Monday, April 30, 2012

Game Review: Beta Guild Wars 2

   An anticipated and upcoming game; the sequel of Guild Wars. The world of Tyria has grown up and a new threat has presented itself: Dragons. I got to play the beta and I have to say that I'm impressed. I'm not new to the Guild Wars scene and the first is one of my favorite games. I've read the published books leading up to GW2 and I expect great things.
   You get to choose from five different races (only three in the beta, which will have an asterisk beside them): Human*, Norn*, Charr*, Asura, and Sylvari. I'm personally most excited to play Sylvari, which was not playable in the beta weekend. Instead, I chose human as my main. The character creation process can be really generic or detailed depending on what you feel like doing. It reminds me a lot of the Sims creation. Just before that  you get to choose your profession: Guardian, Warrior, Engineer, Ranger, Thief, Elementalist, Mesmer, or Necromancer. I decided on Elementalist because I always tend to play mages and eles on video games.  After choosing what your character will look like you get to choose a personality for them: Charm, Dignity, or Ferocity. I chose Dignity since it suited what I wanted my character to be. In game, you get to level up any of them despite choosing just one. I don't really know if they make a difference, but it will help in some of the quests you are given. You also get to choose which god you follow and your life story. My human, Alucardalina Claire, is a noble who doesn't know who her real parents are. The storyline has been fitted to reflect that. My missions are usually based on finding my parents and looking for clues as to where I might find them.
   As for the gameplay, I find it very interesting. Unlike Guild Wars 1, you can now jump and the worlds aren't unique to you and your party. There are no henchmen this time around, but it isn't difficult to get help when you need it by some passing stranger. Possibly the most interesting things are the world events. Players band together to reach a common goal. Usually these events are random and can pop up at any time. They range from collecting items on the ground, to killing huge Swamp Behemoths from the underworld.  And no matter where you go, there is bound to always be an event going on.
   The combat system is pretty neat as well. Instead of putting skills on your skill bar, you level up your use of a weapon and get certain skills pertaining to that. You can switch your attribution on a dime as well. I'm always a fire elementalist, but if I wanted to be an ice mage I could just click the ice attribution at the top of my skill bar and start learning ice spells, even in the middle of combat. Instead of fighting huge groups like in GW1 there are now single enemies that you could take on by yourself.
  The beta weekend finale was amusing for this weekend. We had to fight a legendary bunny, forest critters, and Champion Bloodthirsty Black Moas (and boy were they a lot) in order to gain Norn glory. Our server managed to gather 200K+ in the end before we were kicked off.
  All in all, the GW2 beta is kind of awesome and I look forward to playing the full game and getting my Rytlock figure from my Collectors Edition.

Overall Rating:
Art: 9/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Entertainment: 10/10
Overall: 9/10

Steven Colbear