Neverwinter is finally headed to Playstation 4 and after awhile of playing on Xbox in combination with running through a bit more on PS4 this is my review of the journey thus far. It's a mixed up review with bits of both and generally a review for the game. For this version I was granted some press swag to get a head start and to help progress as it can be a bit slow of a title to play through again. I would definitely suggest grabbing the Head Start pack as it's a huge advantage when first playing and helps out a lot to make those first levels much more enjoyable. The full list of content included will be mentioned by my score at the bottom so you know what I was using while moving through the game.
Generally the title is basically the same as on PC and Xbox, though I will say in console comparison it does appear to run a bit more fluid on Playstation. I had to switch between the two a couple times to notice the difference, but the frame rate is a bit better in general and during combat scenarios. It does however dip quite a bit during heavy action areas and this was expected. Aside from trophies being added the game also does not require Playstation Plus to play and can be entirely free to play if you so choose it.
When you first step into the world and begin to learn the various aspects of gameplay it really doesn't sink in how actually in-depth this game can get. It's really around that point when you hit the double digit levels where you see just how far skill trees, paragon points and basically every aspect aside from gameplay goes. I'll dig into all this a bit more after I go over the basis of what it's like to explore and play.
Neverwinter is a very guided game which works well for console and even has a Fable trail going on which lets you know where to head. The system in place for guiding you is usually quite precise and works efficiently for everyone in the group, but it does at times let you down. The gameplay which I thought might open up at one point continues to be a very linear style of play akin to the comparison of Fable once more. This works fine and really won't bother too many people since it's so guided, I just expected for an MMO that it might become more free towards the higher level areas.
There's a good selection of areas presented to you which go by fairly quickly as you complete the quests and level up before moving on. Any person at anytime can hop into these and quest with friends though it really doesn't scale at all in terms of enemy level or XP which means you'll probably do quests multiple times if you play with others. I honestly wouldn't even suggest attempting to play this by yourself as it's just not as fun.
Every area was also divided into multiple sectors as you progressed usually cut-off with fires to mark the next area of play. Some of these areas also would feature some sort of dungeon adventure of crypt for teams to conquer. This is usually marked at a higher level than the current area and it's advised to play with five players if you can, which you'll most likely need.
After completing all the main story quests within one area you'll eventually be sent back to the Enclave in order to be guided further. This is basically just recycled all the way through and one particular issue I had with quests was that if progress well without leveling it'll actually lock progress until you level up. A major annoyance once reaching higher levels as grinding XP through kills is not my idea of a good time, but a factor of MMOs.
Aside from the whole main narrative level of play is a bunch of side quests for you to take part in. These focus around extra activities to tackle within areas and general expansion of the core story. There's the option to grab daily quests which give bonuses for essentially going back and replaying things like dungeons. There's also a PVP area where players attack one another in a battle scenario though this seems to be largely meant for more range characters.
The loot is also fairly good when being in the whole PVP combat so it may be something you'll want to check out, though honestly you can just continue your experience without it and not care at all. If you decide to learn of prayer it can be of great benefit as you can pray at a fire every hour for bonus items. These usually include the Astral diamonds which are premium currency in the game to buy things with. I'll elaborate more on the whole free to play and paying aspects later below
Players also have the option to collect a companion of their choice from which I was given a mage this time, better than the dog I have on Xbox. You level these companions over time to a specific level then you'll need to go through a more rigorous process. After leveling for awhile you'll also get the option to buy a mount which greatly improves you travel times.
Aside from that there are many markets to buy things from including seal markets which various area enemies grant and an auction area along with a bank. That's all the main area really offers, but I should dive into professions here as well. You get a wide variety of selections in terms of which profession or if you want all of the options to progress. These are in the background like tasks you have hired individuals do for you. It really depends on how much time you want to spend on being able to create items.
As you continue to level in the game skills are unlocked which build your character and progress the skill tree. Most of these cannot be undone so make sure your choices are done wisely. There are also paragon points which grant certain bonuses during combat and you improve this area as well when leveling up. That about covers the basis of the games, now it's time to discuss the whole character element of play. From the start you custom create your character across many differing aspects to make them how you like. Neverwinter provides a variety of races, characters and backgrounds to choose from.
Once progressing you can even edit your own back story or pick a new title after accomplishing something to unlock them. Inventory is handled well within the game as you get a starter bag and occasionally pick up further space where it gets filled with crap on your adventures. At the start you grab everything you can, but eventually you just pass on anything not easy to quick stack/sell.
Neverwinter has a neat bidding system for parties. It works with Need, Greed and Pass as everyone bids on items that are sent towards the group as whole. It can be a fun mini game for everyone to complain about or compete with, it's just a good side thing to think about. Finally you have your riches and profession items which are also in the pack, we'll go over the whole astral and free to play aspects right below.
Neverwinter is massive and free game for everyone to download without the need to have Playstation Plus. So there's really no complaints in that regard as you can get a full experience without paying a penny. While it's supposed to be microtransactions I did find that some of the prices were a bit higher for mostly decorative items. Nothing gameplay wise is locked out though it would be nice to see some cheaper options for players to buy in smaller amounts at a time to support the game.
Adapting a keyboard to console is very hard to do and they nailed it. It's a simple setup where each button is hot keyed to a part of the controller and then holding "L1" you can switch between the sets of options to a secondary area. The first always at front section is mostly combat whereas the second section is more social and character options. Should also mention you can do all sorts of emotions which were hilarious while waiting to queue up for a dungeon. The movement and combat worked well in the game yet I did find it a bit stiff at times with the character often chopping at air instead of locking on.
Neverwinter is a great free to play game that you play entirely for nothing and have a worthwhile time with it. I've put in far too many hours personally between my characters on both consoles and with friends the game is that much more enjoyable.
It's a massive world that I've seen gain large amounts of extra content over time that has also been free and keeps you coming back. It's a free game which shows that MMOs can work on consoles and it's a fantastic addition to anyone's console.
Never winter for Playstation 4
Review Code Provided by Perfect World
Items Given as Press: Fragile Onyx Weapon Pack; Onyx Keyring with 20 enchanted keys, Adventurer’s Helper Pack, Graycloak’s Legacy weapon, Onyx Horse mount, “The Onyx Adorned” title and a badass blue tiger