Guild Wars: Eye of the North
Eye of the North is the first real expansion we get to play for Guild Wars, the quite hard to define online RPG. This means that you need a Guild Wars game before you can play it ànd that you need to have reached a level 20 with you character before you can get going with it. In other words: more of the same for the veterans of the series and that’s exactly how we’ll be tackling this review.
The story you get to play again leads you through the land of Tyria to Gwen, the now grown up character that we know from Prophecies, to take on Destroyers together with her. Too bad that everything comes over a little flat and that an opportunity to really dig deeper into the races is missed, just like their relations and backgrounds. The simple series of events, mostly made interesting thanks to the nice cut-scenes and a bunch of side-missions, will guide you next to the content where everything is really happening.
One aspect of that are of course the new environments that again look beautiful. Winter scapes, the typically really well-made buildings and still a lot of variation will be your part. All this is only a background for the again very addictive gameplay. The new skills (150 in total, divided over the different professions) are very surprising and will offer veterans a lot more possibilities to build up their characters. Beware, with only two thirds of the skills useable for PvP this expansion is mostly interesting for those that like Player versus Environment.
The formula does still work though, and those that have too many things laying around will now be able to put them on exposition in the Hall of Monuments. The fun part of this is that it gives you extras when Guild Wars 2 sees the light!
Those waiting for that moment and are tired of his or her people will be happy to see that also some new races were added including the Norm that can change their appearance. They also got ten new heroes that you can personalize, just like your own character. The A.I. unfortunately didn’t receive an upgrade (also something for GW2 probably), which can still lead to frustration in the dungeons of this expansion. Some of the 18 new, multi-level, underground areas are the hardest up till now in the series.
Luckily you get more possibilities and some improvements that make playing with others a lot easier. Good news for those that like online playing and ideal to take on these quite refreshing and challenging dungeons with a group. Also refreshing are the new mini-games, including Polymock which reminds of Pokémon, where you let beings fight against each other. Funny is certainly Darven Boxing! Although these additions an sich aren’t a reason to play Guild Wars, they’re perfect to bring a couple of hours variation from the normal gameplay.
Without a doubt there are people that know more about Guild Wars than a newbie like me, but Eye of the North will appeal to any fan of this game. EotN offers nothing else than more of the same, and it’s clear the makers are already working with Guild Wars 2. This doesn’t prohibit that this expansion is worth buying though, as it provides more of that same addictive, action-packed and tactical RPG-fun.