E3: Neverwinter Nights Impressions
One of the highlights of the show was the appointment-only showing of Bioware's Neverwinter Nights. The showing included an hour of play with one of the Bioware developers, who served as a DM as six members of the media played through the game.
Using pre-generated characters (Tortolia as a cleric, Legion as a paladin), the session included play through one of the single player campaign's dungeons, slightly upgraded in difficulty to accomodate the higher level characters. The DM's influence was completely seamless, with several more powerful monsters being placed on the fly, as well as the DM adding a necessary quest item that didn't spawn properly.
Other highlights of the demonstration included a look at the toolkit, as an outdoor forest map was created with a variety of higher level spawns and a special demon NPC (the "Crazy Balor", complete with special axe and armor). There was also the "fight club", where all of the members of the media were given full DM powers and were able to spawn a variety of items and creatures to fight. This segment was like a twisted version of Pokémon, with a variety of ancient dragons and demons being summoned and fighting each other. Thanks to the DM powers, we were able to heal our critters and slay the others instantly - a popular option.
Other highlights included the rogue's ability to spot traps, which usually happened after one was set off by someone else, and a DM controlled dragon NPC that was fortunately friendly. While it was easy to communicate with the other players due to the LAN setup, a variety of voice options were handy to quickly communicate with the other players.
The combination of gameplay and Bioware's infamous Northern Bounty of free drinks and food made for a very entertaining session, and we're both looking forward to the June release of Neverwinter Nights.
Stay tuned for further coverage of Neverwinter Nights in the near future.