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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: NCsoft
Developed By: ArenaNet
Genre: Persistent Online RPG
Players: Unlimited
Rated: T (Teen)
Release Date: October 27th, 2006
Written By: Matthew Prunty
Screenshots: Link









Guild Wars has become a staple franchise for PC gamers over the past few years. With titles like Guild Wars, Guild Wars: Factions, and the newly released Nightfall, ArenaNet has taken the love of MMORG (Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game) and presented it in a whole new way. Whereas the first two installments blended solo and co-op battles with some versus action, Nightfall takes pride in lending itself solely to solo and co-op quests, providing a little bit of the old and new. So how does Nightfall stack up against the history of the franchise, lets take a closer look.

For those who are wondering, Guild Wars Nightfall is a stand-alone product. There is no need to run out and pick up the previous installments, though they tie into one another. Each installment utilizes the same base characters, with the edition of a few new faces. In Nightfall, you will have access to two new character professions, which are the Dervish and the Paragon. The Dervish is portrayed as “scythe-wielding holy warriors”. They’re main purpose is for leading your team into combat (the modern day Marines), and also have the ability to gain special bonuses through enchantments. In regards to the Paragons, they have the ability to strengthen the abilities of their comrades through shouts. They are seen as “spear-throwing paladins”. But beyond the various professions included within Nightfall, you will notice the ability of combine the different abilities of each profession together. And when you couple that will the hundreds of different skills, which each profession can utilize, you have one of the most extensive degrees of customization made available.

After spending a few hours behind your computer desk, you will not come to a realization that one characters, or strategic ploy will save you in this epic struggle. If you really put a lot of time and effort within the game, it will pay off in the development of your character and advancement through the game. For those who just jump right into the action, could end up with a character build that has lots of counter techniques, but are only useful in certain situations. There are even a handful of missions that require you to revamp your character’s build. Though this can get annoying, especially when you thought you have the perfect design, you have the ability at almost any give time to return to the drawing board to revamp your warrior, which is always a nice feature to have.



The introduction of the Hero character within Nightfall, to join you during your campaign, is quite fun, yet more of a hassle for you. Just like your own character, they will gain experience and new skills. They even help you out in battles, which will be apparent in some situations. You even can decide which skill sets he/she will bring into battle, having the compliment your own. But just like your character, the wrong set of skills can prove damaging to your quest, and even fatal. You have to constantly watch the growth and experience of your fighter, as well as those of your Hero character. But once again, on the latter side, you are introduced to the other professions and skill sets, which you may want to experiment with to see how they fair. Another downside to the Hero character is that the Hero character occupies the same slots which would usually go to other human players, so joining up with an already established team can proved tough to accomplished.

When it comes to actually playing the game, it’s all up to you in how you want to approach the situation. You can both team up with your hero characters, and a few others and battle various monsters and partaking on new quests and places. Or you can go the route of a true gamer, and join up with a good, yet dedicated group, and do battle within several cooperative missions, which advance the story along. If this isn’t for you, you can always battle other players, or even join a guild and compete on the serious level. Pretty much you have the freedom to do whatever you want within Nightfall, not limiting yourself to the solo missions or the story for that matter.

The combat within Nightfall, just like the previous Guild Wars titles has been fast-paced, full of nonstop action. The gameplay is simple to utilize, but is limiting to only 8 skills at any given time. Some may find the formula out-dated or in need of reconstruction, but works rather well. You will also notice the beefed up artificial intelligence, which makes the battles more engaging and suspenseful. Its to the point where normal enemies would attack more than just your front line, requiring a bit more planning out and thinking. You can learn the ropes form the tutorial and manual included within the game packaging, but when it all comes down to it, having some hotkeys handy can mean the difference from a victory and a defeat.



Nightfall is a title for all gamers. Whether you be a Guild Wars fanatic, or a newcomer to the mix, you find something engaging about this title through its solo and co-op play. But while all this is nice and dandy, these improvements and new features are hindered by the games overall presentation. The game’s overall look and feel is still solid, provided certain things are taken into consideration. The music and Egyptian environment lends itself well into the series, providing a more immersive feel. But while all this is good, things like pop-up text windows presenting new quests or the ability to instantly teleport to any location you’ve been to with any explanation, takes away from the chances of you loosing yourself within the deep and complex story. During cutscenes, you will see some pretty good visual and some well-packaged voice-overs.

Personal Thoughts
Though there are a few shortcomings within Nightfall, this title still offers up a unique and very deep gameplay experience that combines inklings of massive multiplayer gaming, action-based RPGs, the strategic prowlness of Magic the Gathering, and competitive action games all rolled up into one. So if you are looking for something along these lines, or just an engaging experience, this is your best bet.

8.3/10

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