Guild Wars 2

PvP-centric Action MMORPG - One of the most appreciated buy-to-play MMORPGs has just become free-to-play! Create your hero and battle alongside friends in this fresh, robust MMORPG with dynamic quest line and unparalleled PvP experience.

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Screenshots [click to enlarge]

Game overview

Prepare to team up with friends and take on the world of Tyria in Guild Wars 2, a fantastically unique MMORPG.

With its first major expansion, Heart of Thorns, release in late 2015, ArenaNet’s highly acclaimed Guild Wars 2 has finally implemented a free to play option.
Making it easier than ever to experience the game’s gripping player driven story and visceral action based combat.

So strap in and prepare to experience one of the great MMOs of the last ten years, Guild Wars 2.

➔ Main points:

  • One of the most succesful commercial MMORPG recently converted to free to play.
  • Dynamic random events during PvE sessions.
  • Different PvP modes, including an original World vs World.
  • No PvE raids.

Trailer

Full review

This game begins as so many before it have, with the creation of your character. However the creation tool in Guild Wars 2 is unique. Not only will you be choosing your character's, hair, eye color, etc. You will also craft their personality, backstory and values. These things also have a real impact on your character's story, as will the decisions you make in game.

Speaking of the game's Story, it's intriguing. Each race has their own, and each feels varied and provide incentive to go back and create that new alt. Playing with the new free to play option however, I was limited to only two character slots, therefore I had to be judicious with my choice of character.

You will have your choice of 8 classes, or “Professions.” Each with differing abilities and equipment. The 8 classes are as follows: Mesmer, Ranger, Engineer, Necromancer, Guardian, Thief, Elementalist, and Warrior. I can honestly say each class felt interesting to play. Though some seemed more difficult to master than others, such as the Thief, all had sufficiently distinct aspects.

All in All GW2 has one of the most in-depth character creation mechanics I’ve seen in a video game. ArenaNet nailed this aspect of the game, along with many others.

Combat and Gameplay

After creating your character you are dropped into a starting zone that acts as a tutorial. The quests in this zone introduce you to the game’s systems and combat, and the combat is simply amazing. The fast-past nature feels great. Dodge rolling around enemies to counter attack is oh so satisfying. The combat truly finds its depth with the Boon and Condition systems, more commonly known as buffs and debuffs respectively. Many of the skills in the game will have you swapping boons and conditions with enemies and allies, making managing these effects essential in claiming victory; especially in PvP situations.

Speaking of PvP situations, this is where the game truly shines. Sure the game’s PvE is nothing to scoff at but the PvP is as close to immaculate as it gets. The huge World Vs World battles are some of the most engaging experiences I’ve had in an MMO to date. Besieging keeps with hundreds of allies is something that needs to be experienced, as I can’t express the shear feelings of awe I had when playing this game type.
Of course there are also more intimate battlegrounds for those into more traditional PvP, however WvW is one of the most unique PvP modes in any game.

As for PvE, GW2 has gotten a few things right and a few wrong. The overall leveling experience was tight, and the story filled in for any boring gaps. Questing is fun mostly due to the dynamic nature of Guild Wars 2. Events appear and disappear, creating a nice sense of variety during your time questing.

Guild Wars 2 however, as it stands, lacks raids. Something a PvE enthusiast like myself cannot abide by. However ArenaNet have made their plans to remedy this in the upcoming expansion clear, so don’t let it bother you too much. Dungeons are decent, nothing spectacular, but definitely fun to experience.

Free to Play Restrictions

Like all free to play games, this one has restrictions. However as far as free to play models go this one seems spectacularly elegant, and non-intrusive. Following is a list of restrictions placed upon free to play players. Note all restriction can be Lifted by purchasing the game's expansion “Heart of Thorns.”

  • Reduced number of Character Slots
  • Reduced number of Bag Slots
  • Chat Restrictions
  • Trade Restrictions
  • Cannot mail gold or items
  • Cannot access Guild Vaults
  • Some Zones are level restricted to prevent jumping ahead

As you can see this is nothing unexpected and will hardly impact the quality of your game play experience.

Graphics?

The game looks amazing, however it may take a pretty beefy rig to run. Everything looks amazing, I get lost sometimes just taking in the stunning landscapes. The characters are animated fluidly and the visual effects are top notch. The cut scenes are all well voice acted. I don’t hesitate to say this is one of the most visually appealing MMOs out there.

Final Thoughts

Playing Guild Wars 2 has been some of the most fun I’ve had in an MMORPG in a long time. The game play is great, the story is great, most everything about the game is great. PvE could stand to be improved, however it seems ArenaNet is already on the case.

I would venture to say this is one of the great games of the generation. Now that a Free to Play option is here, newcomers and fans of the original who had initially been skeptical of the game have no excuse not give it a shot.
I highly recommend this delightfully innovative MMORPG.

Ready to enter the world of Guild Wars 2? Click here to play now!

Graphics: full 3D
PvP: guild or factions matches or duels PvE PvP
Cash shop influence: average
Exp rate: medium

Originality
This game has many original aspects. From its dynamic questing system to its World Vs World PvP and combat, most everything seems as though it has a spark of innovation.

What We Liked..

Fluid Combat

Engaging Story

Fantastic PvP

Great Graphics

Solid Free to Play Model

.. and what we didn't

PvE leaves a little to be desired

Large download

Requires a pretty good Computer


Fun factor
5.0 out of 5
Community
5.0 out of 5
Graphics
5.0 out of 5
6.7
For Real Fans

Review summary

  1. Combat and Gameplay
  2. Free to Play Restrictions
  3. Graphics?
  4. Final Thoughts

What we liked..

Fluid Combat
Engaging Story
Fantastic PvP
Great Graphics
Solid Free to Play Model

.. and what we didn't

PvE leaves a little to be desired
Large download
Requires a pretty good Computer
6.7
Graphics - 100 / 100
Fun factor - 100 / 100
Longevity - 80 / 100
Originality - 80 / 100
Community - 100 / 100

I like this game, I want to
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