by Ingvi Snædal
previewed on PC
Change the World
One of the most exciting features about is the dynamic world. In the character creation process, the player is asked a series of questions. The answers not only determine the characters back-stories, but will also come into play later in the game as quests and objectives relative to the character’s personal story are opened for the player to explore. The choices players make also have a dynamic effect on the world and the story quests will be persistent, so players will all be fighting together this time around. The feeling of loneliness that drove many players away from the original will therefore undoubtedly be vanquished this time around.
The way the concept art has been brought to life within the game’s cinematics is truly beautiful and gives the game a more medieval fantasy feel to it, even giving the player the feeling that this world is going through its very own Renaissance. The in-game aesthetics are very impressive as well, despite this being a pre-beta build, the animations are fluent, and the environments look gorgeous. Combat between many players and a massive dragon or a giant is awesome to look at, as the gigantic enemies tower over the puny players. Cooperation is key to victory in those encounters.
A large portion of the game takes place underwater and every character will have a breathing apparatus that they automatically equip as soon as their head goes under. This means that the seas and lakes are not only for those lucky enough to have found, or bought, a spell, or some piece of equipment, which allows them to stay under for longer periods of time. Everyone will be able to enjoy that part of the game, regardless of level, skill, or equipment. This I relish, as the underwater environments in this game look very enticing.
The skill bar that used to house eight combat skills in the original, has now been split into two sets of four. The first set will house the character’s weapon skills, while the other will house his professional skills. This split is representative of the difference in acquisition, as weapon skills and professional skills will be acquired in different ways as the character progresses through the game. This is done to help the player learn how to use his weapon and simplify the process of maximizing the character’s combat efficiency.
Both huge cooperative battles and player vs. player battles have siege weapons that players can man and defend in order to gain an upper hand during combat. Elements of the environment will also be destructible, so these siege weapons can be used to change the dynamics of the environment, opening buildings by making a hole in them, or taking down a wall, siphoning the action into an area beneficial to your team.
Every doubt and apprehension I had for this game has been quenched. Guild Wars 2 looks beautiful, the player will have other players running around him at all times, the multiplayer will have tournaments and quick battles so players do what they have time to do, every element of the map is open to all players, and best of all, the game looks really, really fun.