Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition Review (PS4)

With the release of Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition, we can now say that the Beamdog Collection is complete, at least for now. But instead of the fulfillment we were expecting, we are left feeling frustrated and disappointed. The more recent entry in the D&D videogames raised our hopes to receive a better remaster, one that we could enjoy without buyer’s remorse. Unfortunately, the experience is the same, Neverwinter Nights Enhanced edition being a complete disappointment and a very unpleasant aftertaste after the other D&D remasters we have already reviewed.

17 years ago when the Enhanced Edition was released, Neverwinter Nights was a dream that came true for the fans of the tabletop games. Next to an excellent campaign, we had also received the Aurora Toolset, which made it easy to bring to life our fantasies inspired by the novels of R.A. Salvatore. The Enhanced Edition released for PC in 2012 was one of the best compilations ever to have been published.

Unfortunately, the Nights of Neverwinter became darker and emptier with the passing of time and the present remaster fails to restore its former glory. While the 2D graphics of games like Baldur’s Gate or Planescape Torment still awake in us a feeling of nostalgia, Neverwinter Nights reminds us that our memories about the 3D environments and characters are more romanticized than the cruel reality.

The game’s atmosphere cannot make us forget the polygonal mess that the game has become: the low-quality textures, the extremely reduced drawing distance, the low polygon models and the stiff animations are a painful assault on our eyes. Although the producers stated that they will use an updated graphical engine that improves the visual quality of the game, the result is nowhere near those promises. Even the hardcore fans of the game will not be able to get past how bad Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition looks on PlayStation 4.

Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition

Even the cutscenes which used to immerse you in the world of the game, now have an aggravating effect on your mood. Instead of adapting them to high resolution or at least to the current aspect ratio of displays, the studio decided to leave them as they are. It is a shame that the technical part is lacking so severely because content-wise we have everything we could have wished for. Next to the two major expansions, Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark, the Enhanced Edition is completed by numerous smaller modules and even support for coop multiplayer.

Sadly, the game that we hoped that will shine most brightly in the Beamdog Collection is the one that makes us want to scream at the top of our lungs at the producers. The graphics quality is way worse than what this legendary title would have deserved, the studio couldn’t even achieve a stable framerate on the modern consoles. The extremely limited drawing distance is among the most frustrating aspects, along with the inventory system, which makes the game look primitive. It is unacceptable in 2019 to spend several minutes trying to equip one piece of armor or trying to sell multiple items.

Equipping your companion is a chore that will make your hair grow greyer than Gandalf’s. The same minuses we talked about the control scheme in our previous review about Baldur’s Gate and co., are present and even worse in here. The emulation of the movement of the mouse is very slow and imprecise. The button layout is very weird again, and the tactical pause menu proves to be a real pain in the butt. The graphics and control make you never want to touch this game again.

Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition

The difficulty levels are completely unbalanced compared to the PC version, making even the hardest difficulty settings a joke if you choose the appropriate companion. All in all, after long hours of searching I failed to find the RPG with which I fell in love with so many years ago. All I found is a technical mess that does not carry even a memory of the charm which made Neverwinter Nights legendary.


The Good

  • Rich content
  • Co-op multiplayer

The Bad

  • Terrible graphics
  • Framerate drops
  • Impossibly clumsy control scheme
  • Long loading times

Conclusion

Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition for PlayStation 4 is not just a technical mess, it is an expensive technical mess. The magic of the PC version released in 2012 has vanished completely because Beamdog is trying to pull a cash grab taking advantage of our nostalgia. Instead of delivering the careful remaster of a legend we were promised, the producers are throwing at us a cheap port that will offend the D&D fans. If you feel nostalgic stick with the remastered editions of the 2D games and stay away from this one. We cannot recommend Neverwinter Edition Enhanced Edition for PlayStation 4 not even at a heavily discounted price.

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