The Beauty Of Guild Wars 2
This is the first in a new feature known as The Guild Wars Gateway. Put simply it’s a place where experiences and thoughts on Guild Wars 2 will be shared and given their place to shine. Considering the game’s huge amount of depth it seems appropriate to reward the game it’s very own section of dedicated articles. The first entry looks one of the strengths of Guild Wars 2, its beauty.
My time with MMO’s has been and gone. The magic I discovered in World of Warcraft, back in 2004, was virtually untouchable for years. I had tried various MMO’s from Warhammer to Aion and even a few of the more obscure free to play MMO’s that seem to all include some form of kitten girls. All of the MMO’s I tried left me feeling rather bored, unsatisfied and questioning if I should have just gone back to World of Warcraft. Everything paled in comparison to Blizzard’s juggernaut.
Bioware’s glimpse of hope in Star Wars: The Old Republic turned out to be something of a flat experience, but in late August a new face appeared on the block. It wasn’t marketed as the ‘WoW killer,’ that many other MMO’s had claimed to be and it wasn’t trying to be the next WoW, instead it was trying to create its own impact. Guild Wars 2 arrived and thus the beginning of a beautiful relationship came to be.
I could go on about every single aspect of Guild Wars 2, but that would do a disservice to the game. What I will say is go and buy it and play it, but play it with a open mind. Leave any judgements made on the genre at the door…and make sure to turn your video settings to high. Guild Wars 2 feels like the next step in the MMO market and it’s a game that offers so much in so many departments that every turn usually impresses.
One of Guild Wars 2′s most striking features are the visuals and art style. The whole fantasy setting has been done to death, but Guild Wars 2 has managed to make things look fresh. Each zone is populated with large structures that display a great level of care and detail. The best example of this is in the starting area of one of the new races, the Asura. These diminutive creatures are one of Guild Wars 2′s quirky offerings. What they lack in size they make up for in intelligence and creativity. Their architecture reflects this perfectly. Buildings are large in scale and decorated with various floating objects. The Asura’s home city is possibly one of the most interesting areas in recent MMO’s.
A large floating island/structure hovering above the world below, it’s a staggering sight to behold. Each corner of the city has something interesting to check out, be it a building or just a stunning view of the map. It’s rare to find a location in a MMO that offers such detail in such a interesting manner. The ability to reflect each race’s traits and mannerisms in their home city and architecture is truly a talent. The Charr’s Black Citadel distils the militaristic nature of the race while showcasing some truly spectacular settings. The size and scale of the Human’s home city of Divinity’s Reach is perhaps the best example of the talent and ability of the team behind Guild Wars 2.
The beauty of Guild Wars 2 isn’t confined to it’s cities. The vast open areas of Tyria are more than mere holding pens for monsters for players to slay. Each area encourages exploration and rewards it. It’s the first time in a long while where an MMO has let the player loose in wide open space and not dictated where to go. On a personal level I often find myself just exploring for the first few hours when entering a new zone. This is how 90% of my quests were found. At no point was I told to go anywhere, at no point did I miss out of a breath taking view. The simple act of just enjoying the area opens up the game.
There’s a sense of scale to each area within Guild Wars 2, be it a dungeon or a city and the creativity, effort and talent put into each area factors in to why Guild Wars 2 stands out of the pack of recent MMO’s. I dare anyone to venture into Lions Arch and not be blown away by the sheer beauty and detail the oozes from the city. Guild Wars 2′s depth of beauty is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to talking about the games qualities and it’s a iceberg worth exploring.