Guild Wars 2 Impressions: Levels 1-20

by: Travis -
Guild Wars 2 from ArenaNet and NCsoft has been available for some weeks now and is still going strong in the area of sales as series fans and newcomers clear their schedules for the sequel of immense scale. Guild Wars 2 is an epic game with the massive fantasy world of Tyria that is filled with numerous quests, events, monsters, and loot awaiting for discovery. As a past veteran of the previous Guild Wars, I had high expectations for the sequel in terms of both gameplay and amount of content. The first Guild Wars suffered tremendously from an extremely low level cap and lack of endgame content other than player versus player combat. My experience with Guild Wars 2 thus far from levels 1 to 20 has gone far beyond my original expectations to being truly delighted by the insanely addictive experience.

The world of Tyria is simply massive in both its available areas to explore, but as well as the numerous quests that are scattered about in each map region. One of the most noteworthy features of Guild Wars 2 is the introduction of dynamic events that continually appear on your map and quest tracker. These dynamic events might range from gathering items for a NPC or fighting alongside other players against a particular boss encounter. Each of these events are open to everyone that is in range of their location, allowing for some hectic situations when tons of players join in the fray. With the addition of dynamic events, the world of Tyria always feels alive and interactive. Put simply, players will never have trouble in finding a event or quest to partake in with other players.

As if the humongous world wasn't enough for players, ArenaNet has introduced some of the most entertaining combat seen within a massively multiplayer online game. From the variety of skills for selection to the various battle tactics available, combat in Guild Wars 2 never felt like a chore to accomplish. I fell in love instantly with the Engineer profession due to their abilities to spawn turrets and use particular elixirs for an edge in combat. Even more entertaining is their use of weapon kits that range from grenades to flame throwers. I'm also a huge fan of the cross between fantasy worlds and steampunk technology, especially with the inclusion of pistols, rifles, and even blunderbusses. Along the Engineer profession, players can also select from a Necromancer, Thief, Elementalist, Warrior, Ranger, Mesmer, and Guardian.

As well, players can select from the five races of Tyria that include Asura, Charr, Human, Norn, and Sylvari. Each of the races begin the game in their home city along with a particular set of quests. Considering the variety in both the races and professions, players will have quite a challenge ahead of themselves if they wish to see everything that Guild Wars 2 has to offer potential adventurers. If these options aren't enough, players can also choose to have two active crafting disciplines including Armorsmith, Artificer, Chef, Huntsman, Jeweler, Leatherworker, Tailor, and Weaponsmith. With focusing most of my attention to the game's primary quests, I haven't had much time with crafting and will focus on that subject further in the next edition of my Guild Wars 2 impressions.

Guild Wars 2 follows in the tradition of the original by providing stunning visuals at nearly every moment in the experience. In particular, the Norn home city of Hoelbrak is absolutely breathtaking to behold with its intricate wooden architecture while snow slowly falls over the environment. All of the locales that I've visited thus far in my journey to level 20 have each offered a variety of breathtaking vistas and places to discover scattered about their lands. The music tracks match perfectly with the game's epic scope, often sounding as if I was adventuring in one of The Lord of the Rings films. Guild Wars 2 runs exceptionally well in most part because of its optimization for a wide range of machines.

Guild War 2 is a finely-tuned and flawlessly-executed massively multiplayer online experience that gamers with any remote interest will not want to pass up in this crowded season of game releases. Add in the fact that Guild Wars 2 doesn't include any sort of monthly fee, it's simply too hard to ignore the addictive amount of entertaining and thrilling content that awaits players in their adventures. Without a doubt, Guild Wars 2 offers one of the best values for your money in gaming this year.

Visit the Guild Wars 2 website for further information on the game's various features, along with the option for purchasing a digital copy.

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