That fine bit of cartography up there outlines the Sword Coast – a fireball-pockmarked stretch of land belonging to that most popular of AD&D settings, the Forgotten Realms. Between Icewind Dale and Baldur’s Gate there’s scarcely a hamlet or cul-de-sac not ravaged by some near-apocalypse in one videogame or another since the late ‘90s. Hear its denizens groan yet again as we return to Neverwinter, this time under the custody of Star Trek Online developer Cryptic.
There’s been plenty of shuffling behind the scenes since Neverwinter’s announcement in 2010. Cryptic are now owned by Chinese MMO specialists Perfect World after Atari were left struggling to pay the bills, and Neverwinter has grown from intriguing group-based online RPG to full-blown free-to-play MMO while our backs were turned.
It’s a less interesting proposition for it, but will still filch a little of Neverwinter Nights’enviable legacy – namely its focus on user-generated content, enabled here by Cryptic’s Foundry system. The new Gamescom trailer’s below; see also E3 2011’s video to compare and contrast.