Guild Wars 2

The level of interaction you have with the environment is also being notched up a fair few gears - you’ll be able to jump up and down without the aid of a console command, break stuff and set things on fire - while environmental clutter will react should your weapon, intentionally or unintentionally, smash through it. The zones you fight through, meanwhile, will be made even more vivid by the interaction of the environment at large with the entire player-base in the area.

The example given is that of a dragon that’s been seen flying worryingly close in recent days - if enough players “shoo” it away with conveniently placed catapults, they’ll all be paid a reward by the local landowner. If, however, the dragon doesn’t get dealt with, it’ll go on a rampage - destroying a bridge perhaps, which will in turn trigger a team of NPCs rebuilding it and an envoy of wood sent from a nearby town. If, again, you choose to protect the cart from wood-hungry bandits, then you’ll get a reward.

It’s tempting to say that Guild Wars is donning the mantle of a WoW in the hope that its subscription-free ethos will rob Blizzard of some of their impoverished minions. In another departure, meanwhile, you’ll be able to play as many different races, including Humans, Charr, Sylvari, Asura and Norn. It’s too early to tell if Guild Wars will succeed at this, but the betting is that the sheer class of ArenaNet’s storytelling and game design teams should render that argument null and void.

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