A massively multiplayer online game based on the fiction of Dungeons & Dragons, Neverwinter is out now on PlayStation 4 - and it's totally free to download and play. At the time of writing, we've invested around 20 hours into the free-to-play foray, and we have to admit that it's actually quite difficult to put down. That may just be the nature of a good MMO, but for one that doesn't have to cost you a penny, we've been left rather impressed by Cryptic Studio's high fantasy outing.
Many role-playing games that originate on PC don't always transition well to consoles, but as is the case with thoughtfully ported titles such as Final Fantasy XIV and The Elder Scrolls Online, Neverwinter proves to be a comfortable fit on Sony's machine. While the multi-layered menus can take a little getting used to, there's a nice snappiness to the user interface that makes playing with a DualShock 4 perfectly viable.
What's more, Neverwinter's great at steadily introducing gameplay mechanics so that you're not immediately overwhelmed. Like so many MMOs, the release is an amalgamation of various systems - from combat to crafting and solo questing to competitive play - and if it wasn't fed to you in chunks, you'd probably lose your mind.
That said, more impatient players may disapprove of the game's reasonably slow opening hours. Initially, you're directed through a series of story-based quests that aren't all that imaginative, but thankfully, it isn't too long until things start to branch out a little, with side quests popping up on a very regular basis. Again, once you're through the grind, you'll find that it becomes increasingly hard to peel yourself away.
Player progression is the real hook here, as the release is constantly rewarding you with loot drops and skill points to spend. The satisfaction that comes with seeing your custom character rise through the ranks is a core element of any good RPG, and it's doled out relentlessly here.
It also helps that a solid character creation system is on hand to properly kick things off. There are multiple playable races to choose from, and while the available classes are of the traditional variety - tanks, damage dealers, healers, etc. - expansive skill trees allow for a lot of customisation, especially as you work your way into the higher levels.
So, how does Neverwinter actually play? On a base level, it's your typical MMO RPG, featuring hotbars that house your chosen skills, cooldown timers, and copious amounts of quest markers. Combat has a touch of Diablo about it as you throw out various attacks that aren't in the process of cooling off, and you'll often have to change your tactics on the fly depending on whether you're dealing with singular enemies or groups of foes.
Battles boast an enjoyable pace, and there's a nice hack and slash feel to each encounter, particularly since slower, more powerful incoming attacks can be avoided by moving outside of their effective area. Granted, deeper strategies don't really come into the equation until much later when you'll be busy raiding dungeons with a full party of friends, but even when you're flying solo, combat rarely outstays its welcome.
Speaking of dungeons, delving into unknown depths can be surprisingly dangerous. It's not wererats, sewer bandits, or even getting lost that you should be worried about - it's the numerous booby traps that cover the walls and floors of each lair. Walking into a trap will cause injury, lowering specific character statistics until it's healed, and you can only patch up your wounds by either resting at a campfire for a tedious amount of time or by using up an injury kit.
Traps tend to be cleverly hidden, but with a sharp pair of eyes - or the right skill - it's possible to spot them and plan accordingly. However you decide to deal with these obstacles, though, they at least mean that you're forced to take things slowly when it comes to exploring old ruins and the like - charge through a dungeon and it's only a matter of time until you get punished for your impatience. Perhaps traps aren't the most productive way to ensure that you pay attention, but they do add a welcome sense of danger to your adventures.
There are a few things that we haven't tried in Neverwinter just yet - namely the PvP component - but even without dipping our toes into the competitive scene, it's clear that you should at least be giving Cryptic Studios' creation a shot. It's chocked full of content, it's fun with friends, and, of course, it's completely free. MMOs aren't for everyone, but you can't really go wrong when the price is this right.
Have you given Neverwinter a go on PS4? What do you think of it? Gather a party and get adventuring in the comments section below.
This does sound promising and I am keen to give it a go after reading that. But I have to ask, how exactly do they make their money on this free to play MMO? Purely cosmetic items for sale or something else?
