Good evening all! Today we bring you a review of the new free-to-play MMO, Guild Wars 2 which has sold extremely well since it’s launch just under two weeks ago. We’ve been playing the game since we received our press pack and we are ready to give our verdict.

Before I begin talking about the game, I must compliment NCSoft for their beautiful presentation of review copies to reviewers. They packaged together one of the nicest press packs I have seen for any game. I opened it to be greeted by some lovely artwork and a letter (which contained the serial code for my Digital Deluxe review copy). It also had two humourous leaflets, showing what one can do on MMO games. After that, they included the lovely The Making of Guild Wars 2 book, finally followed by two DVDs containing the game. There was one more item at the bottom of the pack… a branded Guild Wars 2 USB card, containing the game’s assets, bios and information. A lovely gift from NCSoft, so, hats off to them on that!

Now, enough of me rambling on about the press pack, I’m sure you all want to hear about the game! Guild Wars 2 is the follow-up to the original Guild Wars which sold a massive 7,000,000 copies! It is a non-subscription based massively multiplayer online game set in a world known as Tyria, where Destiny’s Edge, a guild set on fighting Elder Dragons, returns to overthrow their control over Tyria.

Guild Wars 2 has the unique system where dynamic events occur, rather than the usual standardized quests which are common in multiplayer games. The game changes for you as you continue through it, quite like Telltale’s The Walking Dead except in a multiplayer sense (which is rarely achieved).

Before we delve further into the story of the game and how it is presented to the player, we have a few interesting facts about Guild Wars 2 which were made available in our press pack. The game contains 90 feature films (roughly 900,000 words) worth of dialogue! Over 270 people played a part in the development of Guild Wars 2. 3000 pieces of concept art were created for the game. Also, the original Guild Wars was played for an equivalent of 133,806 years!

Guild Wars 2 allows you to chose your own race (a choice of 5) and customize appearance and personality. All these things will make some affect on your story in the game, as will your future actions within the game. As you begin the game, you will almost instantly be required to begin battle.. this serves as your “tutorial” on combat within the game.

I have to say, the controls for the game are excellent, I’m left handed and I didn’t need any tweaking to any of the controls to be able to play comfortable. It’s a great control scheme and it is clear that everything has been logically placed in the position it is in.

Each class has it’s own unique abilities and powers in Guild Wars 2. There is a large range of weapons and/or powers you can select from in each race and you surely are to find something that suits your interests. The game allows PvE (Player vs Environment) combat without any strict organisational pattern. As you know, in most games, each type of class has it’s own specified combat area which you should stick to. However, in Guild Wars 2, any race can go for up-front heavy combat, or stay and the back and provide defensive support. This allows you to choose the quick-leveling, risky tactic or the patient, safe tactic… it’s entirely up to you!

The point I’m trying to make is, in most MMOs and strategy games, each class has it’s own specific role, for example, you might have an attack-based class, a defense-based class and a healing/revival-based class (along with possibly a few others). In Guild Wars 2, every class has the ability to act as an attack, defense, healing or magic based class – or, a combination of 2/3.

Graphically, the game looks absolutely stunning on maximum settings and the vivid, beautifully design worlds are a treat to behold for anyone with a high-end machine, you really will enjoy admiring this game’s graphics.

The game packs a lot of play time into its package. Even after completing the majority of the game’s tasks (which will take quite some time!), there is still plenty of things to do and continue with in the story, with a very likely chance of more quests and expansions coming later.

The game’s mechanics are fantastic. They work without glitches (I still haven’t experience any), are quick to respond, fluid and simple. The game is a joy to play and feels very smooth, quick and well engineered.

Rather than having a set quest system where the game leads you to the next quest on the map, the game lets you know when you enter an area in which quests, side-tasks and various small fights and points of interests are available. This allows you to explore the land as you see fit, rather than being guided constantly by the game.

To close off my review, I must state that Guild Wars 2 is an excellent, innovative and unique entry into the MMO genre, top that off with the fact the game is free to play after purchase of the original copy, you have one fantastic package for under £50! It is a great game, and one which all PC gamers should give a chance. Here are the scores, thanks for reading: