Parents' Guide to

Guild Wars 2

By Carolyn Koh, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Beautiful fantasy MMO with rich story but violent combat.

Game Windows 2012
Guild Wars 2 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 8+

The only MMO I would ever consider playing

I absolutely despise online environments where people can talk openly. Combined with anonymity and lack of consequences this usually brings out the worst in people and it's almost impossible to ignore creating a toxic, fearful and hostile environment. As a casual player of Guild Wars 2 since beta in 2012, I have seen none of this here. The community is helpful at best, and "meh" at worse, but thankfully you can have a fun and engaging experience in Guild Wars 2 without engaging in the community at all. The delightful mechanics around Guild Wars 2 involve being able to quest with everyone without ever saying a word. You basically roam the world and quest "hearts", events, group-events, and discoveries automatically pop up on your display as you get closer. The requirements for all these events are laid out nicely and there are a variety of things you can do for each heart quest. While discoveries, events and group-events are single minded (defend this group, destroy this uber monster, etc) the heart quests are different. The heart quests are static quests that only can be completed once, and you complete the quest by performing one of a handful of activities. For example, one heart may be simply titled "Assist Farmer Soandso", and you can accomplish this by tending crops, entertaining cows (yes), weeding out worms in the pasture, or defending the farm from bandits. Players can do any one of these tasks, or all of them to fill the status bar for the quest until it's filled, then you get experience and karma (another currency) for the assistance, and then you can move on to the next heart quest. You can even be helped by other players doing the same quest, and you can help them, all without saying a word, simply jump in and help them where you can, everyone gets credit, there's no "stealing" XP or quest accomplishments from anyone. There's no grouping requirements, or any expectations of continued comradery once the quest is complete, everyone moves on to their next goal. I have 2 characters at level 80 (max level) and 3 at 60+. I have been all over the world and seen most of everything, the violence in this game is very flamboyant. Your character swings swords and axes wildly and you do damage, but no blood or wounds appear. And enemies die glamorously as they flail about before falling over, again no blood. And the death sounds they make are over the top, and sometimes laughable. The only questionable violence I have see is during the Charr racial opening cinematic, their race is all about war but the game activities and actions you do playing as their race are no different than any others. The only concern I have with Guild Wars 2 are the armors used on female light-armor avatars. They can be quite revealing, sexual in nature, but they don't reveal any more than you can be exposed to on the beach. That's not to say it is a concern, it is, but I feel it's more of a point of conversation at exposure. Anyways, Guild Wars 2 is a fantastic game to play, even solo. The story is great, the characters are engaging and the world is a delight to explore! Plus it's FREE. You can enjoy the base game without spending any money. Afterwards you can buy the expansions which is storied content for lvl 80 characters, currently you can get both expansions plus future "living world" content for $30, a fantastic deal.
age 14+

This is one fantastic MMO and my top pick in the genre.

I have been playing MMOs for over a decade, and this is by far my favorite. Beautiful graphics and rich story telling (lore). The game has excellent PvP and PvE experiences. PvP is one area that parents should closely monitor on any game, as this tends to be where most negative interactions will occur. With GW2, World vs. World is an excellent source of PvP fun that does not lead to some of the downsides that can occur. There is still regular, instanced PvP... but there is no open world PvP. Again, as a parent this is a good thing, in my view. The game does have many cosmetic things to buy, but is fairly affordable to play. You can play for free, but even if you buy the full game... you do not have to pay a monthly subscription cost afterwards. The most important aspect of GW2, is that it is not an endless time sink. This is where other MMOs really are not recommended for children, or anyone else in school. GW2 strikes a good balance of quality game play and time invested. This game is definitely my top pick for families wanting to find an MMO for their children.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (13 ):

Guild Wars 2 has a fully fleshed out story and players have a personal story line to play through, which is determined at character creation by selection of pieces of story that form the character's background and personality. The game art and animation is second to none and realistic enough to keep immersion high. Voiced cutscenes using the player's character keep players involved as the story unfolds, and dynamic events make the world seem alive. While there were some issues at launch with server stability and the player auction house, the game is fun, immersive, and there's plenty to do (crafting, trading, socializing, exploring, mini-games) outside of combat. The trend of dancing in town squares continues in Guild Wars 2 with the large number of dance animations that are available.

Game Details

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