Review by tehjyank

"Decent, but nothing spectacular"

Guild Wars is the latest installment of the ever growing online RPG genre. It comes out with no monthly fee, something we don't see much from MMORPGs. But lets not get Guild Wars confused with a MMORPG, because it's not.

Graphics - 9/10

Definitely a high point in the game. The graphics are stunning. The world is vastly detailed and it really gives it that extra fantasy feel that can appeal to different audiences.

Music - 6/10

Nothing really stuck out for me with the music. Kind of dull, and nothing that kept me wanting to keep the volume up. I'd say most of the time playing the game I had muted the game, just because the music I feel can get repetitive.

Gameplay 7/10

Well here we are.. the gameplay can make or break a game. It can have the best graphics in the world, but if it can't make it up with the gameplay, it really has nothing. In Guild Wars you will chose from 6 classes, Warrior, Mesmer, Elementalist, Monk, Ranger and Necromancer. Each class has skills that can be used, some are primary skills meaning only if the class is your main job can you use them. Which bring me to my next point: you have the ability to have a subclass, a second class that helps your stats and lets you have access to skills that the other class has that will make you stronger and give you more play options. Right now since the game is just released it has been stated that almost any combination will work - and i'm sure, yes it will work, but we all know where it will end up after the game is out for a while, it's going to come to "if you are X and don't sub Y, you're a gimp and you are gimping your guild/party" It's something thats inevitable.

Now, off from the game details. You are givin a hot bar with 8 slots on it. You can fill the bar up with 8 skills but thats it. If you are outside fighting and you forgot to switch a skill, you can't. You have to head back to a city or outpost to do so. Which isn't such a bad thing because traveling between town to town is simple in this game because all you have to do is go to the map and click the place you wish to go and bam, you're there. This is a nice touch to the game that will prevent you from having to walk back and forth all the time.

The game works just like any game in the genre. You head out of town, get some quests, do them, level up. The are plenty of quests, even in the starting area, that will keep you occupied for quite some time. But that doesn't make them challenging. If you have a quest active and you select it in your quest log - a little green arrow will be pointing in the direction you need to go. You don't even have to read the quest description, or really know what you're doing in the quest to complete it in full. You just have to follow that green arrow and kill all in your path there. This, I dont like. I like feeling like theres a challenge and I have to figure stuff out. Anyone can follow an arrow.

If you're used to a standard game where you get with a group of people and just run around a kill stuff and do quests, this isn't you game. Every area outside the city is instanced, meaning if you aren't in a party before you leave the town, you are going to be in that zone by yourself. There are, however, certain missions you have that you will need to have a party to complete. Most of the primary missions that continue the story line, you will need a full party to finish. This bring me to my next point, the story

Story - 5/10

Nothing really incredible here. It's kind of like, "We're under attack! We need you to defend us!" then after you do, "Thanks we have fought off the enemy, but we must advance further" over and over again. You don't even need to watch the cutscenes you get to still understand the story.

PVP 8/10

I gave this it's own section because this is where the game is supposed to shine; with its low level cap and active PVP. Throughout the game you can make a PVP character that will automatically put you at level 20. You can chose a pre-built class, or make a custom character using the skills you have unlocked in the normal roleplaying mode. Also, rather than just making a PVP character, theres various arenas around the world where you can randomly be put into teams and face off against each other. This can be very fun. Four verses Four in a fight to the death. When your team wins you stay in the arena and wait for the next opponent, if you lose they dish you back out into the arena area and you are now unpartied and can join another party if you wish.

The PVP in general requires teamwork. Not every random team will be successful. You need to work together and have a general strategy to win. In most fights the casters and monks will get bum-rushed to try and take the out quickly so they will have no one to heal. But some people and parties don't understand tactics and they're all about "RUSH! KILL!" which will lead to nothing but your party fully wiping and the other team getting a flawless victory. Overall, the PVP is fun. A nice break from "following the green arrow" in the solo play. However, if you don't have a guild, or a competent party, you will get frustrated from the lack of wins you will get.

Overall - 7/10

Overall Guild Wars provides an online RPG that isn't difficult to get into and easy to reach the max level and participate in the PVP aspects that the game is built so strongly around. One major thing that I did not like, was the general community of the game. With no montly fee, many people are attracted to the game - the first day it was released I was playing a PVP game, my party won and someone from the other team said "It was our monks fault, he sucks" "****in noobs" This is the first day the game is released! Give them a break, they probably are just trying everything out and people are already complaining about people being noobs.

The roleplaying game itself can get extremely boring if thats all you do. Generally , I find myself doing some quests for a bit then warping to an arena to just get away from the solo following green arrow thing. I find that since there is no montly fee, the game is a pretty good investment, you won't have to worry about paying for a month then getting sick of the game and feel like you paid for nothing. But, I see myself quitting and starting the game over again multiple times due to the fact that I can keep my account active and not have to worry about paying to do so.

So in the end - should you get this game? If you are a fan of games like Diablo or even PSO, you will probably love this game. But if you're more of an EverQuest MMORPG nut, you probably wouldn't last long with this game.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 05/01/05

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