Oh, another question, sorry, do you know the maximum number of friends who can play together at once?
Yes yes, Ive been playing the crap out of this game ao much to do and the places uou start to quest are fun and original , my scourge warlock looks like sauron from lord of the rings, awsome gameI can hardly atop playing it. Alao worth mentioning your guild atarts off with a base and you build it up so theres no wait to save up for a guild hall.
You can play free but , I do advise you to drop some cash on a better mount and or a month vip both help out alot . Relatively cheap and helps you and the creators out.
Plus and linking your account gets you a tigerount and a preety deseant companion
I really liked on PC, but stopped playing becuase my PC is kinda old and had lots of lag, but now at PS4 it plays better and I like it more!
For the fan of the Forgotten Realms the game is even better. You will meet and fight alongside characters from the books and even the first Neverwinter nights game! Also there are some infamous monsters, one of them even gave me a nope nope moment and actually I back stepped a bit
@LieutenantFatman Yeah, you can buy stuff like mounts for premium currency. Now and again, you also get loot drops in the form of 'boxes' and they contain randomised premium stuff, but you need to buy keys to open them.
And I think you can have up to 5 party members at one time, including yourself.
@LieutenantFatman there is a cash shop , mostly cosmetic thing , and bits like tokens for rerolling stat points and race change, also sell mounts and compaions extra inventory space (you get more through the storyline ) but the companion only level to 35 and the rest of the good stuff you have to get through gameplay. There main cash cow is the ly sell "keys" that go to lock boxea that you can pick up , the lock boxes contain random stuff like things to make armor compaions and weapons stronger , and and have a rare chance to drop exotic mounts n pets. also drop coupons you can use to get discounts at the cash shop. Only thing I would advise messing with is there vip plan and or grabing a mount. But wait untill you get a coupon first.
What's the performance like? I played the XB1 version at beta level and it was janky as hell.
Thanks for the replies, I'll give it a try. Not too keen on the 'buying keys' thing but might be a fun game despite that. I really enjoyed Hawken for the last few days and that's free to play so certainly deserves a chance.
@AhabSpampurse Much better than it was on Xbox One. Some slight frame rate dips in the central hub city, but fine apart from that.
there is also a currency ( crystals ) in game that lets you trade it with "cash" for the store, so you can buy keys without real money. For example I sold a very rare item yesterday for 300k crystals and used 75k to buy 2 characters slots!
I did play it for a few hours but I guess I need a better internet connection because my character was jumping all over the place. Never had an issue before with any game thats been online. So this game will be sitting on my shelf back to ESO.
I am loving this game. I hae played many MMOS in the past, Dungeon and Dragons Online: Stormreach, Lord of the Rings Online, Star Wars Galaxies, Star Wars The Old Republic, Everquest, Warhammer, Age of Reckoning and of course World of Warcraft and I must say this game is done really really well. It's nice also having the D&D license as well since I played alot of D&D in Jr. High and High school mainly Forgotten Realms and I was having a major Nerdgasim when I was running around the city reading various lore.
Will be sinking alot of time into this one for sure.
@NintendoFan4Lyf IIRC it wasn't due to the controller that Champions never came to console, Microsoft couldn't agree on terms with Cryptic.
I'm not usually one for these free to play games but when my mate mentioned there was a new Dungeons and Dragons game out and it was free I thought I'd give it a go and gotta say I am well impressed!I have completed the tutorial and done a few other quests and think I'll be keeping this one
But anyone know if this has a playtime status screen or something?not Important but I like to see how long I have spent wasting my life
Sounds good, I wish they'd make ESOTU free as well, I can never be bothered digging out the disc
Having a great time with the game so far. Won't be able to group much so I will see how far I can take it solo. I am loving the lore. It reminds me so much of my d&d days. I even noticed one of the keys you can get from vip (I don't have time to log on every day for vip to be worth it for me) is for a lock box called Shaundukul, a more obscure Forgotten realms diety, one my old d&d cleric "Jebus" used to worship. Made me smile.
