Review: Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition, is it Worth It?

Last Updated on September 21, 2019 by Michael Brockbank

Feeling nostalgic for one of the best Dungeons and Dragons games ever created? Of course this is an opinion, but it’s hard to discredit such an excellent title. And now, you can get Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition directly from Steam. But is it worth your money?

That depends on your frame of mind. Not everyone finds value in graphics that are nearly two decades past their prime.[template id=”145″]

What is Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition?

Originally released in 2002, Neverwinter Nights is a role-playing game set in the Forgotten Realms campaign world of Faerûn in Dungeons and Dragons. It centers around the city of Neverwinter where you battle to cure a deadly plague which has befallen the populace.

Finding NPCs and henchmen along the way, you battle a menagerie of creatures while discovering who is behind the disease.

Or, you can explore the other two complete campaigns: Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark. Both have their own layout and story to engage players.

Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition is an adaptation of the original game for today’s technology. Does this mean there are graphic improvements and overall bug fixes? Not really.

In reality, the Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition feels more like it was just ported to work with newer computer systems without fighting with settings. The majority of the game is still as you remember it.

It seems most complaints are coming from those who wanted a complete revamp of the game itself. Everything from graphics to playability seems to be on the minds of many.

Keep in mind this game has been around for almost 20 years. Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition isn’t meant to be a completely “new” game.

What Changes are In NWN: Enhanced Edition?

What exactly does “Enhanced” mean? In a nut shell, it means the game is improved for today’s market. Here are just a few changes made:

  • Improved Display: In 2002, 4k wasn’t readily available. Bioware has made changes to the display to make it more compatible with 1080p as well as 4k. All of this is automatically detected by the game.
  • More Graphics Options: Things like contrast and vibrance help focus attention on graphics. Even though the visuals are from the early 2000s, this makes for a bit cleaner of an appearance.
  • Improved Multiplayer Support: The multiplayer system of Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition is completely revamped. It makes playing with friends much easier and to find persistent world instances.
  • Expanded Modding: The original Aurora Tool Set got an uplift as improvements to shaders, textures and materials expand what modders and campaign creators can do in the system.

And since it’s supported on Steam, you can up and download from the Workshop to mod the game and other facets. It’s also backward compatible with any modules you might have created back in the day.

I wish I would have kept some of my original creations.[template id=”505″]

Where Can You Get It?

I picked up Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition from the Steam storefront. For $19.99, you get:

  • Neverwinter Nights
  • Shadows of Undrentide
  • Hordes of the Underdark
  • Aurora Tool Set Module Builder
  • Several Premium Modules that were paid DLC in the 2000s.

In reality, it’s a whole lot of gaming for $20 if you love RPGs.

What Are Some of the Most Notable Features?

Now, keep in mind this game has been out for a very long time. Some of the things you might be accustomed to today probably won’t be available. However, I found the game to still hold a special place in my library.

Mainly because I love to build new campaigns and modules.

Great Character Advancement

Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition is based on the 3rd Edition rules of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. Although I am a hardcore 2nd Edition fan, the game does follow the rules quite nicely.

Character advancement is quite in-depth, and you can build according to your own specific style of play. If you spend the points, you can give your wizard some great thieving skills without being a dual class.

Engaging Story Lines

One of the things that drove me to love Neverwinter Nights in the first place was the story line of all three games. Although I still have to say my favorite is the original, each one expanded the world and helped drive new ideas for creating my own platform.

Getting the Entire NWN Suite

For what you pay, you’re technically getting three games all with complete story lines. You also receive the DLC modules that drove many to create their own.

Which is great for people like me who had CD Keys for the original which have been lost to the passage of time. Now, it’s all connected through my Steam account – super convenient.

The Tool Set

I almost forgot how much I love building things in the tool set. For those who are creative and want to build a world for friends and family to join, the builder is a great tool to use.

While it still supports a version of the C programming language, a lot of the functions are easily implemented using automated tools.

Level-based Items

One thing I loved about the Aurora Tool Set is being able to create items that are focus on user level. This means you couldn’t create some god-powered weapon at level one without coding.

After all, who wants to play a game that is too easy with super-powered weapons and armor? I’m sure there are some, but I am not one of them.

Custom Journal

Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition has a built-in journal system to track the progress of your quests. What sets it aside from others is the custom journal that is included.

You can jot down your own notes at any time. This makes it handy when you come across secrets, clues and other things in-game you want to keep track of.

Still a Bit Buggy

Some of the odd bugs that were around in 2002 are still seen today. Some of the skills don’t work exactly as intended, and movement of the character as well as the camera is a bit wonky at times.

However, this doesn’t mean the game is unplayable. To me, these issues are on par with Bethesda’s Fallout 4 bugs…a little odd, but still playable.

How’s the Repeat Playability?

Because of the nature of Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition, it has superb capability for longevity. That is, for those who don’t mind two-decades old graphics.

Personally, I don’t mind at all. In fact, I look forward to seeing some of the new modules players create.

It’s also one of those games I can play over and over again with different classes and abilities. Kind of like how Diablo III has kept my attention for the past six years.

If you get enough people playing, it’s easy to create expansive worlds outside of the Forgotten Realms campaign. I remember playing on a Ravenloft-themed online server someone created – and it was simply amazing.

Is Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition Worth the Price?

For the amount of material you get for $19.99, it’s probably one of the better deals you’ll come across. I know some will probably point out that this is a cash-grab for Bioware as they repurpose an older game.

For players such as myself, I am glad they went this route. Not only does it save me from digging through storage to find my original books and CD keys, I get to relive fond gaming moments from 2002 and up.

For new players, keep in mind this game is nearly 20 years old. Don’t expect eye-popping graphics or fluid mechanics. This is an enhancement of an old game, not a new build.

It may not be worth the money to you if that’s what you’re expecting.

What’s the Bottom Line?

For older players such as myself, Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition is a game I didn’t think I needed until I saw it on Steam. It brought back good times and lets me relive those moments of building new landscapes and quests.

For 20 bucks, it’s definitely worth the price in my book.[template id=”543″]

Michael Brockbank
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Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition

19.99
8.5

Engagement

8.0/10

Play Quality

7.5/10

Easy to Learn

8.5/10

Repeat Play

9.5/10

Price Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • All NWN content accessible
  • Able to adapt to today's visual displays
  • Single or multiplayer ready
  • Easy to export and import

Cons

  • A few game play issues still persist
  • More items in the tool set would be nice
  • New character skins would be nice

Michael Brockbank

Michael developed ColoradoPlays to help various charities through his favorite pastime. Since then, the blog and Twitch channels have donated several hundred dollars to Extra Life, Geeks of Grandeur and Operation Supply Drop to name a few.