Atari Announces Neverwinter for 2011

Atari’s attempt to jump on the co-op RPG bandwagon, with a franchise we all know and trust.

As the domain registrations earlier this month had foreshadowed, Atari has announced a new game in the Neverwinter Nights series, this one named simply ‘Neverwinter’ and set in the same eternally-tumultuous D&D city we know and love.

The twist here, is that the game is being developed by Cryptic Studios, whose forte has traditionally been exclusively-online games like City of Heroes, City of Villains and Star Trek Online. As one might guess, Neverwinter is an online co-op multiplayer this time, set in a persistent world. So yeah, this has obviously turned off a good bunch of the Neverwinter Nights’ fanbase already, so let’s just move on with what we have:

The story is supposed to tie in with a series of books written by R. A. Salvatore, the first of which is coming out on October 5th this year. Because it’s the latest fashion in video game marketing, the novel will introduce you to the world and characters that you will encounter in the game, and make more money for all parties involved! Except you.

The story itself concerns Neverwinter after it has been ravaged by a disease creatively named ‘Spellplague’. As different factions vie for power in the city, it is upto you – one hero out of a hundred million playing the game, to save the day! I wouldn’t be surprised if the plot involves discovering that the disease is a plague, that was caused because of a spell. Oh, and there’s zombies. Because there’s no game on the market right now that lets you kill zombies.

Five D&D character classes are available – glimpsing from the silhouettes on the main site, they most likely are: Mage, Warlock, Fighter, Rogue and Ranger. The rest of the D&D lore should be in as well, but in case you find anything lacking, the game will pack easy-to-use content creation tools, which sounds more like a gimped modding kit than anything.

Neverwinter is set to be released sometime in late 2011, for the PC, PC, PC and also, the PC.

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