Review: Returning to Guild Wars 2: And the Beat Goes On. PC

You Can Go Home Again.

Guild Wars 2 is the type of game you can show up to once a year and still be competitive in PvP or PvE, while updates add additional ways to play/customise your build, you can even play your build from 2015 and not be a detriment to your team.

I returned today to play a few matches on my guardian, whose build is from early Heart of Thorns, after three matches I was on average the best performing player on my team, with 3+ awards per match.

Now I am not saying this to talk about my performance, but the fact a rusty player with a near four old build was able to not only partake but actively contribute to team-based activities.

To compare with Lotro, which I used to play for 5+ years, If I was to return today, I would be worse than useless for the current endgame, with gear that might as well be ricepaper pants and weapons about as useful as wet noodles.

Guild Wars 2 is the ultimate game to “come back home to” as home is pretty much how you left it, and you can jump right in, and learn any new builds and meta as you progress naturally.

Decidedly Top Tier, Decidedly Average.

Guild Wars 2 has some fantastic open-world group content. The world bosses are something I never tire off, massive group content without the need to coordinate first is something many games do not offer, and Guild Wars 2 offers this in a way that is approachable for players of any skill level.

The World Vs World and Arena Pvp is fantastic, Crafting feels fast and open-world quests while not jaw-dropping feel on par with World of Warcraft Dailies, the problem is despite all this going for it, it just doesn’t hook me, the Story which is abundant and fully voiced, just doesn’t have the hook that keeps me wanting to explore more of the world.

Guild Wars lore feels like Generic Fantasy, and without any real investment in the world which Arenanet have lovingly created, I find it hard to stay around more than a few days at a time, and even then it’s only for PvP and World bosses.

Seed Corn Must Be Your Best Corn.

Another problem is a rare one in the MMORPG scene, Arenanet is too generous with its free to play option, and while income keeps the lights on and a steady stream of new skins and events, the large scale content we see in games like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy 14 is simply not there.

The first few weeks of a World of Warcraft Expac is magical, millions of players all experiencing the same things, sharing tips, or at times trying to be the first to accomplish some task or achievement.

The Launch of a Guild Wars 2 Living World episode feels decidedly bland, story-based content that feels like it can always be “put off till later”.

While I understand that Arenanet may not have the funds or manpower for an expac right now, I feel without an expac Guild Wars 2 will just continue its very slow and steady spiral, a sad end for a near-perfect game.

In Conclusion.

Two of the best features of Guild Wars 2 are Horizontal Progression and Lack of the Class Trinity system, and sadly its those two features, are the very reason that Guild Wars 2 doesn’t have the pull that most other MMO has.

There is no urgency to play, every tank role has a million people to fill it, every healer roll has an ocean of candidates, the ability to be in 5 guilds at once is fantastic on paper, but in reality robs guilds of any importance in your day to day gameplay, and far from expanding the social aspects of the game, it diminishes them.

I would love to see Guild Wars 2 work on its weaknesses, as it has so much to offer, its a game that deserves a chance to become a household name, on par with the likes of World of Warcraft.


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