Game Reviews PC Guild Wars 2 (PC)
 
Guild Wars 2 (PC)

Guild Wars 2 (PC) Hot

Editor rating
 
8.5
User rating
 
0.0 (0)


Accessibility At A Glance Guild Wars 2 (PC)

8.5

   
Precision > Yes You will NOT need precision to play
One-Handed > Yes One-Handed gamers shoud be okay
Deaf Gamers > Yes You should have no issues with this game
Subtitles > Yes This Game is Perfect in this department
Colorblind > Yes Colorblind gamers should be okay

About the Game

Class
Commercial
Genre
Maker
ArenaNet
Release Date
August 28, 2012
Multi-player
Yes
Licence Category
commercial

guild-wars-2-banner


A full 250 years after the original Guild Wars, massive upheavals, cataclysms, and globe-spanning events have changed the world of Tyria. Human civilization is in decline. Other races are rising up, taking control over large portions of the world; the balance of power has shifted. The dragons have awoken.

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Guild Wars 2 (PC)
Guild Wars 2 (PC)
Guild Wars 2 (PC)

Editor review

Guild Wars 2 (PC) 2012-08-28 22:54:47 Steve Spohn
Overall rating 
 
8.5
Mobility 
 
7.0
Visual 
 
10.0
Hearing 
 
10.0
Steve Spohn Reviewed by Steve Spohn    August 28, 2012
Last updated: August 28, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2, officially the largest new MMO to come out this year and unofficially the MMO likely to draw the second-biggest crowd next to those who seek the ways of being a panda. Years in the making, GW2 has all the same flavor of the original with new and improved graphics, sounds, voice acting, stories and gameplay.

From the gamer standpoint, this game stands out as a refreshing change from the usual color copies of World of Warcraft we’re all used to seeing. From an accessibility standpoint, GW2 has some issues, some nice features and a few things I personally wish they would change.

The gameplay consists of choosing from eight different classes and five different races before starting out on your quest to reach 80. Of the several noticeable differences between this game and others before it, the most noticeable difference is the way that you level. It's entirely possible to level from 1-80 by grinding your way on monsters like every other cookie-cutter MMO. However, if you're not interested in that style of play or looking for something different, you can level entirely by crafting, never setting a foot in a combat situation. Conversely, you can level entirely by PvP and never craft or hit a mob, or a combination of all three.

The choice really is yours.

PvE content is entirely different in that the only quest line is for your character story. All other “questing” is done by exploring the map and playing the game. So long as you are doing things, you are getting experience. Gathering resources for crafting, crafting itself and even exploring can all level you just the same.

WvW is made by the same developers who made Dark Age of Camelot and it has the same feel of huge open world combat. Castle and keep sieges are long, intensive, multi-coordinated and strategy-demanding efforts.
I will say from an opinion standpoint that Guild Wars 2 is the first game I've had a good time playing in quite some time. Those of you who play games often know that it can become repetitive and the only reason you do it is for the community you play in. Right now, I have the pleasure of playing for both enjoyment and social fulfillment.

Accessibility
Some design choices made by ArenaNet impose problems for accessibility. At the time of writing this article ArenaNet acknowledges the difficulties these problems may pose for some and are “looking into it.”

Mobility
The mobility area is the only area lacking in an otherwise accessibility friendly game. Most of the things we look for in each game pass with flying colors. You do not have to mash any buttons and you need relatively low precision. The game comes with an auto attack and your character automatically faces your enemy so you don't have to move your character to attack. The most precision you'll need is to click on an enemy or click the appropriate spot on the ground for area-based attacks.

All keyboard shortcuts can be remapped to anything you desire. Elements of the UI can be moved anywhere on screen at any time. And there are no mandatory quick time events.

You can play with only a keyboard and you can play with only a mouse. However, the mouse sensitivity level, even placed at the highest level possible, is still too sluggish to be comfortable for those who cannot move the mouse easily.

ArenaNet says they are looking into the situation, but a quick Google search reveals that this type of camera movement is intended for the game. They want the camera to be “flowing and steady.” Unfortunately, many gamers need a higher sensitivity for the game to be accessible. Hopefully the developers will listen to our calls to put in a higher sensitivity.

We will keep you updated.

And finally, in each zone there are 1 to 2 events known as jumping puzzles. Exactly as the name would imply, in order to complete the puzzle you must successfully jump from position to position in order to reach a Vista Point--a spot on the map with a spectacular view.

Using an on-screen keyboard and a mouse, these Vista Points are nearly impossible--doable, but extremely difficult. Those with various ability and skill levels may be able to complete some, but not all of these points.
I was fortunate enough to have a friend who is willing to do the jumping for me. However, many people will not feel comfortable asking for help or sharing their account information. We have advised ArenaNet of the problem and hope that they consider a secondary option for those that are unable to complete the events.

Visual
Although achieving a perfect score of 10 in this category there is one difficulty that could be problematic for some.

Each chat is a different color based on which area you are typing in. The colors are not the same as they are in every other MMO on the face of the planet. Normally, green is guild chat, white is spatial and whispers are purple. Guild Wars 2 uses gold, green and pink respectively.

The color changes for text are not game breaking, but could prove annoying to some with certain color deficiencies.

