It’s been a good decade since Black Isle last took us to Icewind Dale, so how’d you fancy a return visit? This isn’t the noughties anymore, mind, so you may find the whole experience a mite different to those old turn-based RPGs. Curse of Icewind Dale, the third big free update for Cryptic’s free-to-play Neverwinter, launched yesterday to add new zones set in the chilly land and more modern MMORPG merriment.
Players will get to frolick through Icewind Pass and the Dwarven Valley, piecing together memories of a video game they played years ago and wondering “Is this where Larrel…?” because though both are probably just loose interpretations of a vague map from a Forgotten Realms source book decades ago, one feels more real.
I suppose they can do quests and join factions all that too, as the areas bring new PvE and PvP content. You can fight the “evil wizard” Akar Kessell, you know, him from that Icewind Dale novel. It also hauls Black Ice out of the lore, letting players make ghastly new armour out of the stuff.
Funny things, fictional universes. A place starts in a tabletop RPG, spins off into novels and comic books, appears in turn-based RPGs, is worn on t-shirts, and returns in a free-to-play MMORPG–all official and valid expressions of that same idea but quite different experiences. Weird. (Unofficially, you can revisit Black Isle’s Icewind Dale in a mod remaking it for Neverwinter Nights 2.)
Hit the patch notes for all that’s new in Curse of Icewind Dale, or check this overview: