Once again, MMGN was fortunate enough to be able to experience Guild Wars 2 over the weekend, through a closed beta test. The weekend was filled with fun events, intense battles, player-to-player interaction, and all the other good stuff which make up this massive MMORPG.
Yet again, it occurred to us over the weekend that this title will easily be one of the best released this year. Our wonderful experiences with the beta have justified our excitement and anticipation surrounding the game’s full release later this year. To share with you just a taste of what we were able to play with, we’ve put together a list of five reasons that Guild Wars 2 will be 2012’s most epic title!
Wonderful explanation elements
Guild Wars 2 looks to breathe new life into the RPG genre, which has been falling into the trap of linearity as of late. The in-game world is absolutely huge, leaving plenty of room for exploration. Even walking around and taking in the landscapes is impressive, however stumbling across something new never fails to impress.
While it is too early to tell from the beta, we predict the presence of many in-game areas which are only there for the sake of presence, making for an open-ended journey through the world of Tyria. Exploration elements of this title are looking red-hot thus far, so completionists and adventurers will be similarly impressed!
World vs World is like nothing you’ve seen before!
WvW battles are -- without a doubt -- one of the most intense forms of online multiplayer in recent history. The scale of the battlefield is daunting, and while the pace of the battle can at times be slow, there’s always a threat lurking, ready to maul you and make for the points you can control.
The mode itself is simple to understand: three factions are matched against each other, and seek to destroy each other in order to take control of several major choke points in a huge online map - or, to be more precise, four of them. Each map can hold 300 players, meaning just a single WvW battle can contain over 1000 other players. While this can be very demanding in terms of resources, it is incredible to participate in, and offers action unparalleled by any title on the market.
Player vs Environment offers something for everyone
One of the awesome things about Guild Wars 2 is that it caters for those who may not have caught up to the digital nature of society. Quick Internet speeds and large data quotas may allow the majority of gamers to enjoy this game as it should be, but there will always be stragglers. The implementation of PvE will allow such people to enjoy the game as it should be, instead of having to struggle against more affluent gamers as is the case in many other MMORPGS.
Additionally, it is worth noting that the journey in PvE is personalised, and more importantly, arduous, offering plenty of opportunities for players to improve their skills and collaborate with other players in an attempt to conquer Tyria. The implementation of PvE seems flawless, and will have players going at Guild Wars 2 for many-an-hour, even before factoring in PvP and WvW.
It looks beautiful
It seems cliché to recommend a title because we think it will have killer visuals, but what we have experienced over the past few days in terms of eye-candy has been simply outstanding. All characters are animated believably and, more importantly, fluently. Equally as noticeable is the quality of all textures and landscapes in the game, which certainly have a whimsical feel about them at times.
One thing is for sure: this game will be quite demanding due to the scale of the in-game world, the quality of the visuals implemented, and the amount of action which can take place at once. While this will make for some epic action on high-end PCs, it will be interesting to see if lower-end PCs and consoles can keep up.
Diversity in all elements of play
The variation on display in this title is nothing short of jaw-dropping, and this goes for every single element which makes up this title. Everything from character appearances and behaviours to weapon combinations and attack patterns can be altered and customised to the way you like it. The more you play the title, the more you can change how you go about completing your tasks, which makes for a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Speaking of tasks, the dynamic event system, which acts as a replacement for generic RPG quests, makes finding jobs and helping out NPCs and other characters enjoyable. Tasks vary incredibly, and whether you find yourself helping a farmer grow crops, or chopping up giant ice worms atop a mountain, you’ll know there’s always something else for you to move on to.
Despite a warm reception, Guild Wars was a little overshadowed by similar titles released in the same two-year period. However, its sequel should have no such problems, boasting incredible improvements, loads of unique events, intense world versus world battles, and more, all for a one time payment with no subscription fees. This will go a long way in appealing to new gamers on PC, and put the franchise in good stead. Put simply, Guild Wars 2 will be one of the greatest releases this year, if not this generation.
By Harry Hughes