I looked at Guild Wars 2 before it was released. There was a lot of hype about it and I was curious. A friend of mine was really interested in it and couldn’t wait for release. However, my curiosity wasn’t enough to overcome the barrier to entry. I had no idea if I would like the game, there was no free trial and a hefty box price. So I decided to wait until there was a free trial to see if I liked it before I paid for it.
That was a good call.
I know the game was released two years ago. There have been a number of free trial weeks and offers during that time. However, this week starting today was the first one I learned of in time. I started to download the game yesterday and it took hours. I should check actually how much hard drive space it requires as I had to leave the PC on overnight in order to download it, it was only at 60% when I went to bed. However, it was completed this morning and the trial began so I logged in.
What did I think?
Well for my birthday in May friends of mine had bought me the original Guild Wars. They love that game and wanted to share it with me. However, I didn’t like it. It reminded me far more of Diablo than it did of Warcraft and not in a good way. I found the combat unintuitive and strange. I didn’t like the UI and the graphics, well it is an old game. I thought that Guild Wars 2 being much newer would be better, well it wasn’t.
For anyone that liked the original Guild Wars then I’m sure that Guild Wars 2 felt familiar and comfortable. I didn’t like Guild Wars and after playing Guild Wars 2 for just half an hour I was sure that I didn’t like the new version any better. The graphics are improved but the movement is the same jerky, smooth (I’m aware that’s a contradiction), unconnected, headache inducing. The combat is the same, I can’t get into it or understand it. The UI is the same mess, unfamiliar and unwelcoming.
I know I should probably give it more time but those first 20 minutes are important. There’s a developer feedback thread on Marvel Heroes forums asking about how to improve those first 20 minutes. Where people either become fans or get put off the game altogether and that is absolutely true. My first 20 minutes of the Warcraft free trial saw me buy the base game, and expansions and set up a subscription. Now Warcraft has a lot of problems as a game, don’t get me wrong but it was the first real game I played. I wasn’t a gamer when I was introduced to Warcraft, everything was new and strange but it was also comfortable. I could work it out, it made sense and it flowed well in a way that Guild Wars just doesn’t.
The free trial of Guild Wars 2 continues for another week but I doubt I’ll login again. I’ll delete the game from my computer and put a big mental cross next to the game. There is nothing about it that I like. I’m glad for the opportunity of the free trial as my curiosity has now been satisfied. Guild Wars is not for me and never will be.