WHAT can AU$60 buy? Well, Meld’s resident gamer girl Amy Lau spent hers playing Guild Wars 2. But was it money well spent?
What’s AU$60 to an international student in Melbourne? It’s 20 flat whites, 100 packets of Indomie Mi goreng, a month of tram rides to school, or playing Guild Wars 2 for x hours, whereby x is any number you desire it to be, subjected to the viability of the device you play the game on, and the punctuality of your electricity and internet bill payments.
Guild Wars 2 is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) which, unlike its more popular counterpart World Of Warcraft, does not require paying a subscription fee to play.
The game is set in the beautiful and detailed fantasy world of Tyria. Jungles, swamps, snowy mountain villages, underwater caverns and enormous mechanical cities are among the lush and vivid environments. Even the world map looks like a painting. Exploring Tyria is one of the biggest joys of playing Guild Wars 2, as travelling off the beaten path is actually rewarding. But the world isn’t static. Town hubs need to be defended lest they get taken over by hordes of centaurs, and entire areas become populated with non-player characters (NPC) after completing certain in-game events.
Another thing that sets Guild Wars 2 apart from other MMORPGs is the characters’ skills, which are tied to the weapons they equip. For example, an Elementalist may wield a staff to summon an inferno meteor storm, or daggers for special close range attacks. While most games in the genre force players into particular in-game roles based on the characters they play, this aspect of Guild Wars 2 allows players to play and build their characters as they choose.
MMORPGs feature player versus player (PvP) combat in some form or shape, and Guild Wars 2, this time, is no exception. The game offers various PvP modes. In the Structured PvP mode, characters will be scaled up to the max level of 80 and have access to corresponding items and skills. It’s a great way to try out different characters early in the game. For longer, strategic battles, there’s the World versus World versus World mode which pits three large groups of players against each other for control of a huge number of castles, keeps and towers, over the course of a week.
The game only needs the following to run.
- Windows SP Service Pack 2 or better
- Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz, Core i3 OR AMD Athlon 64 X2, or better
- 2 GB RAM25 GB free HDD space
- NVIDIA GeForce 7800, ATI Radeon X1800, Intel HD 3000 or better (256 MB of video RAM and shader model 3.0 or better
- Broadband Internet connection
- Keyboard and Mouse
Overall, Guild Wars 2 is an aesthetically, and conceptually, well crafted MMORPG. However, the game distinguishes itself from other such games by not needing to pay a subscription fee to play it, and hence, is pretty good value for money.