Guild Wars: Eye of the North

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The Guild Wars series has been, so far, the only serious competition for the social phenomenon known as World of Warcraft. There are even those who would go as far as to say that Guild Wars is even better than the above mentioned MMORPG, and for good reason too, it’s an excellent video game and Eye of the North is another confirmation.

Eye of the North is the fourth installment in the series, but it’s actually the first real add-on, because Factions and Nightfall were both stand-alones. Because it’s an add-on, players will have one of the previous Guild Wars titles installed. Also the content of the game will only be available to players that have reached the level cap of twenty with their character. It seems that the developers designed this game mainly for fans of the previous titles, because even the story is based on previous events and brings back familiar characters, such as Gwen, the little girl with the flute from Guild Wars Prophecies, who is now all grown up.

You can start your adventure from any of three different cities, it doesn’t really matter since you’ll eventually join your old friend Gwen in fighting a new threat , a race called The Destroyers. The story is very well told throughout the game and the gorgeous in game movies really help familiarize the player with the world of Guild Wars. The visuals are of excellent quality even though the graphics engine is now two years old. It does its job well and the results are magnificent, detailed architecture and breathtaking vistas are just two examples of what you’re going to experience in Eye of the North.

The new game brings tons of new skills, that means lots of new ways to dispatch foes and also two new races, the Norn, some sort of shape shifters, and the Asura, a gnomish species. These new additions come with their own heroes like the Asuran elementalist Vekk and the necromancer Livia.

Another improvement to the series is the increased difficulty of dungeons you can choose to explore. Some will require you to have a skillful character accompanied by carefully selected AI support, or to be part of a team of multiple players. And even so, you’ll need a lot of patience and cunning to clear these places and claim their prizes. All the frustration is worth it in the end, you’ll appreciate your findings a lot more.

Eye of the North introduces many other additions to the Guild Wars franchise, including the Hall of Monuments, a place where you can display high level armor, weapons and other items found during your quests. These items will transform into bonuses and prizes when the new Guild Wars 2 is launched. Then there is a series of mini games that also offer considerable game time, games like Polymock, where Pokemon like creatures are thrown into one-on one battles, there’s also Dwarven Boxing, pure fun that is, Norn fighting arena, which pits you against waves of enemies, a place to gain prizes and experiment new skills.

Acting like a true bridge between Guild Wars and the upcoming Guild Wars 2, Eye of the North manages to be much more, offering a mildly improved gameplay, a great story, characters and many hours of play time.

Quite frankly the minor flaws like the poor AI of your companions and the lacking pathfinding really aren’t worth commenting on. After all what else could you ask for from a no monthly fee MMORPG of this caliber?

Source: Gameater

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