Veteran MMO developer Cryptic recently released a video with some “pre-alpha” footage of their upcoming free-to-play game, Neverwinter. The game, supposed to be fast paced action combat, can be seen here.

Neverwinter is based on the Forgotten Realms universe created for the pen and paper RPG, Dungeons & Dragons. The Forgotten Realms has had a number of games set in it, such as BioWare’s classic Baldur’s Gate series, the Icewind Dale series, and the Neverwinter Nights series, among others.

Get ready to venture into the Forgotten Realms!

Get ready to venture into the Forgotten Realms!

The first game in the Neverwinter Nights series, named Neverwinter Nights, was released in 2002. It was a critical as well as commercial success despite its mediocre story, because of its gameplay which was strongly adherent to the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition ruleset, and the tools the game came with that allowed you to mod the game to your liking.

Neverwinter Nights also featured a DM mode, where one player could take on the role of the DM, the Dungeon Master, that handles the world that other players can play in. The game engine was designed around an internet-based model for running a massively multiplayer online game, which would allow end users to host game servers. The intent was to create a potentially infinite massively multiplayer game framework.

Neverwinter Nights saw the release of three expansion packs, Shadows of Undrentide, Hordes of the Underdark, and Kingmaker. The game's success led to a sequel, Neverwinter Nights 2, released in 2006.

The sequel, Neverwinter Nights 2, was developed by Obsidian Entertainment. The game was again based on the same Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition ruleset as its prequel. It was widely praised for being a vast improvement over the first game, mostly with regards to the story of the game, and the party management. Neverwinter Nights 2 saw the release of two expansion packs, Mask of the Betrayer, and Storm of Zehir, and one official adventure pack named Mysteries of Westgate.

Neverwinter was announced in 2010, and is said to have a persistent world including the content creation kit, based around co-operative groups of five, built on the fourth edition ruleset of Dungeons & Dragons, and all the character customization that Cryptic is known for.

Neverwinter is also said to be a “multi-platform event”, but not in the way that it might see a console release. It means that there will be a trilogy of novels based on the Forgotten Realms, and a tabletop roleplaying game.

You may sign up for the beta at the website. There is no date announced for either the beta, or the actual game itself as of yet.

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