• Publisher: NCSOFT
  • Release Date: Oct 23, 2015
Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns Image
Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 938 Ratings

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  • Summary: Explore new training opportunities for your character beyond level 80 and master abilities like hang gliding in the jungle, tearing the bark off of heavily armored Mordrem, or building new collections that earn precursors to a legendary weapon.
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Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns – Welcome to Guild Halls E3 2015 Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Nov 20, 2015
    90
    Guild Wars 2 continues set itself apart by being an MMO that stresses and encourages players to adventure and tackle challenges together.
  2. Nov 4, 2015
    88
    Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns offers plenty of content to make both PvP as well as PvE oriented players happy. Besides this the MMORPG has become more social with the release of this expansion. The only negative worth mentioning is the fact that your character doesn't really 'grow' while experiencing Heart of Thorns. But ah well, I'm sure you'll soon forget this once you're gliding through the jungle.
  3. Games Master UK
    Jan 3, 2016
    85
    Not the biggest expansion, but it enhances the best parts of an already magnificent MMO. [Christmas 2015, p.75]
  4. Nov 11, 2015
    80
    Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is a good first expansion for ArenaNet's MMO. The new Elite Specializations and The Revenant are interesting. Maguuma is an awesome place, too bad there weren't more areas to explore.
  5. Edge Magazine
    Jan 3, 2016
    80
    In spite of the odd stumble, it's a wonderful journey. [Jan 2016, p.120]
  6. Nov 16, 2015
    80
    I am largely happy with this. I will continue to keep an eye on this—MMORPGS are difficult to gauge early on, but ArenaNet has a good track record, and this remains, in my opinion, the strongest online game on the market.
  7. Oct 30, 2015
    60
    Guild Wars 2's first expansion is a modest addition for fans of the original, but those who haven’t found themselves captivated by it already are unlikely to walk away satisfied.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Oct 26, 2015
    10
    The new specializations removed a lot of the stealth meta from PvP, which made it a lot more fun. The story of the living world is a lot moreThe new specializations removed a lot of the stealth meta from PvP, which made it a lot more fun. The story of the living world is a lot more dramatic and Game of Throne-y. The open world is a legitimate challenge instead of everything dying in a single hit. The missions are tuned a bit low right now, but that might change. Everything about this game is absolutely beautiful, even at the lowest settings (which I have to use because I run it on a potato). There's a tiny bit of grind to get mastery points, but you really don't need that many and the "grind" is doing distinctive missions and quests in the open world. That's hardly a grind. It's slightly annoying that you have to move away from the story, but honestly it's making me take it in small chunks so the game is lasting a bit longer. Expand
  2. Oct 26, 2015
    10
    What can I say?.. This game is absolutely fantastic and it's first expansion just proved that again! Thank you Arena net for this greatWhat can I say?.. This game is absolutely fantastic and it's first expansion just proved that again! Thank you Arena net for this great addition to Tyria. New maps really are something special, a work of art. Gliding through jungle is just .. something else, it feels so natural, they really nailed it here. I love the story and cut scenes are just out of this world - intricate, stunning, gorgeous!

    Love love love new dynamic events, a bit confusing at the start, but once you figured out what is what and what to do, then it is just exciting to do them, fills up my masteries pretty good, rarely even notice that i need to change to a new mastery :D

    Special thanks to Macleine Diemer and Lena Chappelle and everyone who worked on the sound team - music just adds that atmosphere of each zone fabulously!
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  3. Oct 25, 2015
    10
    This is an example of an expansion done right. A business model that is pleasing to the customers and provides the players with the type ofThis is an example of an expansion done right. A business model that is pleasing to the customers and provides the players with the type of content that we want. It would have been nice if it included build templates but they said that will come soon. Expand
  4. Oct 26, 2015
    9
    This was the smoothest launch EVER. There were some small bugging issues however the live build system kept the game up while those wereThis was the smoothest launch EVER. There were some small bugging issues however the live build system kept the game up while those were worked out. The environments are amazing and please oh PLEASE play with your headphones on! There are places where you just do not want to missed the environmental sound. Sure it takes some time to build your new skills... and that just extends the game for most people. Anyone whining about time to build a character is doing just that... WHINING. If anything, I'd wish for a few more waypoints. I'm getting SO LOST because I wander off chasing something and can't find my way back to the story step! GOOD JOB Anet! LOVE IT. Expand
  5. Oct 27, 2015
    7
    Guild Wars 2 was a fairly standout MMO, as I have never gotten into MMOs in the past.-- I've never been fond of excessive treadmills andGuild Wars 2 was a fairly standout MMO, as I have never gotten into MMOs in the past.-- I've never been fond of excessive treadmills and progression that would trivialize previous progress. The expansion keeps a lot of this, as in the past, most of the content is by and large, optional and most of one's previous progress is still left intact.

    The new zones introduced are visually stunning, accompanied by a story that is far superior and involving than the one found in the original. It may not be a literary masterpiece, but I see in-game stories as ways to get into the action, so it doesn't have to be. As always, Guild Wars 2's strongest strength is providing the atmosphere both in visual and auditory details that really makes brings forward the scope of the aftermath of events that have transpired. The zones aren't just larger-- they feel larger as well. In addition the enemies here are generally stronger than those found in the open world and also seem to have decent AI which is a nice contrast to the game pre-expansion. The new gliding mastery also drastically changes how movement works and is suited to the larger map size.

