At the beginning of the month, Perfect World Entertainment revealed that its popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Neverwinter would be coming to the Xbox One in China. The MMO genre is one of the most popular types of games in China; they have literally a million billion of them over there. If I am not mistaken, that's a number so high that mathematicians don't even have a word for it.
Announcing a game for the Chinese market and announcing it for the rest of the world are two different things. But did anyone really think Perfect World wouldn't bring Neverwinter to North America and Europe as well? The PC version already has a strong following worldwide, after all. Today it became official: Neverwinter will arrive on Xbox One worldwide (following this year's Chinese release) in 2015!
Seems like it's never winter
Neverwinter is a Dungeons & Dragons-themed MMORPG that launched on PC last year. The game takes place in the Forgotten Realms city of Neverwinter. Although not a true sequel to the popular Neverwinter Nights series, this Neverwinter draws influence from both games.
After nearly being destroyed by a cataclysmic volcanic eruption, Neverwinter has finally been restored to its former glory. A powerful Lord known as Neverember takes the city under his protection in the hopes of eventually ruling it as king. But multiple forces of evil threaten the rebuilt city, including a lich queen, a resurrected pirate, and an army of the undead…
Players can choose from seven races and six classes in Neverwinter. The races include Half-Orc, Human, Half-Elf, Elf, Drow, Dwarf, and Tiefling; the classes consist of Great Weapon Fighter, Guardian Fighter, Trickster Rogue, Devoted Cleric, Control Wizard, and Hunter Ranger. A seventh class called the Scourge Warlock will be unleashed in the upcoming PC expansion "Tyranny of Dragons" next month.
As you'd expect, Neverwinter uses a modified version of the 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules. The actual combat is highly approachable, closer to Diablo III than the more involved mechanics of Elder Scrolls Online. The game also offers player-created quests, a feature you won't find in other many other online RPGs.
The PC version of Neverwinter is free to play. Get it from Perfect World's Arc Games website.
Xbox One version
Neverwinter will arrive on Xbox One worldwide in the first half of 2015. According to IGN, the console version will contain most (but not all) of the PC game's content. Perfect World plans to stagger some of the game's post-release content when bringing it to Xbox One, presumably to give console players a chance to enjoy the main game before moving on to endgame-focused content.
In our original story, contributor Kane Gao worried about how well a computer game like Neverwinter would translate to console controls. According to the developer, it adapts very well. A tray of commands appears at the bottom of the screen, where players can hotkey them to buttons on the controller. Holding Left Bumper toggles to alternate commands, giving players access to a wide variety of moves and items without the need for a keyboard.
Beyond that, Xbox One-specific details are scarce. We know that Xbox One players won't be able to mingle with PC gamers. Not too surprising, as Microsoft just plain won't allow cross-platform play with non-Xbox systems. The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) will work the same way when it arrives on the Xbox One at the end of the year, segregating Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC players. Also, both games will require Xbox Live Gold memberships in order to play.
Knowing that cross-platform play is out, two big questions remain. One: will PC players be able to transfer their characters to the Xbox One version? Although ESO will support such a transfer, we can't assume the same for Neverwinter. And two: will Neverwinter be free to play on Xbox One? Considering that ESO will be a retail game AND require a monthly subscription fee, Neverwinter will have a huge pricing advantage if it retains the PC version's free to play payment model.
Perfect World Entertainment promises more details as Neverwinter gets closer to release on Xbox One. We'll keep you posted!