Review by Algus
"If you're reading this, you're wasting valuable Guild Wars purchasing time"
There won't ever be a 'Best. Game. Ever.' Sad, but true. However, there will be many games, and have been many games, that have come close to being the best that they possibly can be. Opinions are surely mixed on what these games were. Titles offered could include Halo, StarCraft, Doom, Metal Gear Solid, Grand Theft Auto, and a slew of others. Guild Wars ranks among these as one of the greats.
For the uninitiated it seems that the best way to picture it would be to imagine the combination of Diablo II and a traditional MMORPG such as Everquest. In towns and other 'group' districts the game seems to function as a traditional MMORPG with people everywhere. Would be traders shout prices for equipment and other trade goods. People look for parties to brave the frontier. While others are just relaxing, chatting, and enjoying the community that has cropped up around the game.
Yet, when one ventures out, it is so much more. Every zone instanced, so no annoying campers. Complete freedom for the player and his/her travel mates as they explore the world of Guild Wars. And even more with these PvE events, there is purpose. Guild Wars brings a dedicated storyline that unfolds over the many missions of the game.
And when one isn't partaking in one of these missions, one can explore the wilderness, zones that aren't linked to specific missions. Maybe they'd rather walk to the next town instead of complete the story bits. Or perhaps an NPC in town gave them a quest and they need to explore to complete it. All this can be done with friends or with NPC henchmen hired in town.
And this only scratches the surface of Guild Wars. At it's heart, Guild Wars is a competitive game, every bit as glorious as some of the aforementioned 'greats.' The beauty of Guild Wars's PvP system? It's based on skill, not how much time a player has spent trying to collect the best equipment.
Players can carry up to eight skills with them in battle drawn from two character classes. These classes provide them with many different ways to play. For instance, a smiting monk is much different from a healing monk. But thanks to Guild Wars's refund attribute system it is simple to change from a smiting monk to a healing monk, this offers tremendous versatility.
PvP is accomplished many different ways. The name of the game is Guild Fighting and players who join in guilds can engage in large Guild Battles competing for top places among the 1000 place listing on the Guild Wars website. Other types of PvP including randomly arranged teams and other types of team PvP can all be engaged in either with "Full Roleplaying Characters" - that is characters who can travel anywhere and engage in both PvP missions and PvE zones and other characters who are "PvP Exclusive"
This exclusivity is fascinating in that as you unlock things with your "Full Role-Playing" characters you have access to those abilities when making a "PvP Exclusive" that starts at maximum level. With these different options players can quickly create competitive characters at their leisure. No one is left behind then.
The team behind Guild Wars has claimed they have created a game that will appeal to the die-hard gamer as well as the casual one, to the gamer with an uber gaming machine, to the gamer who doesn't possess such a powerful computer, to the gamer who competes seriously, to the one who just likes to play casually.
In this they have succeeded. Whether logging on 30 minutes before work to engage in a quick random matchup or to log on for several hours to try to get into the Hall of Heroes, this game has it all. It can be enjoyed with friends, or as a loner.
One part MMORPG, one part competitive strategy, all part fun. Guild Wars truly is a masterpiece. And with it's unique streaming technology and lack of monthly fee, it is more affordable and more accessible to people who have been unable to partake in traditional MMORPGs.
With every bit of fiber in my body I highly recommend the purchase of this game, you will not be disappointed and you will have a great time. And with Arena.net's plan to sustain it's servers through the sale of new chapters you are guaranteed that the money you spend on this game will go exclusively to new content instead of just for the 'pleasure of playing'
Hope to see you in the Guild Wars.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 04/25/05
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