has not been announced, but you can pre-order the game from Beamdog.com or add it to you Wishlist on Steam for $39.99.
You can watch the announcement video below and check out some screenshots in the Gallery.
As for me, I am e-x-c-i-t-e-d to see this game return. Neverwinter Nights is a fantastic RPG and even if you don’t like RPGs, I think this just might hold your attention. As for the GM tools, I ignored those when the game came out, but since I started playing D&D, I will definitely need to check out these features.