Can Guild Wars 2 steal World of Warcraft’s crown?
Engrossing GW2 might make players reconsider their Warcraft subscriptions
What you need to know
A sequel to the ‘massively multiplayer’ online (MMO) role-playing game Guild Wars by US games maker ArenaNet, Guild Wars 2 takes place in the imaginary world of Tyria and follows a guild of dragon fighters called Destiny’s Edge. MMOs are capable of supporting hundreds of thousands of players simultaneously.
Players select a set of skills to engage in combat with a range of monsters as well as taking on a number of tasks. The game makers claim GW2 is unique in featuring a storyline that changes in response to player actions, something which is common in single player role-playing games but rarely seen in multiplayer ones.
Unlike similar online games, it has no ongoing subscription fees, but requires a one-off purchase to install the game.
What the critics like
The original Guild Wars could never quite unseat World of Warcraft as the king of multiplayer online role-playing games, but GW2 might, says Matt Kamen in The Guardian. The art direction is “bewilderingly gorgeous”, the world of Tyria “engrossing”, and it's still free to play. “Time to rethink that Warcraft subscription.”
GW2 is a stunning, beautifully crafted world, says Charles Onyett on IGN. The diversity of gameplay styles is impressive, the pace is fast and players can get on with the fun parts “without much of the tedious fuss normally found in MMOs”.
The whole internet seems abuzz with Guild Wars 2 fever, says Rick Whitlock on What Culture. The game play is incredibly fun, engaging, and rewarding and the gorgeous graphics make it seem like “a vibrant oil painting”. GW2 is “a must buy”.
What they don’t like
There are bugs, of course, as there are at the launch of every MMO, says Michael Plant in The Independent. There have been log-in problems, bugs with guild communications and attempts by hackers to access user accounts. “ArenaNet will sort most of this out, but it does bear mention”.