Guild Wars 2 PC Games and Downloads
PC Games and Downloads
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Released on 28-Aug-2012
Get ready for the next generation MMORPG. Get ready to make a real impact. Get ready for subscription free gaming. Get ready for Guild Wars 2.
It’s been 250 years since the Great Destroyer was slain in the original Guild Wars, but now a new threat arises to threaten the world of Tyria in Guild Wars 2. The Elder Dragons have awoken and chaos threatens to engulf the lands. Join your friends and fight back against the darkness as you embark on an epic journey together in a land where your deeds will be remembered.
If you want to be one of the first people to try out ArenaNet's ambitious MMO sequel Guild Wars 2 then you'll need to get clicking quickly. The developer has opened the beta sign up process, but the virtual gates will close again at 6pm GMT on Friday February 24th. The beta is expected to start in March.
Not sure why this is exciting? Well, Guild Wars 2 is promising some pretty impressive innovations for the MMORPG genre. Not least, the prospect of dynamic questlines, which adapt and change depending on what players are doing. This sort of flexibility is common in single player offline RPGs, but unheard of on an MMO scale.
We're also promised overhauled combat, demanding more cooperation between classes, and a simpler system for managing skill upgrades. It also looks stunning.
As with the original Guild Wars, the game won't require a subscription to play.
Guild Wars 2 is scheduled for release on PC later this year.
Obsessed with The Old Republic? Still working your way through World of Warcraft? If your other half keeps moaning about your gaming habit, researchers at Brigham Young University say you should suggest a "can't beat them, join them" solution.
The study, which quizzed 349 couples in which at least one person was a regular online gamer, found that 76 percent of those who played the same games together said that gaming has a positive effect on their marital relationship. Interacting with each other's avatars even led to "higher marital satisfaction". Ahem.
Conversely, for couples where only one partner plays - usually the man, predictably - there were problems. Three quarters of the spouses of gamers said that gaming habits had led to arguments and domestic strife. Interestingly, arguments tended not to be about the amount of time spent gaming, but that the times chosen interfered with family life.
"It's not the hours that make a difference," said Neil Lundberg, a professor of recreation who ran the study. "It's really what it does to the relationship-- whether or not it creates conflict and quarrelling over the game."
So there you have it. You can either argue about it, or sign them up for an account of their own. Problem solved!
Guild Wars 2 fanatics can get another slice of ArenaNet's fantasy action with a new beta event that kicks off on Friday 8th June.
If you were fortunate enough to take part in the earlier beta test, you'll be relieved to know that the characters you created and levelled up will persist into the next test. Taking to the ArenaNet blog, Guild Wars 2's lead producer Chris Whiteside took a moment to thank players for their participation and their help in improving the game.
"The participation and enthusiasm we've seen has exceed our expectations, and we're all very grateful and appreciative here at the studio," he wrote.
"Your support during our first Beta Weekend Event and throughout development has been instrumental in getting us prepared for launch and helping us take massive steps in the evolution of Guild Wars 2 as a whole. You, our community, are an integral part of the development process, and Guild Wars 2 simply would not be what it is today without you."
PC gaming has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent times, most notably with the release of Diablo 3 earlier this month - the game has since gone on to sell more than six million copies. Similarly, Guild Wars 2 is shaping up to give the MMO genre a much needed shot in the arm.
A New Breed of MMO
It's nearly eight years since the launch of Blizzard's massively multiplayer game World of Warcraft - one of the biggest games in history, and one that, it was widely predicted, would change the game industry forever. But, all those years later, WOW is still by far the most popular game of its type, and things in MMOs haven't really moved on.
Last year's Star Wars: The Old Republic was the most concerted effort yet to take it down - a vast production with the biggest licence in the world and the storytelling skills of BioWare behind it. But even that wasn't enough, and later this year SWTOR, like so many before it, will go free-to-play in an attempt to gain enough players to justify its existence. Why? Maybe it's because, under the flashy surface, it played just the same as WOW.
