Guild Wars 2 Review

The Charr Entering Battle

Guild Wars 2 has been out for almost a month now( tomorrow will officially be one month ), to be honest I wanted to jump right on the review after the first couple of days with the game but I decided playing for a month to get a better grasp on the game would be the best and most fair thing to do. Guild Wars 2 is an MMORPG for those of you who don’t know it’s in the same genre of games like World of Warcraft, Star Wars Galaxies, EVE Online, and Aion. It’s an open world game full of players from around the globe that makes up its own unique community across several different servers. Now that the short intro to MMO’s is out of the way let’s get into my thoughts on Guild Wars 2.

I came into GW2 blind I had not played the first game and I have not played a ton of MMO’s the latest one I played was Eve Online and I absolutely loved it very in-depth and expansive. That’s one of the first things I noticed about GW2 it isn’t a very taxing game to learn which to the so-called hardcore gamers is a bad thing but to the so-called casual it’s a blessing, I don’t view it as a bad thing myself. To clarify what I mean normally in an MMO you have your skill tree and you grind hour upon hour to level up and earn a new skill that you’ve had your eye on. With GW2 you start with a basic attack and in combat you level to the next attack as for skills through leveling up and through certain areas on the map where they are placed. The difference is in GW2 you can level about every half hour or so, but skills become more expensive the higher level you become so it still takes some time to max out the skill tree. It’s the same basic MMO gameplay but with less of a grinding feel to it, that’s not to say you won’t grind in GW2 you will but it doesn’t feel like a chore. What ArenaNet did was a smart move for each area you encounter there a set amount of quest, points of interest, Vistas, skill points, mining, and gathering, through these you gain points to level up. Now if you are level 6 and the next story mission requires you to be level 8, instead of fighting the same bosses or enemies over and over and over again you can easily discover locations, gather materials, find skill points, points of interest, vistas, or do quest to level up. I had no problem starting off in Divinity’s Reach and Kryta and staying at the level I needed to be at to move on in the story missions, never had to warp to another area there was more than enough for me to do in my starter area. Now that says alot to me about the amount of content that is in this game you simply need to know how to find it and when you do you can keep yourself entertained. As for being entertained how’s the combat you ask?

Combat in GW2 is fast and frantic while it’s one of my favorite things about the game it’s also a curse at times. Group Events especially World Vs World can become so crowded with fast paced flashy combat that it’s hard to follow what exactly is happening on the screen. For instance I played WvW and it seemed as if both sides just grouped together and beat the crap out of each other until one side was dead, then I played again later with a different group and both sides were organized, ranged players stayed back while close quarters fighters were in the middle of it all. The latter proved to be a much better experience and the fact that how some people play doesn’t make the game bad but it is annoying when it effects the overall experience. My suggestion is if you do any kind of grouping or PvP do so with friends or players that know how to properly play their roles. That’s my only combat gripe other than that it’s very fun to play with others as a ranger I love when an elementalist throws down a ring of fire and I shoot a flurry of arrows through it to burn some enemies. Or a warrior summons a banner to boost our attack power, or an engineer summons some turrets to give us some extra firepower to take out a group of enemies. The focus on teamwork in this game is building a great community the server I play on( Northern Shiverpeaks )is great it’s talkative, helpful, and there’s always grouping up for some of the bigger challenges. I know some people are turned off by the lack of ganking in the main world map but the overlying theme in GW2’s story is the coming together of Tyria to fight against a single threatening enemy. World map PvP would destroy that sense of unity, if you want that WvW has plenty and it’s fun.

“Those bodyspray commercials said I’d attract lady ogres they were wrong”

When it comes to GW2’s WvW and PvP I thoroughly enjoy it. At the start of the game you can warp to a PvP area and play you don’t have to be a certain level because when you enter these areas you’re leveled up to the cap which is 80. All of your current skills are leveled to 80 as well so that everyone is on the same playing field, the same concept goes when you are at a higher level and you enter a low level area. If you’re a level 30 Necromancer and enter a level 15 area you’re skilled down so that you’re on the same level as the players in that area. Along with the way they handled the PvP areas for leveling they also scratched kill stealing which has always been a pet peeve of mine. All you have to do is put in a certain percentage of damage on an enemy and you get full credit for the kill while this may irk some players because they felt they did all the work getting an enemies energy down and someone takes the final blow, relax you still got full credit as well so keep it moving and enjoy yourself. In WvW you have the same vistas and POI’s to discover as you do in the world map, there is tower defense, and other locations to defend or attack. You can man catapults to attack your foes as well, but while defending your locations you need to keep them repaired or else you risk enemy forces storming them and overtaking you. It’s more than just kill the enemy team it takes communication and good tactics without those expect to go into WvW and lose alot. I’ve played against teams that were very organized and it cost us big, I’ve also played on teams with the same skills and we’ve won big. As I mentioned before if you’re going to Pvp make sure you do so with a plan in mind.

But alas I was going to get to it eventually the biggest gripe people have had with GW2 end game content. Well folks guess what your traditional end game is not here sorry. But what is here is an entire world filled with those bosses that would be considered end game already packaged into the game you bought! Basically what ArenaNet did was put these tougher bosses into the game in various map locations so that instead of hitting the level cap you could experience these events along the way. Yes it’s different, yes some people hate it but it does something good. It kills the rush to level cap just for end game it opens the door for you to enjoy the world of Tyria, to explore, craft( which comes at a huge advantage not only for nice gear but to make coin ), group up, and have fun. If you’re rushing to the level cap you’re doing it wrong and if that’s what you’d rather do you can still go back to low level areas for map completion, play some dungeons with friends, PvP, or WvW. If you’ve done all that you can always roll a new character to see other sides of the story through a different race and profession and if you don’t want to do any of that you can always put the game down and wait for an expansion pack. That’s the beauty of GW2 it’s free to play no sub fee, so there is no feeling of obligation to play just to get your money’s worth. You could play for hours on end simply because you love it, I believe that was ArenaNet’s goal if so they hit the nail on the head in my opinion.

The Pros:

Simply one of the most beautiful MMO’s and games in general from lush jungles, to sprawling cities, and snow capped mountains. The art design in this game is amazing.

fast combat, and great use of the keyboard doesn’t take long at all to get a grasp of controlling your character.

The score is perfect and the character voiceover work is great, battles can get very loud very quick which isn’t a bad thing.

With as much content ArenaNet has put in this game there’s always something to do and not be bored, along with that going through the story again with a different character and making different choices to see how they effect the game is worth several playthroughs.

The Cons:

Sometimes the frenzied combat can be confusing to deal with when you have a ton of on screen action you can get lost in it.

Grouping with players who don’t communicate is frustrating when facing tough bosses and in PvP and WvW

TGA recommendation: Very High 10/10

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