Average User Score: 7.9Aug 28, 2012Guild Wars 2 brings a subscription-free design to everything, and that's part of what makes it different from many other fantasy MMOs. While there is a progression system, it isn't designed as a traditional grind -- in other words, since there is no sub fee, there is no reason for the game to drag everything out with artificial caps and limits to ensure you pay for another month.
You get a ton of value for buying the game. I'd argue that you get more for paying $60 for this than any other AAA MMO, simply because you don't have to pay $15 a month to enjoy it.
I love the art style, a sort of graphic-novel meets 3D render ... but it won't please everyone.
The developers are fantastic. I think that's a point worth making here. They admit their mistakes, aren't afraid to clarify details, and are more open and honest with the players than any of their "corporate speak" competitors. I can't say if this will last forever, but I'd be surprised if they stopped being "real people."
I've seen some outright misinformation in a few of the reviews, sadly, so I'd suggest taking a moment to inform yourself from reliable sources, such as the game's wiki or main website.
The dynamic event (note that dynamic is not the same as random) system is really great, much like the Public Quests from Warhammer ... only enhanced and more interesting.
Every class has multiple roles. You can be a warrior that plays a powerful support role with massive fire and explosive damage from a bow, buff banners, shouts and so on, or you can become a front-line soldier. The different weapons offer completely different playstyles, and are well worth exploring. If you don't like the thief with daggers, try it with pistols. Or a shortbow. Or a sword. Totally different abilities, totally different feel.
I'm very happy with the game, and I hope that anyone interested in it checks some solid neutral sources before deciding if they should buy or not.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.8Dec 21, 2011I've played a lot of MMOs (starting with the original EQ, and including every AAA and AA MMO every released), and I really like what SWTOR brings to the table.
Your class story is the central feature -- and most of them are at least interesting. A few are quite good. Related to this is the companion system, which is like having a really shy person in your group at all times that might have quests from time to time.
If you like a game experience similar to Mass Effect and Knight of the Old Republic, but with added cooperative and PvP features, you should give SWTOR a try. It isn't for everyone, certainly, but for me it has been a fresh, story-focused take on the typical MMO grind. A slightly different flavor, if you will, one that will please some and irritate others.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.0Sep 15, 2010The pace is slow, but that's kind of the point -- it's more of a "thinking man's" RTS in that you play it much like a game of chess. There are definite counters to each unit, but mixing units in a combined-arms strategy presents unique and dangerous puzzles for the enemy to crack.
Infantry, out in the open, is easy prey for a squadron of tanks. Hide that same infantry in the woods or in a city and you'll see them surprise attack (damage x 3) tank columns and score several kills with RPGs. Need to counter that hidden infantry? Move a recon unit into the zone.
Even the skirmish AI presents some cool options, like setting the computer players difficulty AND setting their overall doctrine -- do they rush? Turtle? Emphasize air power? Go for artillery? Great for practicing against certain unit types that give you trouble.
Overall it's a great game with more of a grand strategy feel. Reflexes and micro won't win you the day, which might turn some people off entirely, but a solid understanding of each nation's order of battle, the terrain, and the art of deception certainly will.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.9Sep 2, 2010(This review is of the 1.06 version.) This game is a magnet for hater vs fanboy.
My review: it was released far too soon (probably due to Civ V), and the CEO has admitted that they made a mistake in thinking it was actually ready. (Source: http://forums.elementalgame.com/394855/page/2/#2753014 )
As it stands, aside from the bugs, there is no multiplayer (despite the claim on the side of the box) until they release a patch to enable it. What this means outside of corporate-speak is anyone's guess, so it's not worthwhile to speculate further.
The campaign is terrible -- in fact, the sandbox mode offers a better learning experience (complete with decent "here's what to do" pop-ups) and a ton more gameplay.
The diplomacy is very broken. While it appears to work 3/4 of the time, you'll find instances where the AI will gladly give you everything it has for a single gold coin. That is simply ludicrous, and most likely a logic bug (the screen that gives you the numerical likelihood read -784,559, forcing the AI to agree to anything I demand).
The tactical combat is bland, flat, uninteresting, and fairly slow. A real lesson could be learned from Kings Bounty: Armored Princess and similar games.
The magic system is equally dull and uninspired. Dominions 3, Master of Magic, and Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic all gave you a sense of massive enchantments that would effect the entire world. They made you feel like a god / powerful wizard. In Elemental, magic feels a lot less varied and interesting.
The races are virtually identical. They are all humanoid with different colors and different faces, a few bonuses and penalties (most of which do not yet have any affect due to bugs), and little in the way of unique units.
The army sizes are very small, more like adventuring bands than actual military forces. It doesn't seem all that epic when I play it. I want to be a wizard in charge of huge forces of men / dwarves / whatever, summoning armies from the abyss to overrun the world. In other games I mention here, you can. But not this one. It's focus is far more zoomed-in.
With time, and a careful revisit of the gameplay design, this could be a fine strategy game. But not at release.… Expand