Guild Wars 2 is an MMO that aims not to revolutionize the MMO space but simply evolve it a little. It achieves this, at least when it works it does. The launch for this game was a very poor one, many player spent the early access day of release wondering if the game would ever come back online and as one of those it was a frustrating experience. Since I’m reviewing the game ArenaNet were kind enough to provide my version of the game however those that paid for it, bearing in mind that to be able to use this early access you had to pay an extra £15 on top of what most high street shops were charging, it would have been even worse. Before fans attack our comments section I would like to say that I understand a lot of MMO’s have teething problems at launch however just because it’s an MMO should be no excuse, the developers should only release a finished game, period.
When we finally got into the game I was deeply disappointed, the game looked a lot like most typical MMO’s do, you have you skills along the bottom of the screen numbered 1-5 and I had to go see a guy about a quest, been there done that. Not only that, but I’m not a massive MMO player, I dabbled with the original Guild Wars for a few hours and played Star wars: The Old Republic for a short time but nothing serious, and the game did not once take that into account. I spent a few hours in the downtime on launch day reading through the wiki, something I don’t enjoy doing. I appreciate that it’s there however the game should do a better job at teaching the player how to play it, although I’m not asking it to hold my hand.
After a few hours however my opinion drastically changed! The game suddenly opened up and the world seemed much more immersive. The story here is nothing to write home about, it’s there and you will probably end up doing it at some point but the amount of exploration in this beautifully crafted world is unbelievable. The game doesn’t lead you everywhere with side quests to link together different play area’s as oppose to suggesting you just go out and explore undiscovered areas. Needless to say I don’t suggest you go to an area where you will be copmepletly decimated in a few seconds by an aggressive AI ten times you level but I do suggest that you go and look around the outskirts of your level areas.
The combat in this game is possibly the weakest point of this game, simply because it’s not new. It is your World of Warcraft spam 1 for basic attack use keys 2 through 9 for skill attacks. However the key difference is that your 1-5 skill set changes when you change your weapon type meaning if you have spent the first 10 levels of your game using a staff and have unlocked all 5 skills then you pick up a sword the game will reset all of your skills and make you unlock them for that weapon type. This makes a refreshing change and makes you consider multiple factors such as what area your in and the level of the enemies around you before changing your weapons and not just, is it stronger than what I’m currently using.
The world vs world vs world game mode is perhaps the most interesting, if not flawed, idea the game puts out there. You essentially run around as an entire server attempting to take over castles, supply depots and keeps. This all sounds very, very good right? It is, at times anyway. There is no better feeling in Guild Wars 2 than taking the main keep in Eternal Battlegrounds (The main WvWvW battle area) with 50 other server companions. It’s a very rewarding experience. However that is not always the case, most of the time you will see a handful of small groups or guilds try and take a keep on their own despite being a near impossible task. Not only that but there are strong frame rate drops when you do meet up with a group of people and a battle breaks out. I am used to getting over 60FPS int he main PvE game yet in WvWvW it can drop to bellow 10 even with my top end gaming machine! It’s such a shame this happens as it really draws away from the fun of the battle.
Overal Guild Wars 2 is a great game with a lot of great features. The main hing stopping me giving this game a higher score is the bugs, there are simply too many of them to warrant anything higher. However considering there is no subscription to pay I can still highly recommend this solid game.