But things are about to change. Guild Wars 2 is here, and at last we have a game that makes World of Warcraft look as old-fashioned as it really is.
Guild Wars 2 has form, as the sequel to one of the few games to succeed in WOW's shadow. ArenaNet's Guild Wars was a lightweight MMO that didn't charge a subscription fee, concentrated on fast-paced action in small groups, and made money by selling expansion packs.
Guild Wars 2 is different - this is a proper persistent online world, a single, gigantic massively multiplayer map just like WOW's. But there's still no subscription fee to play it. There's an item store where you can buy trinkets and clothes, and there will probably be content packs in the future, but for now a single purchase is enough to get you permanent access to one of the biggest and best-made online games out there. That already gives it a huge advantage over its rivals.
But what's in store for you when you pick it up? Guild Wars 2's world of Tyria initially seems to be a straightforward high fantasy set-up, with five disparate races teaming up to beat up some dragons. But there's more here than meets the eye. The medieval-style Humans and Viking-like Norn are par for the course, but you can also be Charr (a warlike race of industrial cat-people), Asura (furry science-fiction goblins with rabbit ears) or Sylvari (a young race of sentient plants). The artwork is fabulous throughout, with wonderful lush vistas, impressive architecture and strange creatures to discover.
And what's most interesting is the way you discover them.
A Tribe Called Quest
Guild Wars 2 handles your questing adventures very differently to other MMOs. Although you'll still be killing wildlife and combating raiding tribes, you don't need to speak to quest givers or worry about a to-do list or spend hours running backwards and forwards on errands. You simply explore the world, and new events happen dynamically around you and suggest you join in. Events are 100% multiplayer, too, so any players around can join in and help complete the events together, with the difficulty scaling to match. On top of these, you have more crafted personal story quests to follow solo.
Guild Wars 2 also heaps on the experience points for everything, not just fighting and questing. You get it for exploring, jumping to hard-to-reach areas, crafting items. Your level adjusts to the area you're in, so you can still have fun exploring older areas rather than "outlevelling" them and being forced to move on. The whole game plays much faster and more fluidly than other MMOs and you're always being rewarded with experience, karma points (which buy rewards) and achievements. A beautiful map screen based on Google Maps makes it all easy to keep track of.
Also worth noting is the way your character develops. There are eight varied professions like Engineer, Thief and Necromancer - but even one of these can play quite differently depending which weapons you have equipped. You gain new skills quickly by using new weapons, which feels more exciting than just getting them when you level up. And the classes are designed to work well in any combination, with none of them specialising in healing or tanking in the traditional way.
A Tale of Three Worlds
Later in the game you'll find dungeons that will really test your skill in teams, but right from the start you can get involved in player-versus-player combat. Even this is done differently. Rather than fighting other factions in the world or on battleground maps, your entire server bands together and takes on two other servers at the same time in the gigantic, persistent world-versus-world-versus-world game. The object is to dominate four huge maps over the course of an entire month, and with hundreds of players involved at any one time, it's a spectacular and exciting new kind of PVP.
Guild Wars 2 isn't quite perfect - one particularly annoying launch bug makes it hard to group up with your friends. But it's a very polished and complete massively multiplayer game with fun combat, set in a stunningly beautiful fantasy world, and all free from a subscription fee. Even better than that, for the first time in a decade, it's an MMO that does things differently and feels truly fresh.
Our rating 10.0
- A gorgeous, original and vast fantasy world to explore
- Seamless delivery of exciting quest content and massively multiplayer wargames
- Combat and character development are fast-paced and top-notch
- Bugs and busy servers making it difficult to play with friends at launch
- Some of the script and voice-acting are a bit corny
- You might run out of content... eventually
If 2012 deserves to be remembered for anything - apart from the imminent Mayan apocalypse of course - it's as the year when people finally stopped bleating about the PC being a dying games platform. The past twelve months saw an astonishing run of top quality games for PC, as indie studios turned out fresh ideas by the dozen while mainstream developers fell back in love with the idea of pushing the flexible hardware a PC offers to the absolute limit. Here's our round up of the top PC titles that helped define the year.
