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NWN - Darkness Over Daggerford Review

Discussion in 'Game/SP News & Comments' started by RPGWatch, Apr 15, 2024.

  1. RPGWatch

    RPGWatch Watching... ★ SPS Account Holder

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    [​IMG]The RPG Codex looks back at Neverwinter Nights - Darkness Over Daggerford:

    [​IMG]

    RPG Codex Review: Neverwinter Nights - Darkness Over Daggerford

    Last month, we published a review of Ossian Studios' Tyrants of the Moonsea module for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition by our resident Neverwinter Nights expert Gargaune. I'm happy to report that Gargaune decided to follow that up with a review of Ossian's other Enhanced Edition DLC module, the Baldur's Gate-ish adventure Neverwinter Nights: Darkness Over Daggerford. Unlike Tyrants of the Moonsea, the original free version of Darkness Over Daggerford was basically complete when it was released following the cancellation of the NWN premium module program back in 2006. Its 2018 Enhanced Edition rerelease offered mainly audio/visual improvements and bugfixes, which normally wouldn't be significant enough to merit a review. However, since we never actually published a review of the original module, it's a fine opportunity to finally give it the attention it deserves. Without further ado:

    Per Ossian themselves, their ambition for Darkness over Daggerford was to recreate a Baldur's Gate-like experience, referring to the BioWare title's open-world structure in particular. And to that end, Miranda's little studio delivered a feature that was sorely lacking in the original release and one that remains among NWN's standout post-launch additions - a true and proper world map! Indeed, DoD is the most "open world" NWN module I've played to date and Ossian genuinely succeeded in recapturing that original BG feeling of roaming the countryside looking for trouble. After being set loose from Daggerford itself, situated in the northern part of the map, you're free to explore a large, semi-contiguous region stretching out to the south, along the Trade Way heading to Baldur's Gate. The world map in DoD isn't just a nice visual flourish on your destination list like in the later TotM, but consistently involves discovery - e.g. to reach the Wild Hills for the first time, you'll have to travel in its direction from the Western Farmlands, Gillian's Hill, or the Wild Pastures, but you can't just hop over from the Eastern Farmlands unless you've already visited the Wild Hills before. Quest destinations will reveal some major locations on the map, while others you'll discover as proximate to your current location.

    [...]

    Bottom line, DoD caters to some RPG fans more than to others. If you're looking for a dungeon crawl, this isn't the module for you. If you're in it for a grand, sombre plot, it ain't that either. But if you want something to recapture that Baldur's Gate-like sense of exploration, of roaming the countryside in search of adventure and curiosities, it doesn't get much better than Darkness over Daggerford for NWN or many other contenders. It's a charming and lively open-world adventure, which is equally true for the new EE revision with its polished production values (for sale on GOG, Steam, or directly from Beamdog) as it is for the old PM release (available at the Neverwinter Vault). Either package is well worth checking out if that speaks to you, but the EE version will certainly yield the best experience if it's within your budget, and if one good turn deserves another, Ossian absolutely did NWN fans a solid back in the day.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2024
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