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E3 2012: Neverwinter hands-on

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Posted by: Lance Liebl

Later this year, Perfect World Entertainment and Cryptic Studios are releasing Neverwinter, a free-to-play action MMORPG. Yea, there’s already another free-to-play Dungeons & Dragons MMORPG out there, but Neverwinter takes a different approach than that one, using fast-paced, exhilarating combat and user-generated content. At E3 this past week, I was able to go hands-on with Neverwinter, and all it did was leave me wanting more.

Neverwinter MMO preview E3 2012

The action MMO genre is getting a lot of newcomers, with TERA being the latest to join the fray. When it came to my brief demo, I immediately started the comparisons between Neverwinter and TERA. To be honest, as a free-to-play game, I wasn’t expecting the level of polish that I got from Neverwinter. The combat was equal to, if not better than, that of TERA. Gone are the days of auto attacking, and in its place is skill-based, dynamic combat. Your main skills are assigned to your left and right mouse buttons, and those are going to be your bread and butter attacks.

I played as a Wizard in the demo and got to use some of the classic D&D spells, like Magic Missile. In no time was able to dispose of the wolves I was going up against, and the boss fight rewarded me with some nice loot… because loot is what makes the world go ‘round. With my target reticle and spells at my disposal, I quickly became addicted to the combat. My character looked cool, the combat was fun, and I was already a huge fan of Neverwinter Nights, so this game had me interested.

Neverwinter MMO preview E3 2012

That being said, the combat experience is the same in other action-MMOs. So what was the hook that was going to get me to choose this over other MMOs I was excited for?

I found that hook when I was told that Neverwinter would feature heavy doses of user-generated content. That’s right—The Foundry will allow players to create their own adventures, dungeons, quests, and stories. Thanks to the ability to create your own content or play other players’ created content, this pretty much assures that you’ll never run out of things to do. I was told that there would be a rating system for the UGC, so you could see which ones were the best.

Neverwinter MMO preview E3 2012

If you’re a fan of D&D, Neverwinter Nights, or just love to jump to the newest f2p MMO, Neverwinter looks to be a solid choice coming later this year. With twitch-based combat, user-generated combat, and a Dungeons & Dragons feel, Neverwinter is bringing something new to the MMO space, and all of this is in a free-to-play game. Look out for upcoming beta's for Neverwinter later this year.

You can follow Lance Liebl on Twitter @Lance_GZ

Tags: Neverwinter, Perfect World Entertainment, Cryptic Studios, PC, MMO, Preview, E3, E3 2012

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