Cons: Takes a long time to get to the Eye of the North
Bottomline: It's definitely one for long-term players but it's rewarding nonetheless
Manufacturer: Guild Wars
Guildwars is a multiplayer role-playing game in which players form teams to complete missions or compete in pitched battles.
This pack contains both the original game and the add-on Eye of the North (which has more missions, areas to explore and companions).
Unlike many online games there is no monthly charge for Guildwars. There are various extras if you are willing to spend money, such as adding another character to the account (you can have up to four characters at once) or bonus missions.
The storyline follows the plight of humans in the kingdom of Ascalon. There is a series of missions that can be played with other human players or computer-controlled characters to fill in gaps.
Characters can also be created for pure multiplayer gaming. These start at level 20 with access to all the skills that would otherwise need to be earned over the course of the story. Playing multiplayer games reward the storyline characters with extra skills and bonuses, though, so there is value in playing both. There is also plenty of useful tuition in the multiplayer game that will be valuable in the solo mode.
Proper teamwork is needed in both parts of Guildwars, but this is added gradually as parties get larger, giving players time to adjust. An important part of this is forming or joining an existing guild to play with other players on a regular basis. The graphics are good, especially considering that the basic game is now a few years old. The style is more serious than World of Warcraft.
The only problem with the new pack is that it will take players a long time to get to the Eye of the North part of the game. It's not boring by any means but if you have not played the demo, it may be worth buying the original game on its own and then adding the Eye of the North pack later.