@Melucine That's useful to know, thank you!
I'm halfway through downloading this now and looking forward to getting stuck in.
@Elodin luckly you can solo the who game no problem thanks to companions. Just find the right ome for you., healera are all around good choice tho. But if your squishy a tank or atriker compainion helps alot to.
Also Ill be on tonight in a 4 hours , add me if anyone wants some help , psn : Bladerider13 (hope not against the rules to put this here)
It's hands down the best F2P game on PS4 IMO. I just hit level 25 playing solo and have done fine. I don't want solo players like myself to see "MMO" and pass on the game.
@Splat Funny thing is most MMOS are solo friend. It's just a misconception that you have to be in groups. Heck even WoW is very solo friendly.
@BladeRider thanks for the info. I was wondering if companions actually helped or were more of an afterthought. I'm glad using one will help. I'm sure I'll need it for my CW.
@Elodin np and thanks for not picking apart my post because I have masive hands and a little phone, typing is a burden.
It does look like Diablo combat which puts me off trying this game. I'm not keen on overhead camera and small characters. Also most my time is invested in ESO at the moment.
@LieutenantFatman well depends on what your playing at the time but if you mean PvE tyen its five including yourself.
Great game it's the most fun on MMO's i've had for year's and they are my favourite Genre and i've played many many MMO's in the past with FFXII being my first about 20 year's ago! This is a great game and there's no pay wall, everything you can buy that isn't cosmetic can be earnt in game, stat reroll's (though that cost 300 gold you prob won't have that kinda money until max level), enchanted key's and extra char slot's etc can all be earnt as well as bought. I'll be subbing to this game for sure, best MMO on PS4 and it's free.
@StaffyDog No overhead camera and small character models here - it's only like Diablo in the sense that you have a bunch of skills governed by cooldowns and the combat has a slight hack and slash feel to it. Whole thing's 3D with a fully rotatable camera.
Played it and it feels to be lagging badly, especially in the hub areas. Other than that it's fun to pass the time and most of the content is free which is great.
I've been playing this a lot, and I'm totally hooked. The only real issue I have is that the game is quite buggy sometimes, not allowing you to do things that later you are able to do, or, not showing item descriptions properly in the menu's can be really frustrating. Otherwise, it's tons of fun - just make sure you have a buddy to quest with you, because all alone, you don't stand much of a chance.
@ShogunRok oh then maybe I should at least try it
@BladeRider I'll take you up on that! Hit me up too! psn id: bodywithoutorgan
@StaffyDog Definitely give it a go if you can - can't go wrong with free and a lot of people seem to think it's really good.
I had a go last night and it's pretty decent. I went with a human ranger (Milva) and although I'm only level 6 I've enjoyed what I've played so far. I quite like the battle system, it feels more hands on than FFXIV.
@xMEADx What do you mean subbing?? It's free.
Too busy with FFXIV (on PC using PS4 controller) to start this one up again...
@xMEADx FFXII is not an MMO..... Heck there wasn't even an FF MMO 20 years ago. FFVII wasn't even out yet!
@Bender FFVII is an MMO that was on PC, about 20 year's ago and was cross platform with the original big Xbox and by some is considered the greatest MMO ever, i'm sure this generation think they invented game's Google it ,FF7 online. @Tasuki it's free yes but I don't mind getting the VIP for 30 day's which is basically their way of putting subscription. You get a slight boost in XP and currencie reward's and if you get it again you get more reward's each time, stack's up to 12 time's. Even the subscription has depth 10 years ago about I dunno it was a long time. (edited) (edited again) FF11! got there in the end.... it's shut down now after 14 year's (didn't know that) that was about a year ago, had FF7 stuck in my head I googled it 4 time's...
@xMEADx Ah ok I didn't see the VIP pass.
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