What's perhaps most noticeable is that some of 2012's biggest releases were PC exclusive, not just PC versions of hit console games. Blizzard's Diablo 3, for example, was arguably one of the most important games of the year, yet talk of a console version is still shrouded in rumour. Arriving a mere 12 years after the release of Diablo 2, it's fair to say that fans were absolutely desperate to get their hands on Blizzard's fast-paced tactical action RPG. Always a series driven by frantic combat and furious loot-grabbing, Diablo 3 streamlined many of the processes involved without making the gameplay itself shallow. Whether playing online with friends, or hacking your way through the horde alone, it's still one of the year's most frighteningly addictive games. If you get it for Christmas, be careful - you may emerge from your first session to discover you've missed New Year's Eve.
But then this was a year for great RPG revivals on the PC. Fans of NCSoft's massive online role-player Guild Wars didn't have to wait quite as long as the Diablo faithful - a mere seven years separates Guild Wars 2 from its 2005 original - but the wait was still more than worth it. A rare MMO that requires no monthly subscription, Guild Wars 2 innovated in other areas as well, not least the fresh approach to quest design which allowed more fluid storylines to emerge based on player actions rather than strictly define dungeon encounters. With 400,000 players filling out its rich fantasy world, it's an excellent choice for anyone looking to try out an online RPG.
Or, of course, you could turn to the top dog of the genre. World of Warcraft continued to dominate in 2012, with the release of the latest expansion, Mists of Pandaria. This not only introduces a whole new land to explore, it adds a deeper pet battling system, a new character class and a new playable race - the Pandaren, a monastic order of martial arts mammals that look suspiciously like a certain popular animated movie character. Don't mention that though. The fans get very upset.
The best games of 2012 weren't only exclusive to PC, of course, but many of them were clearly designed with the platform in mind. Dishonored, the astonishing and compelling stealth adventure from the co-creator of Deus Ex, was a hit on consoles but a more perfect fit for PC. A game of painstaking plotting and careful progression, its dark and deliberate pace feels right at home on a keyboard and mouse, as you take control of supernatural assassin Corvus and set about unravelling a conspiracy in a steampunk world filled with detail and story.
Similarly indebted to the PC was the superb strategy game XCOM: Enemy Unknown, in which you manage a global agency tasked with investigating and repelling alien invasions. A remake of the 1991 classic, it retained the methodical turn-based structure but brought it bang up to date with nailbiting extra-terrestrial encounters and a satisfying web of upgrades and abilities with which to arm your brave, loyal and very often horribly doomed soldiers.
In certain cases, this shift back towards more PC-flavoured gameplay was especially useful. Far Cry 3 was great on consoles, but it pushed their fixed hardware to the limit. On PC, the tropical island setting is in full bloom, stretching into the distance in extraordinary beautiful detail even as you're prowling its open world, stealth-killing murderous bandits and trying not to be mauled by leopards.
An excellent year for PC players then, and a trend that will only continue in 2013. It might be a good idea to put some of those Christmas spends towards that new graphics card you've been promising yourself...
If you want to be one of the first people to try out ArenaNet's ambitious MMO sequel Guild Wars 2 then you'll need to get clicking quickly. The developer has opened the beta sign up process, but the v…
Obsessed with The Old Republic? Still working your way through World of Warcraft? If your other half keeps moaning about your gaming habit, researchers at Brigham Young University say you should sugge…
Guild Wars 2 fanatics can get another slice of ArenaNet's fantasy action with a new beta event that kicks off on Friday 8th June.…
Guild Wars 2 is a very polished and complete massively multiplayer game with fun combat, set in a stunningly beautiful fantasy world, and all free from a subscription fee. Even better than that, for t…
The Best of 2012: PC (20/12/2012)
The past twelve months saw an astonishing run of top quality games for PC, pushing the flexible hardware a PC offers to the absolute limit…
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