SWORD COAST LEGENDS: NEVERWINTER IS NOT COMING

Sword Coast Legends is a “new” RPG set in the Forgotten Realms of Dungeons and Dragons fame, which purports to use 5th Edition rules. It was developed by n-Space in collaboration with Digital Extremes, and is licensed by Wizards of the Coast — the makers of Dungeons and Dragons.

I bought 2 copies so I could play D&D with my son in the Forgotten Realms, outside our normal tabletop play, and I feel cheated.

I’m not sure what the fuck the developers were thinking here. SCL is not a “bad game” per se, though — at best — I feel like I am beta testing an alpha version of a Diablo clone. The voice acting is largely well done, though there are some glaring errors and boo-boos. When you arrive at the gates of Lusken, every declaration by guard number two sounds like a question. There is an obvious hanging question mark after every line.

The story is passable, but entirely on rails and impervious to your choices or actions. It works best as a loot mongering dungeon crawl.

I’m disappointed that Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition is tied to Sword Coast Legends at all. There is almost no D&D in this game. I can’t play a bard, can’t multi-class, and my alignment and deity choices are so pointless, the character sheet never even references them beyond character creation. I played a Paladin of Helm — the D&D god of Holy Watchers and Knights, and the game’s chief antagonists, who are also Paladins of Helm, never even noticed. That’s some lazy fucking bullshit.

wtf_scl

Worse, the story is so completely on rails that all of my dialog choices are entirely cosmetic. The only difference I can make by role playing my character is in triggering slightly different dialog responses.

I can literally loot “purple” drops through locked doors by positioning myself near a chest from the opposite side of a wall. That kind of shit should have been worked out in the early stages of testing, but somehow made it through to the final release.

Now, the really bad news: The Dungeon Master tools are super limited. Iconic D&D monsters aren’t even included as options when “designing” a dungeon. I am throwing air quotes around the word because creating a dungeon consists of answering a few questions and clicking a “generate” button. You can go back and re-arrange some of the particulars, though. Sometimes those changes even stick.

The “action bar” is often slow or non responsive. Sometimes dragging something off a character sheet to the action bar works, and sometimes it just doesn’t. Consequently, ability or item management is a frustrating pain in the ass.

The sad thing is someone threw a lot of money at this in an effort to create a licensed product with a tie-in to the current Dungeons and Dragons “season.” What they got was a Diablo clone, and frankly — the money would have been better spent creating Neverwinter Nights 3.

There, I said it.

(Never)Winter is NOT coming. And THAT is a damn shame.

About Triality Lens

Writer, Infonaut, Gamer.

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