A good game in some fronts that stumbles in others
Perhaps the best things about this game are simpily the additions to the original formula, like two new classes, and a much expanded PvP system, pitting two alliances against each other. If you are a fan of the orignal, this game is probably worth it to you. But if your not, I cannot justify this game to you. Prophecies is a better starting block for GW than this game. And heres why.
Graphics in this game will not cause any miracles, and will not utterly crush you beneath their ugliness. Any computer lying around your house can play this game, I garuntee. And to max it out, you only need a cheap 100$ graphics card or so. Some effects are nice. The character models are fairly well done, and very stylish too boot. The graphics are probably comparable to Oblivion, for example. They won't blow you away, but they are much better than WOW, at least. But the cutsenes? Really horrible, trust me. 4/5 just for that.
Online games? Story? That'll never happen. If your a naysayer, however, you're right. It's pretty stupid, and really just an excuse to kill a bunch of "infected". Fortunatley, you'll probably be able to overlook this. Probably.
Ah, the all important gameplay. PvP utilizes this games assets to its best, making strategy and tactics more important than level. Unfortunately, not many of these elements translate into a great RPG game, which ends up being more grindy than the designers would like to admit. However, its mostly fun, and the games philophy of removing the boring endless grinding for MMOs is apparent, with scenarios and possible character strategies numerous. The gear system almost is this sytems enemy, however, because special "collectors" will reward you for getting any number of random drops from monsters, and how do you do that? Grinding. This games biggest flaw, however, is the real lack of onlineness from this game. It feels like an RPG, not an MMORPG.
Overall, Guild Wars: Factions is a good, fun game. The competitive aspect is pitch perfect, but when playing PvE, it feels boring and un special. If your a competitve gamer with an inkling for RPGs, the improved multiplayer and classes of this game is up your alley. If your a RPGer who likes what they've hears aout this game, get Prohecies. It's bigger and has more lasting appeal. And for everyone else, its like that semi-hot date you had last night: you can do better.