GW2 is a fantastic MMO escpecially for the price. This is the first time in a very long time that I have not had to pay a monthly sub. GW2 is not perfect nor will any MMO or game ever be perfect, unless we were mindless idiots and have the same perception for everything, well maybe we will with the Zombie Apocolypse happing soon ;)
I have been playing MMORPG's for quite a few years, not to date my self and call me old, but UO was one of the first that I played. I have tried all of the AAA MMO's that have been released since then along with a number of F2p/P2W MMO's. Since I have played my fair share of MMO's I am going to review GW2 based on all my past experiences.
The Graphics are really good, not great though. There is room for improvement, however this will hinder alot of people playing that don't have top of the line PC's. I would rather have a more populated server than top of the line graphics. I do notice some clipping issues and ground could use more detail, but that is my only real gripe about graphics.
Art Style: 9.5
I love the art style of the game. The scenery is magnificent. I find my self stopping just to look around and enjoy the view. Not alot of MMO's can pull this off. The look of the armor and weapons is fantastic and it doesn't go to over board like some MMO's do with shoulder armor that has pieces levatating above it or that wolves that actually howl from it. The underwater scenery is also the best I have seen. It's great to see a company go in a slightly different direction for the art styles for a game, this almost has an oil painting type of look and they pull it off so well!
The ambient sound along with the musical score mesh well with the Artistic direction of this game. I played for a few days with normal speakers and one day I used my headset instead and I was blown away by how much more ambient background noise I heard, I actually had to stop to listen, it was nice to go from good sound to great with the headset. The musical score is also great. I do enjoy listening to the music that plays when logging in to the music played in the cities when running around.
Character Creation: 8.0
This is one area where GW2 could improve on. There are a decent number of options when creating your character, however there are some points that need to be covered.
1) The facial selection is bad, you can look really good or really cartoony. Sometimes the face is very misproportioned.
2) Should be able to choose a starter outfit, maybe have a choice between 3 different ones.
3) Have the ability to choose a starter weapon from a small list.
4) Choose a voice.
The combat is fun. I do like discovering synergies between different moves, such as casting a flame ring around you and then doing a move that strikes your foe then launches you back and if you click again will launch you back to foe striking again (combo attack), this will create a synergy causing you to create a temporary fire shield that will harm any mob attacking you. You can also accomplish these between 2 different classes working together, such as a mage casting a flame wall and a ranger shooting an arrow through it making it a flame arrow causing burning damage when it hits.
Now tab targeting is there however you can dodge attacks and also cast and move at the same time which is a huge plus in my opinion. The combat is a lot faster then most MMO's (Tera excluded). Another good point to the combat is when gaining a different weapon you will have to use for a a little bit to unlock new abilities, however this is also where the combat can fall short. It takes only a few minutes of grinding to unlock all the abilities and once they are unlocked (2 to 5 abilitites) then that's it, those are your abilities for the rest of the game, which can start to become repetitive. If they were to give you the ability to unlock 15 abilities per weapon and you have to choose 5 to use at a time. That would also help differ you from the other guy playing the same class with the same weapon.
Althought the UI is basic it is very easy to navigate and use and does not take up a lot of room. Do I need to customize anything? Just bags would be the only thing. it would be nice to be able to sort the what is in my bags out. There is not much else to say about the UI.
The PVE in this game is much better then most MMO's out. I like the fact that there is no yellow exclimation point floating about someones head. That drove me nuts. In GW2 you have different quests and how you get them is different depending on your current location. The heart quests that you see on the map is a starter set of quests for that area so that you are around when a dynamic event may pop up. Also there are quests where you run by an NPC and they are asking for you to come to talk to them so they can ask for your help. Another way is an NPC will come find you to ask you for help, and also when you explore you may stumble upon a quest, boss, or random chest.
The SPVP is great and a lot of fun with the objectives available. When you down another player you have the option to finish them off by sticking a banner in the downed player and the same for the reverse, when you are downed you have some new abilities which allow you to fight for your life. The WvW is good and huge in comparison to other PVP maps. WvW pits your home server against 2 other home servers for a 2 week long battle for control. It is fun, but first timers may be turned off when they are getting one shotted during the battle and are rez'ing more than you are attacking. Once you get higher up in levels then the WVW is fun.+
Crafting has become fun with GW2, I can't remember when I actually enjoyed crafting before GW2. You gather your materials by looting, gathering, and salvaging (also the Black Lion Trading comapny). You then have to build the materials that will make up said item. The best part is the discovery section where you will combine three or four ingedients to discover a new receipe. Another great feature is there is a collectables tab where all your materials can be placed right from your bags when exploring. The collectables tab is accessable by all your characters which is nice for levleing up crafting on all your characters. Also note that the cooking skill, receipes are actual real life receipes so if you are stuck research ingredients for real dishes (I read that some where, cooking I have only just started so I will edit if wrong.)
Over all score: 8.7
Please remember these are my opinions for this game ( which really are the only ones that matter....wow I sound like my wife)