By Daniel Murtha
I know ArenaNet’s new MMORPG Guild Wars 2 has been out for over a month now, but I wanted to give the game’s shiny newness enough time to wear off so I could more critically analyze it and give it a fair review. After waiting a month, however, my opinion of Guild Wars 2 remains unchanged. The game is an absolute masterpiece; fast-paced and strategic combat, gorgeous artistic style, and cooperation amongst players are just a few of GW2’s highlights.
Will it be the WoW “killer?” I’ve heard from many different places that it seemed like ArenaNet made a list of all the things people didn’t like about other MMORPG’s and fixed them for GW2. This is a fair assessment in my opinion. In fact, I am hard-pressed to come up with something I don’t like about the game. Here are my thoughts:
Grapics/Art Style: The graphics are superb, even on my budget video card (GeForce GT 530, not even a GTX.) Impressive draw distances, cool zone design and awesome concept art loading screens make Guild Wars 2 look stunning.
World vs World PvP: I’m not normally a PvPer because I don’t like to lose, especially while doing one of the things in life that I consider myself to be decent at: video games. The WvW PvP pits three servers against each other in special zones designed specifically for that purpose, complete with castles and towers and supply points, and oh yeah… siege weapons. Nothing is more fun than spending 10 or 15 minutes trying to break down a castle gate with battering rams, holding off enemies on the ramparts with ranged weapons and ballistas, then storming the castle and slaughtering the other side after the gate is broken down. Fabulous.
No Subscription Fee: The game is free to play with micro-transactions for cosmetic items, boosts for experience etc., and a few other helpful but not necessary items. You won’t feel like you were missing out by not spending money in the game. There are also tons of good games coming out this fall and Guild Wars 2 will probably be shuffled to the background on occasion, so you never have to worry about cancelling or not getting your money’s worth out of a subscription fee.
There are plenty more likes, but these are the main ones.
Frame-rate Stutter: I had some frame-rate issues, which is no surprise when 20 to 30 people were all in the same area casting spells and running around while fighting a boss or 50 to 100 people when doing WvW. Normally I wouldn’t put that in the dislikes as I didn’t expect high frames per second during those situations. But friends with higher powered graphics cards had the same issues.
Broken Quests/Events: This is a minor knock, and one that will be gone with time. There are several quests, dynamic events and story missions that are broken, especially in higher level areas. These will no doubt be fixed over time and are no cause for concern.
Not enough time to play: I realize this is a cop out, but there’s really not much to dislike about GW2. Any minor issues I’ve had were due to my ignorance of the game’s mechanics and/or menus that I promptly dismissed.
If you’re a fan of MMORPG’s, Guild Wars 2 is a must buy. It really does have that kind of next generation feel to it, and makes older MMO’s feel dated. It’s such a good game, that it will probably be the first MMORPG I reach the level cap in (despite countless hours playing MMORPG’s, I have never reached the level cap due to excessive amounts of alternate characters). If you’re interested, read up on Dynamic Events in GW2. It’s a great feature that I failed to explain in the name of brevity. Overall Guild Wars 2 exceeds the hype it garnered in every way and while it may not necessarily be the WoW killer, it should put a sizable dent in WoW’s numbers.