Review by ultimateballoon
"Get ready for an online adventure!"
Graphics: The game is beautiful. The art design is somewhere between stylized and realistic. The worlds are rich, vibrant and full of colour. Each area seems to feel alive and full of character. If you have the PC to handle it, max out those settings, this is an exceptionally good looking game. 8/10
Sound: The music is engaging, and really fits the world. It never feels annoying or gets in the way, it just quietly hums along in the background, and adds character to the areas. Spells sound powerful, and swords sound sharp. It works very nicely. 9/10.
Story: The voice acting is touch and go. Some of the voices are brilliant, making the character feel like it has personality, however most of the time, it is poorly delivered. The personal story is a nice touch, and it does feel like this is my characters story, however I never get a sense of weight on the enemies. Some of the characters make me truly hate them for all the right reasons, others make me hate them because they are bland and annoying, or just poorly fleshed out. I have yet to feel that the world is truly in peril from the dragons, hopefully that will change further in the game, for now though, story is meh. 6/10
Combat: The combat system is fast and active. It is fun and works well. Each class only has access to 10 skills at any one time, and while this allows for a lot of variety in builds, however as you're only using a few skills at any one time with the remainder being situational, it ends up feeling repetitive, I guess it is meant to fit in with the fast paced nature combat that they were going for, but it falls kind of flat. No skills require you to remain static while casting them, and keeping on the move is important to stay alive. So, even with a limitation on skills, you will know your skills inside and out and each of them becomes more important and deciding which one to use when, and in what combination is key. 8/10.
Crafting: I love crafting in games, it's one of my favorite things to do. The crafting system in Guild Wars 2 is excellent! You have to gather raw materials such as wood and scraps of cloth, refine them into usable items, like wooden planks and spools of string, then use the refined ingredients to make items. It makes sense, and it's fun. You also get experience from it! I cannot fault the crafting, so 10/10.
Bugs: During my time with the game, I personally have not experienced any issues, however this is not the case for all. My Girlfriend gets random crashes with no real indication as to why. It appears that the game is not as optimized as it should be, as we both run fairly spec heavy machines, hers being more powerful than mine, which makes even less sense as to why she is having problems and I am not. Nothing that has happened was game breaking though. 8/10.
Questing: The game really shines here. It feels like you are in control of where you want your adventure to take you, not the game holding your hand. It is fun to just say "Hey, what's over there?" and go. There is always something happening, and something to discover. Exploration is rewarding, and events are placed perfectly. The game guides you through interesting terrain and landmarks, rather than just saying "Go here, do this". There is never a feeling of running out of things to do. You can go back to lower level zones and continue your adventure there. The game down levels you to be appropriate for the area, and you continue to gain exp and rewards for doing them. I could go on about how wonderful the exploration is all day. The events that happen do get repetitive after a while, so it looses marks here, but otherwise it is a brilliant system. 9/10
Multiplayer: Players come together naturally due to the design of quests. Events occur all the time, and so far I have never done one by myself, someone always seems to be doing it at the same time. You're rarely playing alone, and it is nice. It actually feels like MASSIVELY multiplayer game. 9/10
So, all up, this is a wonderful game. It's beautiful, gives a sense of adventure, and is all around fun. It's really let down by the story and voice acting, though neither of those are necessary for enjoying the game. Overall score: 8/10
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/13/12
Game Release: Guild Wars 2 (US, 08/28/12)
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