Neverwinter Nights for Mac is the long awaited port of the award winning PC roleplaying
game. Developed by BioWare, the makers of the Baldur's Gate series, and brought to
the Mac by MacSoft, Neverwinter Nights brings the Dungeons and Dragons 3rd edition
rules to your computer. Set in the town of Neverwinter, your character must help
save the town from a terrible plague and uncover who or what is behind it all.
- 450 MHz G3
- 256 MB RAM
- 32 MB video card
(Radeon/GeForce 2MX or better)
- Monitor that supports
800X600 and above
- 2 GB disk space
- Mac OS 10.2.6 or
iBook 500MHz, 256
MB RAM, 10 GB Hard disk, Mac OS 10.2.8
The program installs from 2 disks and takes a while, but completed without any problems.
After installing, I upgraded the program to the latest version (1.32.7054) from Bioware's
The game starts off allowing you to choose whether you want to play the included
campaign or another module. Additional modules are not included with the game, but
can be downloaded from Bioware's website or the Neverwinter Vault. I chose to play the campaign
and proceeded to the next step which was character generation.
You can play the game with a pre-made character, and there are about 20 of varying
classes, races, and alignments (good or evil), or you can create your own. The character
generation is the most extensive of any that I have seen. You begin by "rolling"
your abilities. This generates random numbers from 1 - 18 for each of your six abilities.
The abilities are the standard RPG character traits - Strength, Dexterity, Constitution,
Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Although the names may change between RPGs, the
meanings stay the same. You'll also choose your gender and race. Then choose your
character's portrait. The Bioware website has instructions on how you can create
your own image to use as your portrait - very nice touch. Another option I like are
the skill packages. You can choose skills individually or you can select a skill
package that will contain useful skills based on your character's class.
The campaign module is divided into a prologue and 4 chapters. The prologue is where
beginning players and characters can get started. Here you learn about the Wailing
Death, the plague affecting the town. You start in the Academy after having been
recruited to help the town. An in-game tutorial is presented by speaking to the non-player
characters (NPCs) you meet in the Academy. Each will explain a different aspect of
the game from how to fight, how to use your inventory and journal, to how to use
the different in-game camera angles. An unexpected attack on the Academy gets the
action going. By the time the battle is over, your character has been "gifted"
two levels and you have been tasked with helping find a cure for the Wailing Death
and finding out who is behind the attack on the Academy.
The campaign plays out within the confines of the town of Neverwinter. There are
a lot of places to explore and many side quests that you can complete. You'll soon
need to hire a henchman, and there are many to choose from at the local watering
hole. Make sure you find someone that is able to do the things that your character
is weak at. For example, a wizard would be wise to hire a fighter. One can only hire
one henchman, so choose well. This is one of the aspects of this game that made me
think of Diablo 2. The other is that the campaign is slanted heavily toward fighting
and collecting loot. Still, once you've started, its hard to stop playing. My wife
commented on more than one occasion that she had become a Neverwinter Nights widow.
The 3-D graphics are very well done. The game camera shows the point of view above
your character. The camera can be zoomed in and out and the graphics look smooth
at most of the zoom levels. Only when the camera is zoomed in very close are the
polygons really obvious, and then it's more the buildings than characters that become
squared off. The maximum zoom level is really too close to play the game though,
because you can't see much. It is nice to watch a fight close up though. The animations
are well done as well. Characters walk, run and even fidget a little when standing
idle for awhile. There is an option in the game options for "Violence level",
which seems to control the combat animations. On the "low" setting, there
are no combat animations. The characters in combat merely stand next to each other
and sort of flash when they get hit. The "full" setting adds combat animation.
The characters will swing their weapon or punch or attack with whatever means they
have. They will also react to being hit. There is another setting "special",
but it did not seem to act any differently than "full". The violence setting
can be password protected too. Once combat is initiated, it goes until you are dead,
your opponent(s) are dead, or you run away. You can pause the game at any time, including
during combat, so you can perhaps drink a much needed healing potion. When you resume
the action your character will stop fighting to drink before continuing the attack.
All of the normal weapons and armor can be found. Weapons include swords, axes, clubs,
maces and bows. For armor you get robes, leather hide, scale mail, chain mail, and
plate mail. Each item that you equip on your character (wear), causes a change in
your appearance. In some situations, NPCs will even take note of your appearance,
like if you're armed in a place where you shouldn't be.
With multiplayer support, you can take the experience online. The online game server
is free and provides gamers with any type of game they could want to play. At any
time there seem to be hundreds of games going on of all types. Game types include
story driven games, action, social, role playing, etc.... You also have the opportunity
to join a "persistant world" (think Everquest without the monthly fee).
Other goodies included with the game are a server program to allow you to host network
games and a Dungeon Master (DM) Client. With the DM client you can control the adventure
for a group of friends.
Neverwinter Nights is a fabulous addition to any game library. The packaged game
provides hours of fun and the wealth of downloadable modules provides for an endless
gaming experience. Although, the supplied campaign plays a lot like Diablo 2, mostly
hack and slash with little roleplaying, it was fun and addictive. Once you decide
to take your game experience online, you can play countless user created modules,
join a game hosted by someone else, or become part of a persistent world. Unfortunately,
you won't be able to create your own module, as the tools set for doing so was not
brought to the Mac (The Open Knights group is currently trying to do
this). No matter how deeply you want to delve into the various aspects of the game,
from basic adventuring solo-style, to online role-playing, you will thoroughly enjoy
- Addictive gameplay
- Excellent character
- Huge supply of additional
- Multiplayer capability
- Lack of module building
tool kit for Mac
- Little roleplaying
in the packaged campaign
out of 5 Mice