MMO's have had a turbulent time so far on console. The Crew suffered from an identity crisis and Destiny got slated for its short story and repitive grinding.
So, how does a free to play game like Neverwinter shape up? Well, being that it has already been on PC since 2013, its had time to look at how they can produce a better priduct.
You have the usual character building from the begining, choosing a race such as human or the lizard like Theifling. Then your choice of class from hand to hand combat to casting, to what I chose the Hunter rogue class.
These classes get better at level 30. When you choose a paragon class and gain even more powerful skills, such as the rather amazing 'split the skies' skill on Hunter Rogue's skilltree.
You can also add heroic and paragon skill points to various abilities such as higher movement speed to higher hitpoints. Paragon levels add damage and duration to skills etc, a lot more helpful in the later stages of the game.
The game itself is simple yet so much like other MMO's (like Dark age of Camelot) that you can easily pick it up and play for hours. Your skill bar will consist of three double sided skills. For example my class uses two weapon sets so when i switch to melee the skills I have from my bow tree turn into a different skill. Eg as an archer 'boar hide' makes me able (and two other party members) to sustain more damage, but as melee a spirit boar runs down a target knocking them to the floor.
Unfortunately, being free to play, there are a lot of pay to gain options. For example you have to pay real life money to get keys for a Tyranical lockbox that drops frequently in the game. The people who do buy them rarely get the thing they bought the key for. You can also buy new mounts, new weapons, armour, fashion sets and if you're really desperate to get a new race and character slot, the dragondorn pack is for you.
This pack would set you back £64.99, as that is the lowest Zen currency pack you could buy. As mentioned above you do get the bearded dragon looking race 'Dragonborn', an extra character and the option to breathe fire on any character. But is it worth the exta money?
Not when the game is already just as fun without it.
The game has a lot of great sprawling maps, to keep you exploring and has incredible dungeons (my personal favourite is Gray Wolf Den) each time you hit the highest level for a dungeon it is replaced on your queue system by a harder one.
There are tons of currencies too. From astral diamonds (aquired by doing daily challenges and praying to your diety) that would get you things ranging from a dunegeon key to a powerful companion 'Angel of protection'.
Dragon coins progress your 'Dragon campaign' from the main menu. Seals can be traded for new gear and if you play PvP a lot, you get honour which can then be traded for Epic fear once you hit level 60.
This has the makings of an Xbox Hit. Even if the servers can't cope under the weight of player demand and freezes ocassionally. This can kick players off the server or causes a wait shortener till besthesda's The Elder Scrolls Online hits consoles. You can't escape the fact that this game is incredibly fun, time guzzling and fun to play in with a guild or on your own.
8/10 for core gameplay
4/10 for its add-ons
7/10 for graphics
9/10 replay value
Review by SolaceConquest