Monday, June 11, 2012

Game Review: Guild Wars 2 (Beta Weekend)

Guild Wars 2 is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game in development by ArenaNet. Set in the fantasy world of Tyria, the game follows the re-emergence of Destiny's Edge, a disbanded guild dedicated to fighting the Elder Dragons, a Lovecraftian species that has seized control of Tyria in the time since the original Guild Wars. The game takes place in a persistent world with a story that progresses in instancedenvironments.[3]
Guild Wars 2 claims to be unique in the genre[4] by featuring a storyline that is responsive to player actions,[5] something which is common in single player role-playing games but rarely (if ever) seen in multiplayer ones. A dynamic event system replaces traditional questing,[6] utilising theripple effect to allow players to approach quests in different ways as part of a persistent world. Also of note is the combat system, which aims to be more dynamic than its predecessor by promoting synergy between professions and using the environment as a weapon,[7][8] as well as reducing the complexity of the Magic-style skill system of the original game. As a sequel to Guild WarsGuild Wars 2 will feature the same lack ofsubscription fees that distinguished its predecessor from other commercially developed online games of the time, though a purchase is still required to install the game.

Guild Wars 2
Released: TBA
Console: PC
Buy: Available for prepurchase/preorder


Any of you that follow us around for some time know that I am passionate when it comes to 2 games, Guild Wars and Heroes Of Might And Magic. So as is fully understandable when I knew I was going to enter the beta test for this weekend...well.."being excited" is an understatement. 

Well the first words that come to mind to describe my experience are "OH MY FUCKING GOD!" but I understand you would require more insight on that matter. So lets go shall we?
The game is absolutelly amazing. Period. There are so many things that sets this game apart from every single mmo I have ever played that I cant simply mention them all. Lets start from the basics
The game features a highly artistic environment, replacing the usual CGI cinematics for instead cinematics that are more like moving pictures than pieces of film. Strange you say? I agree, but in Arenanet's words, CGI grows outdated but art is forever. And they are completelly right. Not only did the cinematics are beautifull and fluid pieces of art, they are able to transfer the senses of emotion those scenes are supposed to show you. Why? simply because with the exceptionally good blend of voice over, sound effects, music and moving pictures you get EXACTLY what they want to show you. For example, when I created my Charr, Markus, and was viewing the Blood Legion cinematic, I actually felt a growing need to grab an axe and butcher everything in my way. It makes you feel like you ARE a Blood Legion member, that you ARE a born and raised soldier. In a few words, that you ARE a Charr. 

Second of all we have the amazing gameplay Guild Wars 2 offers. Many of you have heard that Guild Wars 2 is the revolution of the mmo genre, and I have heard many throw suspicious comments like "well i dont think it is a revolution" etc. Well, STAND DOWN sceptics and mmo creators, there is a NEW sherif in town and they ARE here to recreate mmo's. Not even WoW had a gameplay so realistic and fluid as this, and the gameplay was pretty much all WoW had that you could not find in other mmos. 

Every single skill, every single action your character does, is executed in front of him or where he is. There is no "target" spell. Even the first skill, the default attacking ones, can be executed without having any target whatsoever. Hell I can fight an enemy without even targeting him (trust me, i did that). At one point I remember, I was targeting a flame legion charr, but since I was not facing him I realized that I was killing another Charr entirelly. Which was both funny and amazing!. Arrows and spells no longer follow the enemy (thank god for that), And they are not locked on a single target. What do I mean by that? When I had the rifle and was shooting at an enemy I actually found myself in trouble because another enemy got in front and took the shot, and I pulled more than one enemy towards me. Yes...its that awesome. What does that translate into?

AMAZINGNESS, for one part, realism for another, and countless possibilities. You have a skill that activates when blocking? a friendly mage is about to die? an enemy is unloading his rifle at him? Well simply walk in the way activate your skill and take the hits for your ally all the while activating your skills. Guild wars 2 has done EVERYTHING to put the MM back into the MMO. Its a massivelly multiplayer game. I no longer found myself running AWAY from players, on the contrary, every time I saw battle and other players, I immedietelly rushed into their aid. Why? 

Safety in numbers my friends. Guild Wars 2 rewards players for being together in everything from events to simple running around. Why? well, events scale to the number of players, which means more monsters=more action= more xp. It also means you are safer with others because: 1) the enemy will have to focus on them as well, meaning you are given more free space to unleash your full might, 2nd) if you get downed you can be revived by another player, OR  a lot more likelly to find a monster in low health to kill and Rally yourself.

All of those sound pretty amazing, but it would be nothing if they did not have the amazing graphics and animation to add them up. Everything felt so natural, every move, spell or action the characters did was in a smooth motion which made it easilly believable that it could be done. "But Johnny do you really think its realistic for a person to jump a 3 meter distance with a broadsword and smash it in a centaurs face? that sounds a bit stretched"
Well....the only classes that actually do that are the warriors and the guardians. So guess what. ITS TOTALLY PLAUSIBLE. Why? you are a god damn heavy frontline fighter. you are TRAINED to do that. You are in your peak physical condition to do so, and the motion of it makes it totally believable. What do I mean by that? You wont see a human lifting the broadsword in the air as if its made of carton, instead you will see him put it to his side, and use a circular motion as he jumps and use the weight of the sword and the jump to slash it in the enemies face. Something that can be done, physics wise.

Things that I would like to see improved? Well the event scales need a bit of tweeks in my opinion. Because at least in the early levels I was at, the only way to lose an event was to either be alone in it, with either a class that cant take a hit (mesmer, elementalist etc), be completelly alone with all npc's dead, or pretty much no one be there when the event kicks in. Also the events scale in numbers and after a certain point I think they stop growing. Which is not exactly challenging. Why? because more players with more aoe's mean that no matter how many more grawl you throw at us, we will just aoe the shit out of them. More xp and loot yes, but not much of a challenge. What I would like to see is the AI scaling along with the number of players. Meaning, more skills for the mobs, more skill usage, hell, even some dodging would be nice. Make it so that the events are actually challenging. Make them turn from simple raids to all out sieges, or skirmishes. 

Also add quivers

To sum this all up Guild Wars 2 blew the barrier of my expectations BY FAR. I expected to be let down with a few things, but not only was I not discouraged, I actually want to play the game more than before. Everything was artistically amazing, the world felt alive and breathing, and the story was simply amazing. This post is simply dragging way too long and I have not even scratched the surface. 

If you want to see my entire thoughts on GW2 beta feel free to check the full post in Excaliburburs: Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend (with screenshots)


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  8. Why? because more guild wars 2 gold players with more aoe's mean that no matter how many more grawl you throw at us, we will just aoe the shit out of them. More xp and loot yes, but not much of a challenge. What I would like to see is the AI scaling along with the number of players. Meaning, more skills for the mobs, more skill usage, hell, even some gw2 gold dodging would be nice. Make it so that the events are actually challenging. Make them turn from simple raids to all out sieges, or skirmishes.


There is lot of spam lately at the posts, so for a while i will put up the comment moderation. Sorry for that, i really don't like it but i thought it might stop the spamming. It will be down soon enough! Thanks a lot :)

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