Review by GyRo567
"Diablo 2 met Knights of the Old Republic, and there was much rejoicing..."
Guild Wars is not your average MMORPG. In fact the only areas that really qualify for that description are the "giant 3D chat rooms" in between missions. It also has no subscription fee, which is what first got me interested in the game. What makes Guild Wars unique is that you find a party to join with (normally a maximum of 4 or 8 people) in the non-mission zones before setting out on your journey. When you start a PvE level, your party becomes the people there. It makes you feel like the hero, and it certainly doesn't hurt that the missions can be designed much better when they're isolated for each party. The PvP is also similar. You form a party and battle other teams. What makes all of this so fun is that Guild Wars revolves around tactics and skill rather than experience. Your character maxes out at level 20, which can be achieved about 5 hours in (give or take) depending on how much of your time is spent in certain areas. There's almost no "grinding" so to speak in the game. The pacing of the PvE missions and difficulty is almost perfect. Overall, this MMORPG is the only one to play if you hate all the usual downsides to the games. It's especially good for soloing through levels if you like going on your own, although it still requires you to be connected to the Internet. I'm sure MMO fans will love the near-perfection of classic styled concepts too.
Considering both how well it runs, how quickly it loads, and how small the file size is, the graphics are amazing. They're not generally jaw dropping, and they more often than not have a few unpolished things here and there, but this is one good looking game. It's not hard on the eyes at all. In fact some of the females are rather sexy even... >_>
Speaking of characters, the customization here isn't quite up to par with some MMOs, but in my opinion it's plenty, and while the first few hours you'll look like all the other new people, it becomes a mission in itself of perfecting your character's own (hopefully) unique look.
One of the things I tend to overlook in this game is the sound. The music almost always fits in with whatever is going on, but isn't anything too special in most cases. The sound effects for everything are great though. Everything feels right on, and especially certain spells sound terrific. It more than gets the job done most of the time.
Story... Well, that's generally not something you buy an MMO for. This game is no exception. You won't find anything special here, although - at least the first time through - it'll be enough to make you keep playing and playing to find out what happens. I won't get into any specifics here, but it's a generally compelling, if nothing special.
In conclusion, Guild Wars is pretty much a must have if you have any interest in the Adventure or RPG genres. It's a great game that offers a very good, very refined package designed to deliver an MMORPG to the masses. I certainly wouldn't have ever gone farther than trying one if not for this game. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for less grinding and more playing out of MMORPGs.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/01/05
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