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First, MMORPG.com has a review-in-progress, focusing mostly (but luckily not only) on character creation:
More casual players will really appreciate the sparkly quest guidance system. Players not caring to use it don't have to as it's a toggle-able UI feature. It does come in handy, however, when lost running around a city the size of Neverwinter. It saves repeated opening of the world map to find out where to go.
Speaking of the UI, Cryptic has made it so that players can completely rearrange the HUD to feature the windows they truly want to see and to give the flexibility to move those windows anywhere on the screen that is comfortable. It reminded me in very favorable ways of the Star Wars: The Old Republic HUD customization system. It's well worth the time to customize things to fit your play style and to make the game utilitarian for individual players.
The sounds of Neverwinter are simply terrific. Whether it's the music for the Jewel of the North herself or the ambient sounds of thousands of the city's inhabitants going about their daily business, the sound palette in Neverwinter hits just the right spot. Granted, spending a lot of time in the city can make you a bit sick of the music as it repeats its loop but, again, that can be toggled in the options menu.
Additionally, the sounds and the look of battle skills are top notch. When my Great Weapon Fighter pounds the ground with her greatsword, it truly pounds the ground, with earth flying, cracks appearing, a huge accompanying BOOM and enemies falling back from the impact. Spell skills look great too.
Meanwhile, MMO Reporter has some impressions:
Combat is fun and responsive. The lack of tab targeting is a fun change, and players can destroy their opponents on the battlefield with fun animations and spell effects. No tab targetting does have some issues, and healing is where it's most apparent. Finding a target in a group is a challenge that distracts from the gameplay. I've already mentioned several times my issues with the single target heals in Neverwinter, and in Open Beta this is still an issue.
Action is never far in Neverwinter. Questing is a rapid fire shot of adventure, whisking you from location to location as you battle orcs, bandits and the undead. The quests seem to have a great story to them, but I was rushing through the game so much that I missed most of it. I did catch enough of the story by R.A. Salvatore to know that I'm going to go through it again at a much slower pace with another character.
I also jumped into a few skirmishes, encouraged by some quests I picked up, and got another quick jolt of action, fighting through some quick waves based battles to earn some loot and XP. The ruined neighbourhoods of Neverwinter lend themselves well to these fights to the death. While group based, these Skirmishes tended to devolve into chaotic messes where everyone was taking on large groups without worrying about what the rest of their group was doing.