May 2nd, 2005


Guild Wars

Having tried World of Warcraft and been a bit disappointed by the monthly charges I was more than a little hopeful when I heard about Guild Wars. It's essentially the same game as Warcraft but it doesn't carry a gaming fee. You pay for the game and that's it. No monthly fees. Ever.

Okay, it's essentially the same as Warcraft but, oh my, it's a whole lot better!

It's visually pant-wetting. The careful attention to detail, the billowy grass, the falling leaves and the wind rippled water left me drooling. Then there's the character detailing, the monsters, the magic, the catacombs and dungeons! The list of plus points just goes on and on.

Okay, those really don't do it any justice but to post the full-screen 1600 by 1200 captures would've been a little much. The only way you can truly experience the splendor is to buy the game. Yes, buy it. That one-time investment will be more than worth it! Unlike Warcraft. But don't get me started on that again.

Instead I'll tell you about Grey Claw. He's my Necromancer. Well, he's a necromancer with a twist. In Guild Wars you get a primary profession and then you're free to travel the world trying out a secondary career path. You can try them all and then settle for the one which suits your style.

Whilst searching out the ideal career you can occupy yourself with the quests. There are a fair few to complete as well. Most of them with multiple stages and satisfying rewards.

Whilst questing you'll level up quite rapidly. You can customise your character advancement to whichever skills suit you. So whether you enjoy close-quarters combat or long-range nuking you can alter your skills to suit. Oh, and if you change your mind then you can unlearn your skills with a minor penalty.

When your primary and secondary skills are working in harmony you can really begin to explore the world around you. You can get yourself lost in the mountains or delve into the undead ridden catacombs. Working alone or with a party you'll soon find yourself enthralled by the sheer depth of the game.

Oh, and the best thing about Guild Wars. Just when you think you own the game. Just when you think you've got it all under control. That's when it bites you in the ass. That's when the game shows you what it's really about. But I guess you'll just have to find that out the hard way...