Neverwinter Nights: Just the name sends shivers down the spines of most PC RPG gamers. After months of waiting, the RPG to end all RPGs has finally hit the market. But is it everything it has been hyped up to be? Neverwinter Nights was an ambitious idea in the first place: An RPG that allowed ultimate customization and a never-ending series of adventures, created by the gaming community and RPG lovers everywhere. It would be like buying your very own AD&D module creator, in a pinch.
My main gripe, then, would be the lack of an equally exciting module built into the game. NWN's single player game is somewhat weak: A plague is killing the denizens of Neverwinter, and you need to find out how to stop it (shades of Heretic II, anyone?). While not a bad module in itself, it lacks the depth of gameplay that the Baldur's Gate series had. Also, character movement and control is not as graceful or simple as Dungeon Siege, but then again, this is a much more in depth adventure game. I was unable to test multiplayer aspects of the game, but the engine looks solid and should support LAN play with very little lag.
But in many ways, NWN is superior to that title in many aspects. The first person perspective is a lot more intuitive than previous Bioware titles, and sound and video are both excellent. The Aurora module building tool, while extremely memory intensive (256M recommended), is very simple to use and will be easy for even moderate RPG enthusiasts to master quickly, making turnaround time for module creation much shorter.
In short, I give Neverwinter Nights a Fans Only rating for the time being, being as that the single player game lacks the fun factor that I expect newer fan created modules will. In a month, new adventures built by fans will definitely push this game into the ranks of Recommended Buy.