Review by Zucabr
"Two years after release."
Guild Wars is a on line role-playing game from developer ArenaNet. Guild Wars is not like many other massively multi-player on line role-playing(MMORPG) games. It tries a different formula from other games such as World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings: On line, and mainly it succeeds. Also in Guild Wars there is no monthly fees for playing on line. So you just buy the game and that is it.
You start out by making your very own character, you have the choice from either Player vs. Environment(PvE) or Player vs. Player(PvP). I will talk about PvP later. You have the option to choose from 6 classes: Warrior, Ranger, Monk, Necromancer, Elementalist, or Mesmer.
Warrior is your obvious Tank(character who plays the front line taking most damage and deals great damage). They use swords, axes, and hammers. All of their skills revolve around dealing a lot of melee damage.
Ranger is the character that stays away from the front line, and far from it. They have the longest range of any character and their skills revolve around either traps that cause conditions or bow attacks.
Monk is the standard healer. At least that is what most people think. Monks have many healing spells but they also have very good holy damage spells.
Necromancer is a very interesting class, there are many ways to play a Necromancer. One of the main ways to play a Necromancer is what is called a Minion Master. This revolves around making minions(that you control) from the dead. They also have many hexes.
Elementalist is your mage. They have four main elements in their arsenal: Water, Fire, Earth, and Air. Fire and Earth are your main damage dealing Elements. Water and Air are the spells that revolve around slowing the enemy or slowly taking away health from your enemy.
Mesmer is a very unique class. There skill sets involve hexes. They use their hexes to hurt enemies is ways such as a Water or Air Elements. They also have a attribute called 'Fast Casting' which is pretty self-explanatory. They are able to cast spells faster essentially.
So you pick your main profession(Primary) and you are put off into the word of Tyria. You start in a land called Pre-Searing. It is the area before the enemy called The Charr attack and destroy the City of Ascalon. Pre-searing works as your begging area, or the area for noobs. You are introduced into the game with quests. You take a quest which usually involves going to a certain place and killing some enemies. You gain experience points(EXP) and level up. But before you leave Pre-Searing you can take a quest that allows you get a secondary profession. In other words you can make a Ranger/Elementalist, Warrior/Monk or any other combination you like. Each combo is pretty balanced. Now a secondary profession is not to take over the primary, but to augment it to make it much more refined.
You leave Pre-Searing you start in Ascalon where you can take quests and do missions. Yes there is a difference between quests and missions.
Quests is a objective you get from a non-playable character(NPC). Which is where you are to go a certain place and kill something and go back to the NPC who gave you the quest for a reward. Missions on the other hand are like glorified quests. There are 24 missions in Guild Wars. The missions are used to continue the story and get to new places.
Guild Wars is unique many ways but there is one that stands out. Unlike other games when you go to fight enemies, everyone is fighting enemies. People can steal your kills and take your items. Well Guild Wars is different. When you leave an outpost you get your own little private server to kill all you like with your party. This is good because you do not have to worry about people taking your kills or item stealing.
One other thing about Guild Wars that makes it unique is the fact that you do not have to grind(excessive leveling). The level cap is 20. Now there are ups and downs to a level cap of 20. To some people that is a godsend, while to other people it is a downer. They seem to not feel the need to continue after level 20. Every time you level you get two things: EXP and attribute points. You are a warrior and you want to be a sword using warrior. You can just go ahead and put points into sword mastery. Say you don't like being a sword warrior, you can go ahead and change your points from sword mastery into axe mastery or to hammer mastery.
So you have progressed the game into points where it becomes very hard to kill enemies. You decide to forget going solo, to getting a party. In the earlier missions of the game it is very easy to get a party but the further you progress it becomes harder and harder. Not to say you don't get groups, it just becomes hard to get a good group. And that leads into something else.
Finding a good party. Now Warriors, monks, and Elementalists are generally accepted into groups. But that leaves three other classes: Ranger, Necromancer, and Mesmer. Rangers have a decent chance to get into a party because of the long range. Necromancers are also is usually in groups, but usually because they are minion master necromancers. Mesmers on the other hand is the least-used class in PvE. Not because they are bad, but because no one pays attention to them. So they are usually left out of groups.
Now lets talk about game play. Guild Wars allows you to only have eight skills at a time in mission areas and explorable areas(not mission areas but areas where quests are generally located). Now this may seem wrong even unfair. But it is very good. It makes Guild Wars more about skill than the best armor, weapons, and 200 twenty of the best skills(located on the keys 1-9) in the game. Eight skills lead to many build for each character. And even more builds when you include your secondary profession. This is very fresh compared to other games.
PvP. PvP consists of people fighting each other. Seems simple, well it's not. It tends to be very strategic. With only eight skills the player has to choose skills that would work best against any character. PvP as interesting as it may seems is also very hard to get into. If you make a new character, expect to loose a lot. It is very tedious to find a good build and a good party that works with your skills set and how you play. Often you will be insulted by people because you are new and not sure of how things work. But if you put the effort involved PvP can be very rewarding and a great way to spend all day or even just 10 minutes.
Graphically speaking, Guild Wars is very nice. Ascalon is the medieval area, and you venture into the Shiverpeaks where it is snowy. Your journey leads you into the beautiful wilderness of Kryta and then into the Magumma Jungle and then into the Crystal Desert and the Ring of Fire. All of these portions of Tyria are very beautiful in their own ways they are also all very unique in their own ways. The game runs very smooth and does not require a super high-end computer to run the game.
The music in the game is all very well done. But for some reason, the music isn't always playing. I'm not exactly sure why either. But when it is playing it is very good. It really sets the mood, and has a peaceful tone to it.
All in all.. Guild Wars is a good game. But like every game, it has its faults. But the pros outweigh the cons in Guild Wars. Guild Wars can take as long as you like for it to finish, with an incredible amount replay value. You will fill satisfied all the way through.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/30/07
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