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Guild Wars 2 review

On September 5, 2012 by Aaron Meehan

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Guild Wars 2 review

Developer: ArenaNet

Publisher: NCsoft

Genre: mmorpg

Rating: Teen

Platform: PC

Release date: Out now

At present I have played Guild Wars 2 (GW2) for over a week and while I’m not level 80 yet, I feel I have seen and played enough of the game to give my opinion on the mmo.

From what I have played and seen of Guild Wars 2 I am struggling to find any faults with the game. Nearly everything about the game feels almost perfect, the world is really immersive with random events, great World v World v World PVP battlegrounds and more.

It feels kind of strange saying the game is almost perfect since my enjoyment of the mmo genre with some recently released AAA mmo’s letting me down, but GW2 really takes away most of my negativity with it ticking all my boxes which includes great crafting, immersive world and story, and more.

As I have said I have been playing GW2 for just over a week now and in that time I have focused on one character and that is my human elementalist which at the time of writing this is level 30 and in the third human area.

There are five races and classes to choose from which include your standard human, the ferocious looking Charr, the Viking themed Norn, the plant based Sylvari which are born from a tree and the technological inclined race the Asura. Along with the five races there are eight classes which are the warrior, ranger, elementalist, necromancer, guardian, Mesmer, thief and engineer.

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The first thing that really struck me in GW2 is your characters personal story and how different each personal story can be. Your story is set up by the backstory you select during your character creation for example as a human you can select whether you grew up in nobility, on the streets or among common folk, but the story can become more personal as you progress you have to make decisions which will impact on how your story unfolds for example I had a choice to either save my friend from being killed by bandits or stop the same bandits from poisoning wells in the Human capital Divinity’s Reach. In the end I chose to save my friend which led to some people dying, but it did lead me defeating the leader of the bandit group. After coming across multiple choices throughout my story I realized just how personal the personal story really is because the likelihood of someone picking all the same story options would be rather rare.

However with every positive there is a negative and well the personal story is no exception, but truth be told the negative when you think about it is rather small. My negative is with well my characters voice as I feel his voice doesn’t seem to suit my characters backstory. My character is supposed to have being brought up on the street, but he sounds like he is part of a high class family, this minor issue does break the immersion for me a bit, but the issues is understandable as ArenaNet can only have so many voice actors for the game.

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Now it is time to get down and dirty and look at the combat and well truth be told I am split 50/50 on it. Sure the combat is nice and dynamic like ArenaNet have promised, but it feels well to be frank boring to me. For most combat I just dodge and attack and if I am out of stamina (stamina is needed to dodge) I just simple just walk and cast which stops the enemies from getting close to me most of the time. On the flip side however the various enemies you fight might have various specials such as enemies that will breathe fire or poison etc.

While the fighting has left me with mixed feelings the way the GW2 looks after your characters abilities certainly doesn’t. In GW2 you have different types of ability slots you have five weapons skills and five slot skills. Weapon skills are probably the most interesting as weapon skills are determined by what weapon you are using and to and a bit of depth to weapon skills killing enemy’s helps you unlock more powerful skills for that weapon.

In contrast to weapons skills, slot skills aren’t weapon dependent and the abilities are unlocked via skill points which are gained through skill challenges and levelling your character. Slot skills are broken down into three sub skills which are healing skills, utility skills and elite skills. Healing skills are self explanatory as they are skills that heal your character, but you are limited to only one healing slot. Utility skills are a mixture of offensive and defensive skills which can be spread across three slots, but you have to unlock these slots by level up your character. Elite skills which are some of the most powerful skill and like healing is only allocated one slot and is not usable until you hit level 30.

Players can also do underwater combat which offers a unique set of weapon skills and well thankfully there is no breath indicator to make you re surface every few minutes.

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Now to one of my personal favourite portion of Guild Wars 2, the crafting. Crafting is most mmo’s I have played have well bored me to tears and honestly I dread crafting when I start a new mmo, but GW2’s crafting is different.

Crafting in GW2 feels like every other mmo’s crafting, but three additions changed it for me. The first addition is discovering new items by mix and matching material you have made, the second is the collections table which allows you to store all your crafting materials which frees up bank space and grants alts access to each classes crafting material and finally the third is you don’t need to pick a profession to simply mine ore, gather food or cut down trees you just need to buy some tools. I have to say simply these three additions made me well fall in love with crafting in the game.

However crafting is not 100% perfect. Some basic crafting components for crafting professions like tailoring are difficult to come by because they are drop dependant and well the drop rate is slightly scattered at best. ArenaNet however has made up for this in a way and allow you to salvage crafting components from armour and weapons.

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Author: Aaron Meehan

Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.

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