ugamesmall.com.comÂ writerÂ BillÂ MurphyÂ hasÂ someÂ interestingÂ observationsÂ aboutÂ howÂ role-playing,Â arguablyÂ missingÂ fromÂ manyÂ ugamesmall.comsÂ theseÂ days,Â willÂ actuallyÂ haveÂ aÂ fightingÂ chanceÂ ofÂ successÂ inÂ GuildÂ WarsÂ 2.Â ArenaNetÂ isÂ givingÂ playersÂ theÂ chanceÂ toÂ breatheÂ lifeÂ intoÂ theirÂ charactersÂ andÂ toÂ meaningfullyÂ alterÂ theÂ worldÂ aroundÂ them.Â ReadÂ itÂ andÂ thenÂ giveÂ usÂ yourÂ thoughts.Â allÂ ofÂ theÂ termsÂ andÂ conditionsÂ andÂ everythingÂ thatÂ wereÂ containedÂ inÂ Â guildÂ warsÂ 2Â Â powerÂ levelingÂ packageÂ willÂ accomodatedÂ whenÂ guestâ€™sÂ orderÂ finished,orÂ theÂ compensationÂ directlyÂ propotionalÂ Â toÂ unfinishdÂ partsÂ ofÂ packageÂ willÂ replacedÂ byÂ newÂ gears,orÂ correspondingÂ gold
BioWareÂ hasÂ longÂ beenÂ consideredÂ theÂ leaderÂ inÂ creatingÂ personalityÂ forÂ theÂ player-characterÂ inÂ itsÂ single-playerÂ games.Â ThroughÂ dialogÂ choicesÂ andÂ actions,Â gamesÂ likeÂ MassÂ EffectÂ andÂ DragonÂ AgeÂ letÂ youÂ interactÂ withÂ theÂ worldÂ andÂ shapeÂ howÂ theÂ NPCÂ inhabitantsÂ willÂ seeÂ you.Â NoneÂ ofÂ thisÂ everÂ reallyÂ hasÂ aÂ hugeÂ effectÂ onÂ theÂ gameâ€™sÂ outcome,Â butÂ itÂ allowsÂ aÂ certainÂ levelÂ ofÂ player-drivenÂ characterÂ buildingÂ thatâ€™sÂ welcomeÂ andÂ indeedÂ anÂ integralÂ partÂ ofÂ anÂ RPG.Â Itâ€™sÂ notÂ surprisingÂ thenÂ thatÂ BioWareÂ hopesÂ toÂ bringÂ thisÂ toÂ itsÂ forthcomingÂ ugamesmall.com.Â WhatÂ isÂ moreÂ surprisingÂ howeverÂ isÂ thatÂ ArenaNetÂ seemsÂ toÂ beÂ takingÂ aÂ stabÂ atÂ itÂ themselvesÂ inÂ theÂ forthcomingÂ sequelÂ toÂ GuildÂ Wars.
ugamesmall.com.comâ€™sÂ BillÂ MurphyÂ examinesÂ fiveÂ MMOÂ facetsÂ thatÂ couldÂ standÂ toÂ beÂ spicedÂ upÂ aÂ bitÂ inÂ thisÂ weekâ€™sÂ list.antÂ toÂ buyÂ cheapÂ diabloÂ 3Â goldÂ ?Â WeÂ areÂ professionalÂ cheapÂ diabloÂ 3Â goldÂ provider.Â WeÂ dedicateÂ ourselvesÂ toÂ offerÂ theÂ gameÂ playersÂ withÂ theÂ mostÂ reliableÂ andÂ highÂ gradeÂ service,inÂ meetingÂ theÂ requirementsÂ ofÂ gameÂ playersÂ toÂ sellÂ andÂ tradeÂ in-gameÂ items,weÂ provideÂ gamersÂ withÂ fastÂ transactions,Â 24-hourÂ customerÂ serviceÂ andÂ guaranteedÂ transactionalÂ security,andÂ mostÂ important,atÂ theÂ competitiveÂ priceÂ whileÂ maintainingÂ theÂ highÂ quality.
