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Second Opinion: Guild Wars 2

Until I started Guild Wars 2, I only had about 60 minutes of MMO experience under my belt.  After a brief experience with World of Warcraft and Fallen Earth, I had absolutely no desire to play anything else in the genre.  While Guild Wars 2 won’t necessarily convert me into an MMO believer, it is assuredly the best game I have seen enter the genre’s overcrowded realm to date.

ArenaNet’s newest product begins with an engrossing experience.  They instantly draw players into the world with their crafted backstories, beautiful artwork and stylish cutscenes to further flesh out the story.  Character creation is deep, offering a number of races and factions with multitudes of customization options for individual appearances and traits.  Each has its own series of attributes, encouraging players to experiment with a variety of characters.

Once a character is created, you are thrown into a server of your choice.  These servers have no indication of quality other than size, but I am unsure of whether or not that matters to more seasoned veterans.  In the quests that I played, it felt as though I was doing single-player instances while in a multiplayer world.  I’m sure that was just a series of coincidences, but I actually didn’t mind completing the personalized stories within the overarching universe of Guild Wars 2.

The action of the game is based in real-time while still accompanying a spell list using macros and numeric hotkeys.  Although many of the spells require a cooldown, a real-time action is never more than a click or button press away.  The combat mechanics keep fights engaging, and new spells, weapons, and abilities continue that trend throughout the course of the game.

For the uninitiated, Guild Wars 2 can seem very intimidating.  Menus are loaded with content and the GUI as a whole takes a lot of investment to get used to, but it is never difficult to find something to do.  The game would best be played with a series of friends, especially through the robust Guild offerings that ArenaNet has provided.  There is a lot to enjoy in Guild Wars 2, and I would recommend anyone to play the game, regardless of their previous MMO experience.