This review has a long time coming, and I have to say that MMOs are always the hardest for anyone to review. So this is the review for the game as it is today, not what it once was. In this game you will get to basically create your character from the ground up, and you will be completing quests to help build your legend.
Graphically this game looks amazing, I say this with being able to turn up the graphics to high. Now if you can't do that you are still going to be able to enjoy the game, maybe not in the crystal clear graphic sense, but there's still a ton of variety when it comes to places to explore, conquer, and seek refuge in. It is always very important to me to have your gear reflect what your character has actually equipped, and this game does just that. Sure there are times where you are going to wish that your ensemble was not as hideous as it looks, but sometimes you have to forsake fashion for protection. I do have to say I was not a fan of the cut scenes. With all these amazing graphics and places to do a cut scene in they choose to do a profile conversation between characters where their body motions seem jittery and odd.
The music in the game definitely has some serious hints of the first Guild Wars, but they have also added to it. There are quite a few amazing pieces that I would actually like to have outside of game so that I could listen to it while I worked (actually I might have to go look for that once this review is done). The voice acting, overall, is well put together. Sure there are some acting jobs, for the random NPC that you might interact with a total of once that sounds like it could have been done better, but like I said, overall they were done well.
The controls in the game are going to be like almost all MMOs, sure there's a couple of small differences such as using the 'f' key to investigate downed enemies for loot, but I LOVE the fact that if you hit 'f' again you automatically take everything. Now if only that worked when you were harvesting resources. That little tidbit is what bugs the crap out of me. When I'm in a relaxed state apparently I lose the ability to quickly grab the goods and go.
As with any MMO the story is always evolving and changing. So to try to talk about the story right now, I think most everyone will say that it is going to take some additional twists and maybe full on changes. So what I will say is that every single character will have their starting hero moment. You will start in your race's starting area, where you will learn the ropes of playing the game, and then once you have started to really get the story started, from your race's perspective you will be thrown into the bigger world where you will have to battle all kinds of enemies. One of the mechanics in the game that is used is that you can potentially be proficient enough to use all weapons and all of their attacks along with them. To me this is both a plus and minus. It is a plus because you can definitely set up a couple of weapon arrangements for your character so that you can go from range to melee in a heartbeat. The downside is that you'll get all the weapon skills really quickly and then there's no further variety to diversify your character from the thousands of others that are using the same weapon as you.
Now I do want to point out that there are additional skills that you will be able to unlock as you play through the game, and that those are class specific, so have no fear you will have some variety here simply because there are more skills than slots on your hotkey bar. Speaking of skills the way you unlock them is by doing skill challenges that are dotted all over the map. If you are able to complete the challenge you gain a point, and you're going to need to gain quite a few of them to unlock a solid set to play around with.
So we've waited this long, lets get into quests. For the most part you are going to be tasked with go over there collect, kill, save, or destroy that thing and then come back to the quest giver. I do like the fact that there are spur of the moment quests that pop up from time to time that you can either join in on, or simply ignore and keep heading in the direction you are pointed at. There are also the special event quests, those are the ones that really have me locked into the game. I've helped win back Lion's Reach, and the best part is that even though I'm not maxed out, I can still participate. I love the fact that we all get bumped up to level 80 to get a chance to participate when we are in that area. This to me makes me want to play that part of the game more because the exclusiveness is shattered and everyone, no matter where they are in the game can help, and most likely gain items that will make your character that much stronger when you decide to get back into the main quest or perhaps take on a quest that you have been putting off.
Now there is a micro-transaction piece to this game, and for the most part I've been able to ignore it completely. Sure I've been tempted to perhaps get a couple of things, but they are not slapping me upside the face with the need to get some of these items or whatnot. Now the really interesting thing and the reason why I've come so close is that from time to time they put a free item up on the market and I can get it, then I'll probably use it, and of course if it ends up helping me I'm more likely to see if I can't buy the next one, so they are, in my opinion, on the right path.
Now let's get down to if you should get this game or not, I'm going to say yes, come join me and thousands of others explore the lands, take on quests, rescue the world. It is relatively easy to pick up, and there is not subscription fee, so if you need to take a break the game will still be there when you come back, while not burning a hole in your pocket. This game gets a 9.4 out of 10.