Guild Wars 2 – PC
Global Release: August 28, 2012
I try to play every major MMO that comes out, searching for that ‘one’ that locks me in the same way World of Warcraft did in 2005. I played that game for a long while and didn’t feel the need to play anything else; I wasn’t a ‘hardcore’ raider but I put in a couple of hours each night and enjoyed it immensely. Eventually though I burned out on WoW and have been looking for something else, the next step in MMOs. I’ve seen fantastic concepts turn out to be fairly dull (Aion, City of Heroes), I’ve seen spectacular visuals leading to what turns out to be way too similar to WoW (Rift, SWTOR) and I’ve seen fantastic games be mired by poor server populations (LOTRO, Warhammer Online). Guild Wars 2 is ‘The Next Big Thing’ ™ and although I haven’t played the beta I’m eagerly anticipating the release.
It already has a lot going for it – decent visuals, dodges, streamlined levelling and amazing group/guild facilities. Quests are often dynamic with events happening around the world, and if you’re in the right place at the right time, you can get involved. One example given was wandering through a town, a farmer might tell you his farm is on fire, attacked by marauding bandits. You could go help fight them off, rescue people, or fight the flames. Other players will get the same opportunity and you all work together to solve it. If you do help out, even if you’re not in an official ‘group’ you’ll still get rewarded. If the players fail, the town might become occupied by enemies, so the NPCs are off limits until you can take it back. I’m sceptical of how dynamic these events will really be (or will certain towns just be ‘the fire towns’ but I’ve heard good things about it so far.
On top of all of this, a lot of people I know are planning to get it. Almost any game can be great fun with the right people, and a great game can be spectacular. The game’s beta has finished it’s final beta testing phases and is going be launching at the end of August. We’ll be picking it up and sharing initial impressions, gameplay videos and a full review once we’ve clocked up some hours. Check out the videos below for more.