Yesterday we caught up with the latest chapter of the Living World Season 4’s episodic story in Guild Wars 2, Bug in the System. We didn’t have time to explore the new zone afterwards, this was a quick play-through of the instanced intro-story only. Mild spoilers in pictures follows, but there’ll not be anything too detailed.
Thematically the story was very appealing – Asura (albeit evil ones), Charr (the good guys), plus some Asuran magitek highlighted in terms of locations, architecture and opponents. The new zone is pretty different too, it makes a change to not be fighting undead for once!
This mission highlighted the excellent support for duo-play in GW2’s more recent story offerings. This time around I was a floating, invisible, buff-bot to my husband’s golem-disguised Asura. The infiltration-themed early section was a nice change of pace from the normal, and had some nice dialogue to observe among the Inquest ‘baddies’.
The difficulty curve of this mission seemed a bit easier, especially in contrast to the last chapter. That might just be due to the longish infiltration section, which required some careful movement, but with the assistance of a 2nd player as the probe robot (*resists urge to type droid*), it was pretty easy. Maybe we’re getting used to the combat more, or maybe this end-boss was easier, as even the end fight didn’t seem quite so frustratingly raid-like in its complexity and levels of frantic-activity.
Although I enjoyed the story, setting and the new NPCs introduced, I will say I find GW2’s storytelling methods frustrating at times. A game should not try to tell me stuff via in-game speech bubbles during tense ‘avoid the sentry’ or ‘dodge all the red stuff’ moments! We missed a lot of the detailed and atmospheric conversations because stuff always seems to be happening in the background. Likewise there’s not always time to pause and scroll back up through chat to read what we’ve missed. It’s at times like these that I’d rather have cut-scenes or ‘talking-heads’ moments just to give me a pause long enough to absorb what is going on…
Still it is certainly enough to keep me interested in playing, mix in my two favourite GW2 races into a story and I’m bound to take notice! Even though our play-through of the Asuran starter story in Metrica Province is a long-distant memory now, playing this story on our Asura characters first did have some extra resonance.