|a game by||NCS Corporation|
|Editor Rating:||9/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||10.0/10 - 1 vote|
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This is the best metaphor I can think of for Guild Wars. In a market full of overly candied soda, Guild Wars is a nice refreshing glass of orange juice, freshly squeezed. It's got a little pulp, but it's sweet, and its simplicity is classic. Be warned though, Guild Wars is missing a lot of the 'massive' that makes up MMORPG, and makes some new assumptions that old school players might not enjoy.
First and foremost, Guild Wars has no monthly fee. Buy the game and that's it. This is because the developers have designed a system whereby they'll occasionally release expansion packs, not requiring a monthly fee to keep the game up and running. All of the game characters are in the same server, but the overall feeling of the game is sparely populated, because each outdoor area is instanced to include just a few players. In addition, the normal party size is four people. The gameplay is unusual in that unlike other MMORPGs, loot is not a primary focus of the game, but rather represents a small part of your advantage. Guild Wars was designed from the ground up to facilitate skillful play, both in PvE and PvP environments, and for the most part, I think they've succeeded, as it's not about how long you've played your character, but how you play your character.
There are six different professions to choose from, of which you can have one as a primary class and one as a secondary, which determine your look, what sort of armor you can wear, and what skills you can use, with 75 skills per profession meaning that a normal character can have up to 150 skills. However, you can't use those all at once, as you can only take 8 skills with you into the field, meaning that your choice of skills is important. Since you can only change skills at a town or outpost, you need to choose carefully to suit your play style. This means that in addition to the 30 different class combinations, there's nearly limitless combinations you can make from the skills in your possession, which range from special strikes that knock the opponent down to healing enchantments that cause you to regenerate health in the middle of combat. The maximum level is 20, and any character created expressly for PvP starts at level 20, so that should give you some clue as to where the game is balanced. It's fun though, and that's what counts.
Last, for audio, I must applaud ArenaNet's choice of composers. The soundtrack for Guild Wars is composed by Jeremy Soule, famous for producing lush, extravagant film style scores. Plus, Guild Wars is extremely pretty, with some amazing art design, an excellent graphics engine, and a unique glow system. I give Guild Wars two thumbs up, and definitely recommend it to anyone that's looking for an MMORPG that requires skill and doesn't necessarily want to invest hours and hours into a game to get something rich and rewarding out of it.