We like Guild Wars 2 quite a lot, and evidently, so does everyone else on Earth. Servers began to collapse under the sheer ferocity of unquenchable purchase-lust, so ArenaNet made a rather uncommon business decision and stopped letting people give them money. At least, directly. But now, Guild Wars 2 is back up for download, order has been restored, and I need a new excuse to riot in the streets and take more than one free sample at the grocery store. ArenaNet, meanwhile, is celebrating with a launch trailer that’s, er… hm. Maybe you should just watch it.
I’m convinced that the first two-thirds of that trailer were originally intended for The Secret World, but there was some sort of catastrophic mix-up at the trailer factory. Basically, if The Secret World’s vision of New York ends up having a few more medieval castles and adorable cartoon gnome people than you remember, that’s probably why.
In seriousness, this video touts the supposed talents of James McTeigue, who apparently also worked on The Matrix and V For Vendetta. He was aiming to “capture the revolutionary spirit of Guild Wars 2 and put forth a call-to-arms for gamers everywhere.” I would not be surprised if he’d never actually played Guild Wars 2.
I mean, don’t get me wrong: I think there’s tremendous value in an ad that can capture the feeling behind a game – especially in the case of something like Guild Wars 2, where standing out in a chainmail-clinking crowd of me-too fantasy universes is pretty damn hard as is. But this is also problematic, insofar as it takes the new-age philosophy of “live-action footage that’s only tangentially relevant to the game in question” to near-parodic levels. Sure, you and I know that Guild Wars 2 is great, but if that chokingly chunky thematic soup was your first exposure to it, how would you even react? I feel like I’d probably be doing pretty much what I am right now: gagging. There’s got to be a more effective way to communicate why we should, you know, care – not just about GW2, but about major games in general. Less glitz and glamour – more substance.
AT ANY RATE. You can now resume downloading Guild Wars 2 from this place, because it is – spotty advertising aside – really, really excellent and actually not about gas-mask-wearing youths and their crazy coal-walking parties at all. So, if you haven’t already, do that.