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Game On!: 'Guild Wars 2' a good, but too familiar play - The Red and Black : Variety

Game On!: 'Guild Wars 2' a good, but too familiar play

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Posted: Saturday, September 8, 2012 3:00 pm | Updated: 9:15 am, Thu Sep 27, 2012.

Variety isn't a spice, it's a necessary ingredient — one Guild Wars 2 forgot to add.

Guild Wars 2, the massive multiplayer fantasy followup released by ArenaNet. Guild Wars 2 is set in the world of Tyria, where five races fight against elder dragons as their world is torn apart by evil. And you, playing as one of these races, will help save the world from the forces that threaten it.

It's a pretty common theme, and not just among fantasy series. The commoner or foot soldier who rises to become a hero and saves the world. What's more, the game allows you to choose certain classes and specializations, go on solo or group quests and pick up talents like mining or crafting. 

Sound familiar? It should. It's World of Warcraft.

It's not that Guild Wars 2 is not a worthy play. The game is vastly entertaining, with amazing graphics and stunningly beautiful artwork. Its character customization is one of the most advanced among MMOs, and its talent tree is engaging and innovative.

What's more, your level doesn't determine your abilities. Your weapon does. And better abilities unlock as you use your weapons more, which allows players to choose whether they will play tank or melee regardless of class or race.

But despite some distinctions, Tyria and Azeroth feel strikingly similar. When I play Guild Wars 2, I want to play WoW. When I play WoW, Guild Wars. The mechanics are different, but the world feel is the same, to the point where this Lich King veteran sometimes forgets which game she's playing.

Which becomes the biggest downfall of the game. High fantasy fans are already pulled in several directions by games that borrow from medieval themes — Dragon Age, Legend of Zelda and Trine, to name a few. But World of Warcraft is definitely a powerhouse in both fantasy worlds and MMOs. It's the death knell of any game developer to be too similar.

But the good news is that MMOs are entities which are constantly evolving. Guild Wars 2 is still within its first few weeks of release and time often leads to ingenuity.

ArenaNet must capture a separate spirit that will call players back again and again, instead of dividing their interests. If it does, then the prophecies of Guild Wars 2 success will be guaranteed.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Darius posted at 10:32 am on Sun, Oct 14, 2012.

    Darius Posts: 1

    Did you play this game for more than 1 day? The differences between GW2, an
    WoW are VAST, beyond the fantasy setting. First, and foremost in many peoples minds, there is NO MONTHLY sub for gw2..it's a one time purchase, and the rest is free free free. go play GW2 for more than a few hours, and come back to write a new review. make sure you actually explore a little bit, as Tyria offers an insane amount of hidden areas and puzzles, very deep character customisation ( altho you might not have noticed that) not to mention the persistant world pvp, accessible thru the WvW panel..in case you missed that ...
    The mechanics in GW2 are such that a casual player can hop in and feel like they are making progress, yet deep enough that the hardcore rpg'r will find plenty to do.
    I am a huge fan of both games, but it it amazes me that a"veteran" of wow such as yourself does not see the obvious and enormous differences between these 2 games. in the future, before you write a review of an mmo, try playing the game for more than an hour before writing ...

  • CassSmith posted at 4:12 am on Sun, Sep 16, 2012.

    CassSmith Posts: 1

    Guild Wars 2 is far from World of Warcraft, sure they're both fantasy, both have crafting etc but the ways in which they do what they do is far from the same, Guild Wars 2 fixes a lot of issues you would have seen in WoW such as node stealing, many a time had I seen and got to a rare ore node first, had a mob aggro and watched as someone swooped down to get the node as I fought off my attacker.... this cant happen in GW2 as nodes are phased/individual to the player. Crafting is a mix of WoW type crafting and WAR discovery with notation of discovered recipes. GW2 is hardly a clone and will get people to return

  • lamorak posted at 11:35 pm on Sat, Sep 15, 2012.

    lamorak Posts: 1

    "And better abilities unlock as you use your weapons more, which allows players to choose whether they will play tank or melee"

    Sure, up until about level 3. Which sounds about as far as you played it.

  • kevin w posted at 12:31 am on Sun, Sep 9, 2012.

    kevin w Posts: 1

    You open with Guild Wars 2 forgot to add variety. That statement is so far from the truth you probably should delete this article from all the mistakes you have made.

  • quarrel posted at 11:10 pm on Sat, Sep 8, 2012.

    quarrel Posts: 2

    Aside from the fact that both games are MMO's and I both fantasy they do not share much Commonalities. The questioning in G W 2 is completely different than in WOW. G W 2 does not use the Trinity system there are no mean healers there are no main tanks. In fact I feel that these games are so completely different. The original writer apparently does not know much about video games or he has not played very much of either of these 2 games. Both games are excellent games but they are not similar at all. And the fact that the OP is trying to pin this as a clone, he has to remember that WOW itself is also a close up of the games that came before it.

  • quarrel posted at 11:06 pm on Sat, Sep 8, 2012.

    quarrel Posts: 2

    WoW apparently the writter really doesn't know much about either game. Aside from the facts both games are mmo's, fantisy,