Otherwise, the game did very well. The menus are easy to read and comprehend. Most things are clearly marked with the control key added as a bonus to help you clearly define things on your screen with names highlighted in gold if you are unable to visually make them out. And all text is presented in easy-to-read, high contrast, letterbox format with some changes to general chat possible.

Hearing
Another perfect 10 for Guild Wars 2. Subtitles are present in every interaction. Ambient noises captured, but not to the point of interfering with important chat. All audio cues are accompanied by visual elements. Most importantly, the game can be completed and enjoyed without any sound.

Assistive technology used
In order to play Guild Wars 2, I use TrackIR and an on-screen keyboard. The TrackIR is necessary because of the lack of mouse sensitivity. The on-screen keyboard is for chatting. If you have a severe mobility problem a high-DPI mouse (3500+) is still not enough to comfortably control this game.

At a glance

Mobility 7

No button mashing
No precision needed
Remappable keys
Can play with only the mouse
Can play with only the keyboard
On-screen keyboards work properly
Can move UI elements
No mandatory quick time events
Game Assists

Camera/mouse sensitivity is present but even on maximum is still ridiculously low.
Timing of movement/button pressing is important and can prevent in game progress.

Visual 10

Font color can be changed
Font size/type can be changed
Game presented in high contrast
Subtitles are easy to read
Subtitles are letterboxed
Game menus are easy to see/read/use

Hearing 10

Subtitles are present
Ambient noise is included
Identifies speaker
All audio cues are accompanied by visual cues
Game can be successfully completed without sound

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About the Author
Steve Spohn
Author: Steve Spohn
Steve Spohn is the Editor-in-Chief of AbleGamers & Outreach Chair for the Foundation. He is an expert in gaming with disabilities and assistive technologies and can be seen on MSNBC, CNN, G4 and more.

  • have they changed camera/movement controls? I'm talking about this:
    http://www.ablegamers.com/General-Game-Discussion/7061-Guild-Wars-2-Accessibility-Thoughts.html
    I'll skip on another game that interests me because of the the total mess they did in the mouse only department. There was NOTHING wrong with GW 1 controls!

    Edit: I fixed your link :)

    Comment last edited on about 2 years ago by Mark
  • So far I am really linking this game. I will say that I was a little surprised it did so well, but after talking to Steve (he is the expert in this area) I can see why it scored so high.

    Now if they could just take care of the damn pvp I would be happy. I was queued for 2 hours and still not in... so I went to bed!

  • Georg,

    Unfortunately, they really did nothing to improve the controls and quite honestly did not seem interested in anything further from us. I could not even get them to give us a review copy.

    That said, there are several options that you can use to help mitigate the damage. You can select your camera not follow your character, that allows you to see more freely. You can hold down both mouse buttons or use VAC arrow commands. You could use TrackIR to help move the camera around. And if you press the letter R your character will auto run and you can just steer with the right mouse button.

    Hope that helps some and hopefully ArenaNet starts listening to what were saying.

  • Hi Steve,

    Our company is in the process of developing (testing and tuning currently) a motion/sound controller service for Guild Wars 2. It was initially meant for Guild Wars 1, there were too many necessary controls. Guild Wars 2 offers a lot of automation options (such as auto targeting) that have inspired us to re-open this project.

    We would love any comments, suggestions, feedback and soon enough play testers for it.

  • Hi Sean,

    Great. Email or PM me some details.

  • Great review, Steve.

    I am incredibly pleased that it seems to tick an awful lot of boxes on the accessibility front. Although I'm lucky in that many of the options aren't relevant to me, I like to try and support games/developers that do bother getting it right. What goes around comes around and all that...

    I'm also pleased to the point of being quite relieved about how good the game appears to be. I've been tired of WoW for some time, but for lack of anything much else to play in that vein, have been somewhat left to stay with it. At last, this seems to be one that will finally make me hang up my WoW boots (particularly as it seems to be so good for solo play, which is my preferred stance).

    Looking forward to picking this up. Thanks again, Steve.

  • Guest (Guest (steph))

    <p>its too hard to play with one hand<br />
    <br />
    im not able to move+jump with mouse , and im not able to use a keyboard<br />
    <br />
    the jumping puzzle in FOTM makes me mad..<br />
    <br />
    i hope u can research a pad UI in the game..</p>

  • Guest (steph)

    In reply to: Guest (Guest (steph))

    additional

    im not able to do forward+jump at the same time

    FoTM "s jumping puzzle is killiing me.....
    can u make a pad with 8 way arrows , jump spin dodge on the screen?

    or able to bound 2 moves on 1 key , like...space=forward+jump

    right click to move will also great
    ground skill can also auto cast on the target , follow the mouse cursor is useless for me

    thank u

  • Guest (steph)

    its too hard to play gw2 with a mouse (one hand)

    im not able to do forward+jump at the same time

    FoTM "s jumping puzzle is killiing me.....
    can u make a pad with 8 way arrows , jump spin dodge on the screen?

    or able to bound 2 moves on 1 key , like...space=forward+jump

    right click to move will also great
    ground skill can also auto cast on the target , follow the mouse cursor is useless for me

    thank u

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