    Unfortunately, despite having the larger sense of scope, in terms of exploration, it feels oddly linear. This is because you must gather certain masteries in order to progress. The passageways tend to be rather narrow and meandering and going off the beaten path often just leads you into either certain death or realizing you need something else to progress. Oh, and whatever class you were using will get an elite specialization, but it will require you to do most of the content anyways, so don't count on it for help.

    But that's not the worst problem. The maps are so huge that you can go for a while without seeing a single person which was never a problem in the past. It can be mitigated with the "Looking for Group" tool, but I find it quite an annoyance especially when some of the hero points are intended for multiple players to do. Yea I understand this is an MMO. So it's not really good for the solo player if you were in the original game.

    Contrast this to the base game, where you could journey to any of the first 5 starter zones and explore the map in any number of ways. HoT exploration feels like it's on rails by contrast.

    But by any means, this is not a bad addition to Guild Wars 2. So why the low rating?

    Well, I primarily play World vs World and the new maps introduced are also interesting but are generally too large and complex when centered a mode where one expects to face players, not the environment as much. And much like the PvE maps, finding players, enemy or allied tends to be a issue. There are some interesting concepts at play here, such as structures being harder to attack and more interesting structure mechanics, but they seem a bit overtuned and meant for larger groups. Finally, there's the issue of World vs World progression being tied down the gated specialization mechanics-- World vs World can access them via a randomized item drop which is far more tedious than its pve counterpart. However, as of this writing, Arenanet has addressed some of these concerns and has lessened some of the requirements.

    In the end, I appreciate the designer's will to expand on concepts that already existed and also to cater to a more hardcore fanbase. However, it's very clear that a lot of these things are not suited for me, and the game seemingly lacking in polish in a number of places such as the rather unintuitive PvP Guild missions and other minor things like having daily achievements for content that no longer exists in addition to the empty feel that seems present in a lot of locations just makes me feel the game was rushed to some degree. Given that this is merely a first impression and I expect changes for the better in the future, this may mean HoT has the potential to be an excellent addition. In fact, since this initial writing, some steps were already being taken to addressed, so at the very least you have a company that's willing to listen to player. As for now though, I would say don't rush for it.
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  6. Feb 13, 2016
    3
    Grind GRing GRInd GRINd GRIND!!! Thats all this expansion is.

    I am a fan of GW2 despite its many flaws and was hoping for something new in
    Grind GRing GRInd GRINd GRIND!!! Thats all this expansion is.

    I am a fan of GW2 despite its many flaws and was hoping for something new in this expansion but alas, it was a let down. Not only is the content just more of the same (zerg this, zerg that) but they made it grindy as hell... they created new currency for each of the new zones that forces the player to grind the same cycle of quests more than a hundred times to get the items in each map. The quests are just like old world quests and just as boring when you have to repeat them.

    The one notable difference is the enemies are harder but not in a good way. They simply have more hit points and hit harder but they dont do anything interesting and for the most part, they do not require any strategy or anything like that to beat. Think Planes of Power in EQ (which is when that MMO fell apart as well). Its just the same enemies from the old game but hit harder and take longer to kill. The problem is that they are still trivially easy to beat so all this does is make the grind even worse. On top of all that, there is no reason to fight them... and that is the real killer. You dont get better loot for killing them because they didnt add any new loot to the game... just new skins for the same old same and thus, there is no point to any of it.

    The only cool new mechanic is the ability to glide from a fall... but its not as if you need this in the old world for anything. Other than that, no interest new items (just new looks/skins), no interest bosses (they are all just zerg fests like old bosses) and lastly, the story is clearly contrived and an afterthought and not nearly as good as the original game quest.

    I had to remember that this game is made by a Korean company and Koreans are known for their grindy MMO's like Lineage, which many western gamers (like myself) get bored of very quickly.

    There is no reason to own this expansion. Just play the original game and once you are bored move on. This brings nothing worthwhile to the table.
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  7. Oct 11, 2016
    0
    Used to be the game you could play how you wanted to get the gear you wanted. Now caters to the WoW exodus and has lost it's way by giving inUsed to be the game you could play how you wanted to get the gear you wanted. Now caters to the WoW exodus and has lost it's way by giving in to the elitist who have segregated a formerly good community in to the "leets" and the "git guds". Raids, eSports, and whiners who forgot they were playing an MMO wanting the content to be increasingly more challenging have ruined a good thing. The expansion was a joke and instead of fixing the problem They move forward to the promise of the next expansion. The game itself is horribly optimized, only works well on certain CPUs and GPUs, and is constantly bugged. There are serious game breaking bugs that have been left to be suffered through since the games release four years ago.

    More so to the expansion in general is that we were completely lied to as to what we would receive after we paid for it. Much of the new content was hidden behind raids which we were promised wouldn't be required to play the game. However it is if you want the top tier armor which was to come with the expansion. (which hasn't been released even a year after the expansion came out)
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See all 496 User Reviews