FANDOM


This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Guild Wars 2.

TranscriptEdit

"Oh look, everyone! Yahtzee's doing a review of a MMORPG again! Better put our safety goggles on because there's a lot of debris in a trainwreck. I look forward to when he complains about there being lots of grind in it like a man sending his gazpacho soup back to be warmed up."

Well, you realise I'm not opposed to MMORPGs as a concept, unlike JRPGs or ethnic cleansing. I think it's important that the people who are most willing to endlessly perform repetitive tasks to make a number climb higher for little obvious reward are all grouped together in one place so that they're ready for deployment on the day aliens invade and threaten to wipe out humanity if we don't do all their data entry for them. I also think it's important for people like me to play them now and again. It's like the zoo; there's no point in putting a bunch of hippos in a room if no-one ever comes and looks at them and thinks, "Man, I'm glad I'm not that fat."

I like playing by myself, a habit I probably picked up at middle school during my smelly phase. But sometimes I like to play a MMORPG so I can play by myself where everyone can see me. Guild Wars 2 was suggested to me as something worth checking out by people I sometimes pretend to respect by the usual argument that "No really, it's way better than WoW particularly in the story telling aspect apparently" which I suppose is arguably true because there doesn't seem to be a story at all.

The best I can get from a brief snatch of text on the back of the box is that the Elder Dragons have shown up (what is with all the dragon racism in fantasy games lately?) and this is in some way quote "threatening the world", and as calls to adventures go, it's like saying "fiscal conservative policy is threatening growth in the financial market". I might concede that it's a bit of a pisser but I'm not about to beat my ploughshare into a sword and go storm the gate.

I just wasn't clear on what my ultimate purpose was as a hero, which admittedly might be partially my fault, cause at the start you have to pick one of three driving motivations for your character that affect what story missions you get and I had to pick from the traditional murdered parents, the slightly less traditional kidnapped sister or a secret desire to join the circus and obviously I went straight for that one. So perhaps it's churlish of me to complain that I'm not feeling like the fucking Chosen One over here.

But then again, even for a MMORPG the quantity of inconsequential bullshit you're asked to do in the name of quests is a bit ridiculous. How distant that Elder Dragon business seems when you start off helping farmers fend off extremely localized problems, usually bandits whose hideouts they didn't have the presence of mind to build their farms further away from. Often not even that, they just get you to feed the cows and mow the lawn. Yes, jobs that a farmer might realistically give a random wandering yahoo, but I thought we were forging a legendary tale of fantasy!

The fact that I was a necromancer made it pretty funny though. I pictured the farmer's wife standing at the kitchen window watching me chase moles out of the vegetable garden by summoning shadow demons from the Stygian Pits to curse their very souls and then turning to her husband and saying "He does know we've got a spade he can use, right?" Again, picking the peasant background might have been a mistake cause I had to wonder at what point in my sleepy rural upbringing I opted to take up necromancy as a career. "Well, missed my chance to join the circus, guess I'll just have to fall back on the communing with the dark powers of the Nether realm thing!"

But like a ping pong ball being fired from a lady's gammon socket, the quests aren't as interesting as their delivery method. Rather than having you hunt exclamation marks through the friendly NPCs talking to the one guy who wants you to kill ten snuffle-ferrets and the one guy who wants you to suck nine out of his eleven extraneous cocks, Guild Wars 2 cuts out the middle man. The moment you enter the area, a brick with a to-do list typed to it is hurled at your face. "Kill snuffle-ferrets, fellate cocks," it might say. Then you just keep doing those things until the bar is filled then "Bing! Thank you, hero of the hour, here's a pile of experience and money, now piss off!" I kind of like this method since it means you're free to wander aimlessly around the world, leveling up just by tripping over stuff.

And speaking of cutting out the middle man, Guild Wars 2's attitude to forming parties is that the entire server is a party and everyone's invited! If I happen to be poking through an area four levels too high for me hoping to gank an unsuspecting random mob and survive long enough for the XP, I might stumble on five hundred players gang-banging some kind of elder god whereupon I'd leap into the fray, peck at his ankles for a few minutes with a cocktail stick and BAM! Experience and a chestful of legendary +37 cocktail sticks for me!

Another thing I didn't like about WoW was that by the time you got to level 60, abilities and quick-select bars would be all over the screen like handprints on the world's most spankable bum cheek and Guild Wars 2 also improves on that by giving you limited slots and a range of swapoutable abilities (what the hell kind of word was that?) tied to what weapon you're using and which skills you've bought. By swapping out builds and weapons, some classes could theoretically perform any role from healing to tanking to wanking.

Although the problem with that is that the skills you can buy can get a wee bit eclectic and situational, like a spell that gives you health based on how many conditions your target's got or a buff that turns nearby moths into jam, and once I picked out the small number of spells I was comfortable with, i.e. the ones that either healed me or spawned friendly monsters who could run off and get their faces hacked off instead of me, I had a growing pile of unused skill points I wouldn't spend on skills I didn't want, in turn rendering moot the random skill point challenges which would otherwise have been a neat idea.

But after all that, Guild Wars 2 shows some good design, better than WoW perhaps. Any MMORPG that convinces its population to co-operate without having to communicate with each other probably deserves some kind of medal, but where it lets itself down is in creating context. It really does resemble what would happen if 99% of the population were wandering adventurers; everyone's tripping over each other just to chase the foxes out of the chicken coops and even if an Elder Dragon did show up, it would barely have time to mess up one flower garden before getting dogpiled into haggis by every meathead within a ten mile radius.

It all seems so inconsequential. Building a character in WoW at least feels like you're on some kind of journey, this feels like more like being put out in a big meadow to chew on the grass, occasionally getting called back to the cowshed for a story mission to see how the milk's getting along. Tasty grass, mind.

No, actually, it's more like a theme park version of a fantasy RPG. All the kiddies are set loose on a little play area to have their designated turn hitting an animatronic centaur with padded bats while a sourfaced carnie half-heartedly supervises. Still, no subscription fees, so at least it's not like the WoW tent next door where the bloke in the bag check keeps nicking peoples' credit cards.

AddendaEdit

Didn't see many guilds around either: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw

An earlier draft of this review replaced "Gazpacho" with "Vichyssoise" but my nose would start bleeding every time I tried pronouncing it

The world's second most spankable butt cheek

Episodes
2007 - 2010
2007
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
2008
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
2009
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
2010
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
2011
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2012
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
2013
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2017
2015
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
2016
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
2017
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata · Ghost Recon Wildlands
Q2 Mass Effect Andromeda · Yooka-Laylee · Persona 5 · Remastered Editions · Outlast 2 · Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 · Prey · Wilson's Heart · The Surge · Injustice 2 · Vanquish · E3 2017 · Strafe
Q3 Get Even · Hollow Knight / Dead Cells · Fifth Console Generation · The End is Nigh, and Yonder: Cloud Catcher Chronicles · Pyre · Splatoon 2 · Hellblade · Agents of Mayhem · Sonic Mania · Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle · Destiny 2

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.