Guild Wars 2 – It’s Nearly Here

Reviewed by Az de Silva

Guild Wars 2

For years the ArenaNet response to sequel requests was “When we’re ready.” The long awaited Guild Wars sequel is officially launching on Tuesday, August 28th 2012.

Guild Wars 2: Eir Norn

Guild Wars 2: Eir Norn

For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure to be a part of this amazing world, Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 are massively multiplayer online role-play games (MMORPGs) developed by ArenaNet. As with Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2 is free-to-play meaning there are no extra charges or subscription fees to pay. It’s a once-off game purchase with unlimited gameplay – and the world is huge, it’s big enough to become a second life.

I’ve been playing Guild Wars for over six years now, and to be frank, to my shame when I saw the trailer for Guild Wars 2 I remarked “It looks awful! I’ll never migrate from Guild Wars.” After receiving access to the beta weekends, I realised I would have to eat my beanie. The game is awesome.

Set 250 years after the original Guild Wars game, Guild Wars 2 offers a variety of new trade and crafting systems and has both player versus player and player versus environment game-play. The environment is alive; thousands of dynamic events provide choices and actions that have a direct impact on the world around you, they also provide fantastic social opportunities bringing people together for a common cause. A variety of 5 races and 8 professions are available to customise and play, each have their own customised quest storyline.

The graphics are awesome. The game has more detailed environments, better lighting and animation effects than its predecessor. The game is a work of art, the backdrops are beautifully crafted, the detail awe-inspiring – especially for an MMORPG.

Unlike Guild Wars, GW2 is a true 3D environment which allows for jumping, climbing and falling off cliffs, and best of all – swimming!

Guild Wars 2: Logan Human

Guild Wars 2: Logan Human

Even better, is the second set of weaponry (and pets for rangers) available for underwater battles!

The combat system is vastly improved with better weaponry, combos, improvisational tactics, cooperative attacks and a more user-friendly skill bar. Weapons, armour and jewellery are now something you can craft; you can learn trades (such as weapon smithing, leather work, cooking) and hone your crafting skills.

For those of you who strayed from the original Guild Wars, but want are interested in GW2, it’s worth revisiting your old characters. Your accomplishments are recorded in the Hall of Monuments in the Eye of the North, and they earn rewards in GW2. There is a very serious rewards calculator on the Guild Wars 2 website where you can see what rewards you’ve unlocked.

Guild Wars 2 is a dynamic, engaging, tasty-fun interactive game that stands apart from other online multiplayer games with its artful graphics, seamless gameplay and hours of fun, social or solo adventures in a beautiful landscape.

After returning to Guild Wars Eye of the North after the end of a GW2 beta weekend, I read someone saying “I love Guild Wars, but Guild Wars 2 will be my new home.” and I had to smile, as I thought, “You and me both mate, you and me both.”

Guild Wars 2: Images Courtesy of Arena Net Inc.© 2011. All rights reserved.

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