The Mother ofÂ MMORPG’s Is Here
You know there are times when you pick up a random game off the shelf at GAME, buy it for the sake of buying something, in the hope it turns out to be at least a little fun and then the game just so happens to blow you away completely; they are the nice surprises about being a gamer and Guild Wars, was one of those surprises.
Guild Wars is an MMORPG, developed my ArenaNet and set in the fictional fantasy land of Tyria where ultimately, your goal as the chosen champion is to stop the Undead Lich Lord from destroying the land.
You can play up to six different professions within Guild Wars Prophecies. They are: the battle hardened Warrior, the Mystic Elementalist, the Mesmer who use mischievous skills in order to confused their foes, the Holy Monk who naturally provides healing and protection for allies, the Ranger who can tame pets which accompany them around Tyria and the Cold Blooded Necromancer, who can summon undead minions to fight for them.
After launching your chosen character, you are treated to a nice cinematic, giving a brief overview of the land of Tyria and definitely leaves you chomping on your mouse, as you wait to get stuck in. The game doesnâ€™t offer a tutorial as such but thatâ€™s because the game interface is so easy to navigate and understand. New quests are highlighted as green arrows which show up on the main map and the mini map, so you have a clear indication of where to go at all times.
The combat system is based on a point and click system where you click to attack a chosen target until that target is vanquished. When using one of the many skills in Guild Wars, they appear at the bottom of your screen, ready to use whenever you like. All of the skills have a cooldown period, so youâ€™d need to wait a certain amount of time before being able to use that skill again. Each skill in Guild Wars is either Adrenaline or Energy based. Adrenaline based skills require you to attack an enemy a certain amount of times before being able to use that skill, whilst you can use energy skills straight away, assuming that you have the required amount of energy available.
Guild Wars have done a fantastic job in the skills department. There are literally hundreds of different skills you can you use and the chance to try, test and purchase new skills and see if they complement the other skills within your skill bar, is a real joy to behold as it feels like you have accomplished something, when it all comes together against your adversaries. The scope goes even further when you combine primary and secondary profession skills, in order to create your own unique skill bar different to everyone else. Itâ€™s in these skills where Guild Wars really stands out amongst all of the other MMORPGs on the market.
As you play through the missions, similar to other MMOâ€™s, you obtain experience which increases your level and as you do so, you naturally can spend attribute points to put into any of the available categories according to the professions you have chosen. So for the Warrior, you can increase the attributes in the Strength and Swordsmanship categories.
There are a number of customizable features in Guild Wars which give you a further edge in the heat of battle. You can add runes and insignias to both your Weapons and Armours to further enhance their durability or how much damage they can inflict. As an Elementalist, you can add a Rune of Attunement to your armour, which increases the amount of energy at your disposal, thus enabling you to cast more spells and regenerate energy allot faster.
Like its name suggest, you can create or a join a Guild, which in turn, providers each guild with their own custom made cape and their own guild hall. You also have the option of joining an alliance with up to ten other guilds to really get the most out of the multiplayer experience.
Graphic-wise the game is incredible. The character models are so in depth and detailed, thanks to the incredible artistic work of the models. However; the environment looks a little bit outdated compared to other games of this genre and there is little if any environmental effects as you travel across Tyira. It would have been nice to hear the wind brushing against the trees as you ambush an unaware group of centaurs in the forest, or the sound of the river flowing as you stroll alongside it. There isnâ€™t any distinct background music either so unless you have an IPod on standby, it can make the game seem bland at times but these are only minor nuances.
In contrast to the character models however; the conversations are for the most part monotone and blank with very little emotion being portrayed through the characters of Tyria which is a shame as it would haveÂ further enhanced the excellent story in Guild Wars.
There is no monthly subscription to pay to play Guild Wars, it is a stand alone purchase and you donâ€™t have to spend anything else whatsoever again. They do have an online store however, where you can buy new costumes and other accessories for your characters.
There really isnâ€™t allot to criticize about Guild Wars, the inclusion of some environment effects as you travel across the different regions of Tyria and a more passionate voice-cast would have been welcome but on the whole, the game just has everything you could possibly want from an MMORPG; an interesting and compelling story, innovative and customisable skill options and dynamic character models. A definite purchase.
Bad: not many environmental effects, lack of background music and plain voice acting diminishes the gameplay experience somewhat.
Good: Richly designed character models, dynamic and compelling main story and an innovative combat / skills system.