A long time ago I gave Neverwinter Nights a shot and then for reasons I can’t recall, decided that it stunk and stopped playing early on in the game. If I had to guess, I was expecting a Diablo 2 clone and was not pleased when NWN was a different beast with a similar skin. If you aren’t sure what you’re getting into NWN is a game that seems like an action RPG at first but is actually bound very tightly to whatever rules edition of Dungeons and Dragons was around at the time (2.5 I think? I really have no idea). I enjoy turn-based RPGs much more than clicky click adventures normally, it just wasn’t what I was expecting when I started playing.
After years of being hounded, I decided to give in and I enjoyed Neverwinter Nights although I wasn’t completely blown away. I think that not being familiar with AD&D at all beyond computer games takes away some of the appreciation of the game, plus joining the party late meant that I missed the initial excitement.
I went pretty boring vanilla with my player-character, choosing a human fighter (recommended for beginners like myself!) and mostly went along with what the game said was best in terms of character build. Going this path made strategy pretty similar to a Diablo 2 clone with some wait between hits (and misses), honestly. When you run low on health you can even open up the equivalent of a town portal and heal/pick up your dead henchmen quickly and go back where you were. I don’t think that my amazing strategy of trip to Temple of Tyr, heal and go back would change with a different class, of course, but there’s probably a bit more thought than “Attack” with other some of the character builds options.
A lot of people raved to me about the story in the main campaign of Neverwinter Nights but I thought it was pretty pedestrian. There’s no party members to get to know and although you can become chummy with the various mercenaries I felt like the relationships were pretty one way. You ask, and if your character is a certain level or finds a certain item the mercenary talks.
There is a whole lot to do in the game if you are a sidequesting type I certainly am and I didn’t finish everything. I probably got about 70% of the available non-henchman talking at me quests, which seems like a lot but I normally do all the sidequests available in games I don’t hate as long as they don’t involve stupid things like dodging lightning 100 times in a row.
My feelings towards Neverwinter Nights are pretty similar to most of the BioWare developed games I’ve played: I enjoyed it, but thought it was a little overhyped. It didn’t set off the extra flags in my brain that move me to really love and care about a game but I had a fun time while playing.