Iâ€™mÂ notÂ oneÂ thatâ€™sÂ proneÂ toÂ complain.Â Â Generally,Â evenÂ asÂ aÂ critic,Â IÂ canÂ findÂ theÂ upsidesÂ ofÂ everyÂ negative.Â Â Iâ€™mÂ habituallyÂ andÂ uncontrollablyÂ aÂ â€œglassÂ halfÂ fullâ€Â kindÂ ofÂ guy.Â Â StillÂ thatÂ doesnâ€™tÂ meanÂ Iâ€™mÂ contentÂ withÂ everythingÂ toÂ remainÂ asÂ isÂ becauseÂ thereâ€™sÂ noÂ roomÂ forÂ improvement.Â Â IÂ loveÂ MMOs,Â andÂ Iâ€™veÂ longÂ sinceÂ learnedÂ thatÂ theirÂ weaknessesÂ areÂ sometimesÂ whatÂ defineÂ themÂ asÂ aÂ genreÂ ofÂ games.Â Â Thereâ€™sÂ aÂ growingÂ sentimentÂ thatÂ ugamesmall.comarenâ€™tÂ evolvingÂ butÂ ratherÂ remainingÂ stagnantÂ becauseÂ ofÂ someÂ cynicalÂ viewpointÂ thatÂ everyoneÂ justÂ wantsÂ toÂ duplicateÂ WoWâ€™sÂ success.Â Â IÂ thinkÂ companiesÂ areÂ startingÂ toÂ realizeÂ thatÂ WoWÂ isÂ aÂ flukeÂ ofÂ theÂ industry,Â andÂ hopefullyÂ thatÂ meansÂ thatÂ theÂ designersÂ willÂ beÂ ableÂ toÂ seekÂ whatÂ designersÂ shouldÂ alwaysÂ striveÂ for:Â innovation.Â Â ItÂ mayÂ beÂ incremental,Â butÂ IÂ doÂ believeÂ theÂ evolutionÂ ofÂ theÂ MMOÂ isÂ alreadyÂ underwayÂ withÂ currentlyÂ releasedÂ titlesÂ andÂ thoseÂ onÂ theÂ horizon.Â Â HereÂ thenÂ isÂ aÂ laundryÂ listÂ ofÂ thingsÂ Iâ€™dÂ loveÂ toÂ seeÂ touchedÂ byÂ innovation
Issue #2 does not disappoint. In the opening pages we get a taste of what plagues the men of the north.
Even Jacobs own people, who are described as being NOT barbarians, seem to be suffering from a dreadful force of some kind, an affliction of blood. In a rather dark but intriguing scene we discover why Jacob has left his home, being forced into combat with his own father. Then, just like that we are back in the present and are introduced to a woman who seems likely to be Jacobâ€™s constant companion throughout this unfolding story. Whether this wizard, named Shanar, truly means well for Jacob is open to debate. I certainly was left with the sense that she was not telling young Jacob everything. Regardless her introduction does serve to inform the reader of some more grandious lore behind the Diablo universe, the Crystal Arch. First discussed in the Book of Cain, this artifact of perfect beauty resides in the High Heavens and resonates with a song that not only brings Angels into being but also somehow can shape the paths of humans. Again I was highly intrigued and canâ€™t wait to find out more.
But before we can find out more Jacobâ€™s past catches up with him and his pursuant countrymen attack. It seems they too possess this strange affliction of blood that drives them to act like wild beasts more than civilized men. Jacob takes up the Sword of Justice to defend himself but is reluctant to kill any of his attackers and ends up being captured and forced to witness more of his countrymenâ€™s depravity. Luckily he is rescued by Shanar and the chase continues. I particularly appreciated the blast from the past as Jacob and Shanar flee through the black marsh, stumbling upon the ruins of the Forgotten Tower (of Diablo 2 fame). In typical comic book cliff hanger fashion, the final page introduces us to a new unforeseen foe. I guess weâ€™ll have to wait for the next issue to find out more.
Aside from a decently interesting storyline both issues feature an art style that does a great job of evoking a sense of the menacing dark tones that make the Diablo franchise what it is. The angular and brusque line art of Joseph Lacroix and the very Diablo-ish color palette employed by Dave Stewart somehow stand set apart from Blizzardâ€™s usual artistic style yet still manage to feel very Diablo. Both artists also did a fantastic job of portraying the infiltration of the sinister affliction of the Barbarians upon the men of the north, and left me wanting to know more.
If issues one and two are any indication, I think â€œThe Sword of Justiceâ€ series will be both a highly entertaining read and also a great medium for advancing the lore of the Diablo franchise. So on both counts I applaud Blizzard and DC Comics. My only worry is that with only 3 more issues it seems like there is a lot of ground to cover to bring this story to completion. Of course who is to say that the story of Tyraelâ€™s sword will end with this comic series? Â And of course there is always the impending release date announcement of a certain video game that is sure to be chalk full of lore goodies.