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Guild Wars 2 review

I am not usually a MMO gamer but something about Guild Wars 2 attracted me, maybe it was the removal of the "trinity system", or maybe the more hands on battle system; whatever it was, since starting, it's nigh on impossible to turn off, constantly hiking around Tyria, wondering just what is over that next hill. Whilst Guild Wars 2 does a lot to shake up the MMO world it does not do enough to completely shrug of its heritage, but it is certainly enough to satisfy every sort of gamer out there.

From the opening scenes you get to choose from one of five races, you then begin a quest directed at your chosen creed, pretty much dumped in a strange world with only a green swirl on the map and a mission briefing indicating where to go next. Depending on the race you choose will determine where you will start in the world of Tyria and also what storyline you will initially follow, like the earthy dreamers the Sylvari starting off in the dense forest canopy of The Grove or the feline war hungry Charr at their Black Citadel.

Character classes are the same across each race and like I mentioned earlier there are no more roles like healers, tanks or controllers, now they are more suited to the fantasy world with Necromancers, Rangers, Warriors, Engineers, Guardians, Elementalists, Mesmers and Thiefs; each one offering a huge variety of weapons and powers.

The world of Tyria is at first a confusing place to be, with so much going on and to take in you will be dying a lot and biting off more than you can chew, but taking it slowly, just wandering around having brief conversations will explain more of the world around you, exploring away from the waypoints marked to progress your story will result in even more adventure as you set sights on small villages, old castle ruins, rolling green hills, mountains, tunnels and even a luscious underwater world, it's all meticulously created for your enjoyment.

The actual lore of the world is a little more subtle and deeper than the usual text heavy book from a library other games offer, encountering the many inhabitants in all their shapes and sizes will slowly reveal the world to you, for example, assisting a strange frog called a Hylek by defeating it's predators earns you some experience, however, upon completing the task and then following this Hylek for a short while will lead to its small village, who will then tell the guards that outsiders helped in victory, opening their gates and allowing you in where you are free to trade, with even more random missions appearing if you stick around. This happens all over the game world.

Levelling up is as ever your primary concern and I would say more so than carrying out your solo quests early on in the game. There are plenty of places to earn experience, random missions will appear when you are in close proximity, empty hearts litter the huge world map, waiting for you to go and help a citizen in distress; transport orbs, fighting and just locating a new area all add up to you levelling up your character, with the majority of ranks unlocking something, be it more spaces for your utility powers or the next tier of weapons and armour.

Fighting is of course what will occur mostly and it is very different from what I have played in the past, thanks in part to its mixture of action and classic MMO controls. This sees you being able to cast and move at the same time, strafing and jumping whilst clicking on each of your power tabs, patiently waiting for them to cool down. Personally the controls are something that will probably come with time but being relative newcomer to MMO's there is a struggle to keep enemies in front of you when fighting, often losing track of the mouse pointer and opening up the map in error rather than casting a fireball. As well as your character, your weapons are also levelled up through use, with single, dual or two handed weapons each having their own tiers to unlock with the more you use them, the more special powers you will unlock. This is increased even more when taking specific classes into consideration like the Environmental powers, with each element having its own separate tiers plus when underwater another set is there to unlock, there is loads to do early on in the game.

Crafting has always been a large element to MMO's, something that actually puts me off most games and thankfully in Guild Wars 2 things are a little easier, with the purchasing and mining of materials easy and the plans are simple to follow, each one showing what you can create for your chosen character along with comparison stats to what you currently have in hand and what is required. Of course all these items need basic materials and gathering them is again a simple click away as long as you have the required tool, with the map rather handily showing where the ore and wood can be located.

As mentioned earlier, missions come in all shapes and sizes and aside from your initial solo quests they are all multiplayer. Whoever is nearby can just walk up and join in and aside from being a helping hand on some of the larger battles, the main joy being there is no loot theft here, if you kill or assist in a kill you are entitled to whatever they drop; the same goes for experience and skill points, if your helping you are entitled to gain it, all open and fair, resulting in a lot more friendlier atmosphere.

For the sheer amount of content available in Guild Wars 2 it's worth the price, not forgetting that unlike other MMO's there are no monthly fees, so there are no real extras to worry about. So much time has been put into creating Guild Wars 2; it would be rude not to have a go.

Words by Ash Buchanan

Review Policy (Version tested: PS3)

Edited On 10 Sep, 2012

( 7 )
knockton's avatar
knockton 4 years ago
I love this game because you only have to spend £40 at that and then u can play as much as u want without being force because you paying mouthy to play. I also love the story its like star wars but no mouthy pay grate game and grate review well done.
hXcPete's avatar
hXcPete 4 years ago
This is the only MMO that appeals to me but I have no idea why..
Shnoorum's avatar
Well It looks pretty damned awesome plus the fact that you don't have to pay monthly subscriptions. Gonna have to give it a try once I get a good gaming pc
Shnoorum 4 years ago
LFC Bywater's avatar
LFC Bywater 4 years ago
Trying to get my older brother to get off WoW and convert to this. Theres gotta be one game that can get home off it lol
Crockin's avatar
Crockin 4 years ago
I agree with the first line of the review a lot. I try most MMOs when they come out, and it lasts all of about 2 hours, and I never go back to it. But this looks so beautiful a game, and different from just the average generic fantasy, that I feel it might be a keeper. When my money comes my way, I'll be sending it to ArenaNet.
Anonymous user's avatar
James 4 years ago
I have just tried to purchase guild wars 2 but it goes straight into the pre-order section and not dispatched. i was just wondering why as it says buy and that its not out of stock or anything.
sam_w's avatar
sam_w 4 years ago
Really enjoying this game at the moment, it's beautiful as everyone seems to mention, but the gameplay is really great as well, and it's RIDICULOUSLY addictive.

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