To be honest the title says it all; one of the best games I have ever played!
My first foray into the MMO scene was actually with the original Guild Wars. At the time I wanted to get World of Warcraft but my Dad showed me GW on the internet and the fact it had no subscription fees. I really enjoyed my time in it and bought and completed all the expansions. Thanks to this I know quite a lot of lore from the Guild Wars universe. So my first thumb up for Guild Wars 2 is that it continues well with the lore. Players of GW won*t feel that ArenaNet is hijacking the Guild Wars title and only paying lip service to the old game.
Eventually I did adventure into WoW (there is a reason I am giving such a detailed biography of my life) and I was blown away. I was about 15 at the time and it was just amazing. I played through the game with a constant feeling of wonderment. WoW felt big and fresh and innovative and just plain fun. This is my second thumbs up to GW2; it has given me even greater wonderment than I felt when first playing WoW. There has been a lot of talk about this being a "WoW-killer" and, having recently played a bit of WoW, I disagree. This won*t kill WoW, it will simply replace it. And the main reason for this is that WoW is really starting to show its age. GW2 is as fresh and innovative as WoW was 7/8 years ago and, to be honest, there is no bigger compliment to game than that.
Right, onto more game stuff, the reason I can give this review pre-release is that I played in the last beta event. I won*t bother to give a very detailed review of the game mechanics and what-not because they are written out in the game description. What I will say is that there are so many opportunities for fun in this game. I mainly played a Charr Warrior which was a very enjoyable class (as are all). The "starting area" for the Charr is the Plains of Ashford. Any old GW1 plays will recognize this as lots of this area reminds me of pre-searing Ascalon. Honestly, this area was so much fun. The map and the dynamic event just make you want to wander around. Not aimlessly but it really makes you WANT to see what is over there. In most MMOs I have played it was all about getting from A to B and as quickly as possible. In GW2 you want to go the scenic route. I found myself getting in to really tough situations just so I could discover a point of interest on the map. When Anet were talking about a living world they weren*t exaggerating. Well they were because literally speaking it is a computer game and is alive as the computer it*s being played on. However, it feels very life like. You just walk about and stuff happens; you here background chatter, you help a fellow gamer with something, you stop and have a look at the scenery. This leads me onto how amazing this game looks! It is stunning. Unfortunately I am running out of characters with which to write this review but I could go on for a long time.
In summary, if you are in any way interested in gaming, MMO or not, buy this game! There is NO subscription fee so if you can afford the one-off cost then you might as well. Give it a go, because if you don*t like MMOs there is a good chance that this is the game to change your mind!
p.s. Sorry about all the *s, I was having a bug that was not letting me use apostrophes.