Fans of the Dungeons & Dragons games Neverwinter Nights, Baldur’s Gate, Planescape: Torment, and Icewind Dale can look forward to a launch on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One this autumn. Skybound Games and developer Beamdog are working to bring the ports back for the next generation players, as well as older, nostalgia-fueled ones.
The release will consist of both physical and digital editions. The special boxed editions will be priced at $49.99 each, and will include:
- The Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition Pack: Celebrating the series’ 20th anniversary, the original Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition and its sequel, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, return with all DLC and restored quest content, as well as the Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear expansion, featuring new original content developed by Beamdog to bridge the two games.
- Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition / Icewind Dale Enhanced Edition: Two must-play games and all their DLC in one package – the chilling Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition, plus its expansions, and the enhanced edition of 1999’s RPG of the Year, Planescape: Torment.
- Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition: The 2002 Computer RPG of the Year and all its DLC deliver 10 standalone D&D-based adventures featuring co-op and online multiplayer.
Necessary improvements for modern devices include upgrading all the titles with native support for high-resolution widescreen displays and controls optimized for console controllers, since the original games were mainly for the PC with the use of a mouse.
There are also some upgrades in the form of new standalone content, new characters and classes, new voice sets, improvements to character creation options, improved and more stable multiplayer functionality, updates to the UI, previous bug fixes, and other quality of life improvements.
Of course, all of these copies will be available via digital download as well, though the boxed versions bring back old memories that many collectors will likely want to feel again.
The project has been in the works for a few months now, and for players wondering exactly how the games UI will be adapted from a primarily point-and-click adventure to a console without a mouse, there was an in-depth answer provided in an April Q&A session with Beamdog Producer Luke Rideout, who stated:
“The main control difference for the games is that we have implemented an analog control mode that allows you to directly control the movement of your party in formation. To complement this, we have improved highlighting of interactable objects in-game, and have a system that snaps the cursor to important objects, characters, and transition points, which can be interacted with using the interaction button on the controller. The player can switch between this analog drive mode and a virtual mouse ‘tactics mode’ for fine targeting of spells. Most of the HUD buttons have been consolidated into radials, and party management is achieved by cycling through with the shoulder buttons, and through a party radial, that allows for creating custom party member groups, much like control groups in RTSes.”
This is great news for new and old players of the D&D games, and the translation from old mouse to modern consoles is a point that needs precise execution for the game to have the same feel and impact as before.
The games will release this fall, except Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, which releases in early December. Preorders can be made here for those wanting to secure their copies as early as possible.