Cryptic Studios Announces Neverwinter

Once a bustling location, Neverwinter has faced a great many disasters in the past hundred years. Rule of the city remains unclear following the unfortunate demise of the last Lord of Neverwinter and factions still battle for dominance after the all-consuming Spellplague took a high toll on the population. Even Neverwinter’s dead are beginning to rise from their graves and march upon the city they once called home.

Did you hear that? It's as if millions of D&D fans cried out for a new Neverwinter title and were suddenly silenced. Not only is this amazing pen and paper property making a comeback to PC, they're bringing along R.A. Salvatore (Drizzt Do'Urden and 38Studios (Kingdoms of Amalur) along for the ride!

“We're beyond thrilled to develop a brand new version of Neverwinter. It's been years since the original became a gaming icon and we’re honored to work with such a great franchise," said Jack Emmert, COO of Cryptic Studios. "We've been working closely with Wizards of the Coast and R.A. Salvatore to create an authentic D&D adventure filled with compelling fiction and exciting gameplay."

So here is the quick rundown. Players will be able to choose 1 of 5 classic D&D classes. You will have the option to play with friends or AI in order to create a 5-man group. I'm really looking forward to this small group dynamic with a group of, hopefully, like minded friends. I really want this to feel more like an epic adventure than a typical MMO grind. I believe that will be what sets this game apart from the other dungeon crawlers out there.

The big news here is the new Forge System, which according to the press release is a "user-friendly content generation system." This way a player can create their own quests and adventures giving an ultimately unique gaming experience each time. This sounds very similar to the world builder tool in the original Neverwinter Nights by Bioware. As we all know the modding community of Neverwinter Nights is still alive in some circles, so I'm curious what tools will be at the disposal of this community, and how deep will the rabbit hole go.

Players, who actually get off the computer and read a book now and then, can also check out R.A. Salvatore's new book trilogy slated for October 5th as a welcome back to the world of Neverwinter, and get a preview of the characters and the storyline to come. A tabletop game is also in the works. Neverwinter is scheduled to release sometime in the 4th quarter of 2011. You can get the feel of the game over at the official website for Neverwinter.