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Even The Cities Are Livelier Than Earlier Installments Of The Franchise
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As far as the PvE campaign (or personal story as it’s generally referred to) is concerned, Guild Wars 2 is exceptionally well-written, albeit a little slow to start. Continuing the story two and a half centuries after the original Guild Wars, your character will embark on a journey that is partially determined by some of the choices that you made when creating your character, while also expanding on the lore that was already put in place with the end of the original game dealing with the elder dragons, the remains of Ascalon, and the continuing turmoil in Kryta among other things.
Depending on what race you’ve created your character as also changes the story, focusing on the perspective of that character’s chosen race. The only problem as far as the storyline is concerned is with the earlier levels where the game really focuses on getting a new player acclimated to the new world. You’ll spend the majority of the first ten levels or so helping out farmers or nobles to grind your way up to the level necessary to engage many of the quests, and not as much time developing your character’s story. In the previous Guild Wars game, ArenaNet managed to maintain a good balance by giving the player an idea of the bigger picture and engaging them in the story while running them through the paces of the tutorials.
It isn’t until about level 15 actually, that the feeling of “Why am I here again?” really starts to go away.However, as soon as the story starts to roll, it is a very engaging one that shows once again the prowess of the wordsmiths of ArenaNet in their lore-weaving. Complementing the narrative is an exceptionally long list of well-knowns contributing their voices to the game including Felicia Day (The Guild), Nolan North (Uncharted), April Stewart (South Park), Troy Baker (Naruto), Steve Blum (X-Men), and Matthew Mercer (Thundercats). With such a stellar cast, it’s terribly difficult to find any sub-par quality in the voice acting, which adds to the immersiveness of the story.
Adding to the adventure that is Guild Wars 2 are of course the environment and character models, which are a significant improvement over the previous game. With all graphical settings maxed, the world of Tyria comes absolutely alive. That isn’t to say that the average modern PC won’t be able to enjoy a beautiful world, but at its full potential, Guild Wars 2 is simply stunning. The vast areas contain lush forest, lakes and swamps, with villages and outposts dotting the country side to take a quick breather from your adventuring. Every area has beautiful vistas where you can really take in all of the hard work that ArenaNet has put into creating a world that’s larger and fuller than the previous iteration.
Even the cities are livelier than earlier installments of the franchise. At its best, Guild Wars really only featured a couple of cities that actually felt like they were a real metropolis, and those were only found in the Factions expansion. In Guild Wars 2, every major population center features tons of citizens, markets, and other points of interest to give the game a feeling of a cheap ultimate team coins real, tangible world.My Sony VAIO laptop with a Core i7 and Nvidia GT540M graphics processor, while capable of running the game at its maximum settings, takes a bit of a beating, running only at about 29 frames per second, and, with most of the settings set to the mid-range, I’m grabbing around 47fps.
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