Beamdog Announces Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition

Beamdog – an Edmonton, Alberta-based developer comprised of several former BioWare personalities — have made a name for themselves already by releasing remastered, Enhanced Edition versions of such notable titles as Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale. And while rumours were recently circulating that the company was working on a remastered version of Planescape: Torment, it turns out that they had something very different — and, I’d say, far more exciting — up their sleeve:

 


 

There’s even a trailer for it:

Some details from the press release:

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Combines all the content of Neverwinter Nights Diamond Edition with all-new enhanced features. Includes 100+ hours of award-winning adventures and the tools to create your own! Play alone, with a friend, or join up to 64 others online! Step into a fantastical world filled with magic, wonder, and adventure at every turn.

Enhanced Features

  • Improved Display: Your portrait, combat bar, inventory, and other UI elements adjust in size based on your chosen resolution including 1080p and 4k.
  • Advanced Graphics Options: Pixel shaders and post-processing effects make for crisper, cleaner visuals. Enable contrast, vibrance, and depth of field options as preferred.
  • Community Endorsed: Original developers have teamed with key members of the Neverwinter Nights community to curate important fan-requested improvements to support players, storytellers, and modders.
  • Backwards Compatibility: Works with save games, modules, and mods from the original Neverwinter Nights. A galaxy of community created content awaits.

The release is accompanied by a Digital Deluxe bundle which includes three of the original premium modules (Pirates of the Sword Coast, Infinite Dungeons, and Wyvern Crown of Cormyr), two soundtracks collecting all of the original music, and a new portrait pack. Each piece of DLC will be available to wishlist on Steam All content will be available on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

It’s the backwards compatibility that’s of particular interest here, I think; several Ultima remakes chose Neverwinter Nights as their basis, most notably two Ultima 4 remakes, and the Aurora Toolset remains one of the best examples of how to ship a toolset with a game. The Neverwinter Nights engine certainly had its limitations (it was not an engine to create an open-world game with), but it was also surprisingly versatile, and the scripting engine allowed you to modify the core game experience quite extensively. Alas, Beamdog don’t seem to be targeting this release at mobile devices, which they did with their earlier Enhanced Edition releases. Which is a shame; I’d love the opportunity to play Neverwinter Nights (and mods for it, as well) on the go.

Still, it’s good to hear that this version of the game will continue to support mods for previous versions. I might have to dust off some of my old files!

1 Response

  1. dukftuf says:

    Great news for one of the greatest RPG computer gaming systems of all time. Bioware and the NWN toolset drug classic D&D kicking and screaming into the online world in perhaps the best to date freewheeling way. I had more hardcore roleplaying fun with friends with NWN’s innovative but streamlined systems than in any game ever, except perhaps with UO. It will be great to see it back and improved.

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