Developer: Arena Net
Publisher: NC Soft
Guild Wars 2 has built on the success of the first game bringing with it all the hype and fanfare of the earlier game. The foundation that was laid on a strong emphasis of storylines and lore that when brought into the new engine, will give life to one of the better looking worlds in the fantasy MMO style games.
The Guild Wars franchise was built under the premise that you would never have to pay a subscription fee and this is same for this game as promised. When I hear of a buy to play or free to play game the first thing that come to mind is lack of support from the developer. This is not the case with this game, it is supported with a massive development crew and new events are added daily.
Guild Wars 2 comes with eight classes and five playable races to choose from. Each class can be somewhat customized by purchasing slot and weapon skills with points from achieving level ups. The skill available vary but include healing, shields and numerous buffing style bonuses.
Game controls is normal MMO style RPG controls that were all used to, so I won’t get into that.
The plan I decided to play a character I wouldn’t normally play an Elementalist. I never was much of a player of the finger wiggler characters. I normally play a ranger or tank in the fantasy genre games, so this might be a challenge for me.
I also picked the Sylvari race to play, which are a humanoid but are part tree or plant. So I’ll carry my foliage covered head around the land of Tyria with much pride.
As the game opens up to a dream state where I am given clues on what is to happen to me or what had happened to me. My character has seemed forgot most of everything except for what happened in dreams. These are all questions that will be answered from finishing the story quests.
The story tells a tale of how an enemy the “Nightmare Court” are attacking the interests of the Sylvari and how your character is one of the last hopes for your people along with a ragtag group of misfit NPC’s.
You complete a few fluff quests more or less delivery quests to get the feel for the controls. Then I am to help a sick Sylvari that has been infected with a plant disease. I have to go find the cure and then come back to help him.
The cure comes from an encounter with some Nightmare Court that just so happen to be carrying the disease and the cure also. So they must have been behind the whole thing.
With the sick cured it’s finally time to venture of the beaten path. Near Morgan’s Spiral I encounter the undead the first time in the form of giant grubs. As I push farther I come across undead Tralls, not really sure what these are look close enough to zombies for me.
I am also greeted by the first major foe in this area, in the form a giant that takes a group of people to take down. After defeating this giant I move to meet up with my friends again to take on the “Nightmare Court”.
There is also PVP maps dedicated to PVP fights on epic scales. It’s great to be able to rush into battle as an army would as a full team. PVP has its own separate rewards system and with these points you acquire you can buy better gear.
Crafting and harvesting is another great way to earn experience without swinging a sword. Eight crafting professions and three gathering skills can be learned. Crafting can be like a mini game as you can experiment to fine new recipes and make specialized weapons.
The storylines are great in this game and way it seems to unlimited stories, because you have a story for each class and each race so you shouldn’t get bored anytime soon unless you just want to play one race.
Another great feature of this game is the dynamic events that take place throughout the world. These are open to anyone to join in and have random spawns so you never can tell when the next will be up.
Exploring the world give a limited amount of experience, but this adds up as the world is quite large. I have several max level characters that haven’t seen the whole world yet.
The artist style used in Guild Wars 2 is amazing to say the least. I wouldn’t say it realistic but it is very close at time and then sometimes it looks almost cartoonish. There is a variance of the style to make the game look very sharp indeed.
What really stands out from all the graphics in game is the way the world is designed. The foliage and plants really standout as well with their stylized artwork to make look as nothing you have ever seen This is what years of planning has led to a beautiful designed world full of life and lots of action at every corner of the map.
The sounds are done really well with subtle differences for each skill that you use. My only gripe is that you are limited on skills so you hear a lot of the same sounds over and over. Not really a sound issue more of a game related issue.
The music is amazing. The music is composed by Jeremy Soule. The original music for GW2 consists of a 4 disc set or 78 tracks. When you think of a fantasy game this is the music that should be playing.
Sounds and music give a complete feeling of immersion in game.
Overall Arena Net has put together a great game here. You will have to explore a beautiful designed world and help your NPC friends with defeating enemies from your story line.
This game is well worth the price for unlimited game after buying. This is game I will be playing for the foreseeable future as Arena plans several expansions which will keep me coming back for more. Give GW2 a true will not be disappointed.
Verdict: 5 of 6