Guild Wars 2 raises the bar for online gaming

Photo Courtesy of GuildWars2.com

Photo Courtesy of GuildWars2.com

Walk onto the field, take charge. Whether you wield a sword, a staff, a dagger, or a rifle regardless of race, you band together, because in Guild Wars 2, our time is now.

ArenaNet have really outdone themselves this time. Guild Wars 2 was released August 28.

Guild Wars 2 is made by ArenaNet, a subsidiary of NCSoft, a Korea-based company. The game has been in the making since 2007, so it has been a long time coming.

Guild Wars 2 is a Massive Multiplayer Online (or MMO for short) game that focuses on the mythical world, Tyria. In the game you are given five playable races, Norn, Asura, Human, Sylvari, and Charr. Each race has their own lore as well as a variety of aspects to them that influence your playing experience.

Along with races are eight playable classes, Elementalist, Mesmer, Necromancer, Warrior, Engineer, Thief, Ranger, and Guardian. Now this is where you make a decision and ask yourself a crucial question: How do I want to play? The answer to that question is not as easily answered in Guild Wars 2, as each profession has their own unique play style. Take Mesmer for example, are the masters of deception who evoke illusions to battle their foes. The Mesmer are infamous for their manipulation of the mind and have quotes unique to them: “When I’m done with you, you won’t trust your own mind.”

Character creation is also beautifully designed with a vast array of customization, from your height to the complex of your skin. You are even able to customize your story through a series of background story questions.

The gameplay is simply amazing. Even at the start of your Guild Wars 2 experience, you will be playing with other players through dynamic events. These dynamic events are completely at random and are an enjoyable experience. At one point in time you will be asked defend a caravan from ruthless bandits and another you will be fighting a dragon the size of an entire town.

As well as dynamic events, you have your own personal story. There are more than a thousand different possible story lines to choose from, it all depends on the choices you make throughout your adventure.

The Player vs. Player concept is taken to a new direction in Guild Wars 2. There are two modes of PvP: structured, and world vs. world. In structured, every player is on an even footing in terms of levels, items, and skills, all that matters is just how skilled you are as well as the teamwork you and your team have. Structured PvP can have up to 16 players, eight per team, in a single game. There are five different maps in structured PvP, each having the same objective, which is to reach 500 points by capturing nodes and defending them, but with different concepts in each map.

World vs. World is the PvP mode is warfare on a grand scale. The mode consists of players from three different worlds pit against each other. The objective in this mode is to control as much of the map as possible, and you have objectives ranging from escorting or intercepting supply caravans, to defending or sieging castles. The difference between large scale battles from other games and World vs. World is that by having three teams, with a max of 2000 players total, it is possible for two teams to gang up on one, and for multiple large scale battles to be taken place.

As you progress through the game, the graphics are breathtaking. Every single detail is taken under consideration in Guild Wars 2, from the snowflake falling down to the snow, to the water splashing onto your screen after jumping into a body of water.

The immersive sound quality compliments the awe inspiring graphics. As you are in a large scale battle, you hear every single arrow being fired, every spell being cast, every sword being clashed, even a jet of flame being spewed by a dragon. The audio is something I usually do not care for in a game, I am usually the one to just mute the game and listen to my music in the background, but in Guild Wars 2 it really does its job in keeping you immersed in your adventure.

Saying that Guild Wars 2 is fun is an understatement. Where has not been a moment playing this game where I have gotten off because I was annoyed or bored of it. Guild Wars 2 is a game that is really well developed and truly an enjoyable experience.

Guild Wars is available on guildwars2.com for $59.99 and $79.99 for the digital deluxe edition.