Guild Wars: Prophecies Review

home > PC > Reviews
Graphics: 9.5
Sound : 9.0
Gameplay : 9.5
Multiplayer : 9.5
Overall : 9.4
Review by Andy Levine
There are a handful of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games available today, and it is very easy to find yourself spending countless hours trying to level up or find that certain unique item. While there are popular MMORPG titles available now, such as World of Warcraft and Everquest 2, a recently released game titled Guild Wars can be found in this same elite class. After a single down payment to obtain your CDs and a valid key, you will become captivated by Guild Wars’ breathtaking graphics, user-friendly gameplay, and amazing teamwork capabilities. Lacking the wallet-consuming monthly fees, Guild Wars could quite possibly be the best MMORPG we will see in 2005.

Much like other MMORPGs, Guild Wars has a mode where you play in an online-only server and attempt to build a strong game character. From the beginning, you can customize your character to be however you want him or her to look, and you can also choose from several different classes, which mainly differ between melee attacks or spells. The menu system is easy to use, and you will quickly find yourself jumping from your quest log to your inventory in no time. A quick-spell bar at the bottom of the screen allows you to easily cast spells in an instant during an intense battle. You can expect the usual role-playing elements in Guild Wars, including the vast, open environments and the point-and-click battle system. The ability to run in windowed mode is a lot more helpful that you can imagine; while other games would have you running for miles across open plains, in Guild Wars you can enable the ‘auto run’ key and perform other tasks on your computer while you journey to new areas. To decrease travel times, you can teleport to cities you have already explored by selecting them from your map. In this role-playing mode, you can expect to do a great amount of quests with the help of a temporary party, or even members of your guild—which will be explained later. This mode isn’t revolutionary by any means, but who said you had to be different to be great? Gamers new to the MMORPG scene will be able to jump right in and begin their journey, while the more advanced gamers can enjoy this from choosing the correct tactics in battle in order to destroy some of the latter boss figures.

Guild Wars also has specially designated PvP (Player Versus Player) servers that are designed solely for the purpose of destroying other humans. Your character will start off at the maximum Level 20, and from there you can customize his or her battle style and appearance. This is fun for new players because they can finally control a powerful character, and the more advanced users can bring items over from their role-playing characters to give them an extra edge. The purpose of these servers is to find the greatest human players from all over the world and have them enter the coveted Hall of Heroes. In order to earn this title, you must join up with teammates, either members of your guild or random partners, and defeat your opponents from several predestined locations. The battles usually last only a matter of minutes, so you can expect the fighting to be fast paced and intense. Another game type has a set time limit, and the team to destroy the most computer-controlled creatures is deemed the winner. Either way, the PvP servers offer considerable action for any gamer who doesn’t prefer to spend hours and hours building up their chosen character.

Like the title implies, Guild Wars is essentially a power struggle between guilds from all over the world. Forming a guild is very easy and it allows you to work together with your friends to make a name for yourself. Special guild items can be purchased, such as capes bearing a special design that can be worn in order to show off your guild pride. A much more expensive item is a Guild Hall, which allows fellow members of a guild to congregate and strategize. Other special features include a guild-only chat system and a guild storage system, which allows users to share their equipment and gold. A guild is essentially a party that never breaks apart, and the overall united feeling you get from working with certain people over a long period of time can be extremely rewarding.

Visually, Guild Wars will leave you gasping for air from its opening cinematic scene to the last of its battles. The environments glow with lush forests and tranquil streams while individual blades of grass sway beneath your feet. The backdrops also change from time to time, and the vibrant colors of the sky really accentuate the beauty of the game world. The models are very smooth, and some of the monsters you encounter are not only well detailed but also undeniably threatening. Each individual refracted ray of light can be seen shining from the sun, and other various lighting effects truly bring the world to life. The special effects seen from spell casting also add a nice touch. Some minor visual drawbacks include buggy character animations and a few blocky looking trees, but these go almost unnoticed beside the rest of the world’s gorgeous aesthetic. Words alone cannot adequately describe the beauty of this game; you must experience Guild Wars for yourself to truly understand how awesome it looks.

Guild Wars is also filled with lively sounds from the buzzing cities and the world around you. You will constantly hear noises including the chirping of birds and the hissing of nearby enemies. Flowing rivers relax your muscles, and the uplifting battle music gets the adrenaline pulsing within you. Occasionally some of the voice acting seems somewhat out of place but, for the most part, the voice talent is better than in most other videogames. However, the most noticeable aural feature is the clashing of weaponry and the roaring of spells, which sound even sweeter when accompanied by the anguished groans of your rivals.

In conclusion, Guild Wars for the PC is one of the best MMORPGs on the market today. Whether you are drawn in by the unique guild system, the intense PvP battles, or the even the visually stunning graphics, any gamer can find a reason to play Guild Wars. Best of all, having no monthly fees makes Guild Wars a must buy for anyone desiring a truly captivating experience.