RPGFan Game of the Month

Game of the Month August 2012: Guild Wars 2
Do you love grinding? Mindless repetition of endless fetch and kill quests? Hollow worlds that refuse to acknowledge your presence? Restrictive class systems and rigid leveling structures that make it a total pain to play with your friends?

Guild Wars 2 is not for you.

This month, amidst a fairly robust selection of competitors, we've elected to drop the Game of the Month crown on ArenaNet's latest. While the game has a few genre staples – a huge, persistent world, a broad selection of classes, and a hotbar full of abilities, for example – it turns many conventions on their head.

You won't find yourself grinding from exclamation point to exclamation point, but rather dynamically exploring the environment and joining boatloads of other players to fight off invaders, clean up forests, and take down huge bosses. Picked an elementalist (the game's version of a wizard), but you want to stand back and heal? Go for it, just swap out your weapon and ability sets and you're good to go. Each class is built to have untold amounts of flexibility, letting you truly pick a style of play that works for you, without having to run to another class or holding your team up while you wait for a healer to show up.

And that's before you even dip into the extensive PvP options in the game. The original game's competitive play was quite robust, and ArenaNet aims to up the ante even further in the sequel – the term "e-sports" has even been bandied about a bit, though it remains to be seen how things will pan out.

These and many other design choices both big and small convalesce into an incredibly solid package for both new and jaded MMO fans (like our very own Rob Steinman). Not many MMOs upset the apple cart, and while this one doesn't utterly redefine the genre, it changes things up enough to create an experience that is fresh, dynamic, and most of all – fun.

Explore More Guild Wars 2
Rob's Guild Wars 2 Review Journal Guild Wars 2 Gallery Random Encounter Episode 44: That Guild Wars 2 Episode Random Encounter Episode 44b: Dual Interviews Random Encounter Episode 49: Interview with game designer Mike Zadorojny