After Warhammer’s hype, a game I still play but felt greatly disappointed by, I promised I’d never let myself get too hyped up by an upcoming product ever again. Even in face of all the news and talk of BioWare’s The Old Republic, I’m trying to keep a level head (as evidenced by my last two List articles about TOR). For everything good I hear about a new game, I try to balance it out with potential pratfalls. It’s my way of not getting burned. It’s like playing the lottery, but not expecting you’ll ever win so you don’t plunge yourself directly into an abyss of depression when you’re on your deathbed and realize you wasted a crap-ton of money on lotto tickets.
But Guild Wars 2? Well, with Guild Wars 2 it’s getting harder and harder to stop myself from swooning like a little girl (or over-ripe mother) in front the newest Taylor Lautner poster. The best I’ve been able to muster so far is that so far… all of GW2’s promises are just that. For now at least, the cool features of ArenaNet’s sequel are just talk. But it won’t be long now until we hear reports from people who have actually had hands-on time with the game. Gamescom will bring said impressions, and hopefully I’ll do the same a little bit later at PAX come the beginning of September. Then we’ll at least have something tangible to go by.
For now though, all the stuff the folks at ArenaNet are sharing is the kind of PR spin that I think many gamers are finding very difficult to ignore. They’re coming off (and I don’t mean this in a bad way necessarily) as MMORPG evangelists, bent on bringing us under their tent. To say that the collective attitude on the internet toward MMOs and gaming in general is one of cynicism and angst isn’t really a stretch. Players of this genre of games are looking for someone to come in and not only do something special, but to do it really well. And while at this point the news from ArenaNet is purely PR, it won’t be long until demos are shown and beta goes live… and then we’ll all find out if this really is a title worth hanging our hopes on. We’ll start to really be able to discern whether or not it’s a true game-changer.
As Tycho of Penny-Arcade puts it: “I don't care if they ever launch the game at this point. It's already contributed to the health of the genre simply by being a judging, omnipresent force.”