Story and Gameplay
There is no shortage of beautiful moments in Guild Wars: Path of Fire, the second proper expansion from the wizards at ArenaNet. There are epic, grandiose moments of bombast and explosions followed up quickly by epic moonlit skies over vast expanses of deserts and oasis surrounded villages. One thing I've always enjoyed throughout the Guild Wars series is being transported to huge, detailed worlds that I can explore usually on foot but this time, by awesome, combat-driven mounts.
What Path of Fire gets right in the gameplay and story department is driving the player into epic battle and decision based scenarios that affect the world around you. There is never a shortage of amazing moments whether it be delving into huge, dusty pyramids and tombs or insane fire dripping boss fights.
For better or for worse, if you've played Guild Wars 2 at all, this game and story is all so very much..the same: Big baddies invade these desert lands and you must gather your allies and fight to stop said baddies. Sound familiar? That's because we've been there, seen that, done that all before.
Graphics and Sound
One thing that ArenaNet excels in is making some of the most gorgeous MMORPGs out there and Path of Fire is no exception. What I thought was only going to be sun-drenched desert sands is also spotted with the occasional lush oasis, huge stony mountains, and deep and dank dungeons. Variety is the spice o' laugh and Path of Fire has it in spades. The new lands to explore and not only but chock full of beautiful vistas, some terrifying new enemies, and lots of hidden goodies to explore, all looking the best to date in both cutscenes and in game.
Music and the audio portion are better than the previous expansion, not that Heart of Thorns was bad at all, I was just immediately entranced and soothed by some of the softer tunes of this soundtrack. Also, some sounds seem to pack more of a punch than previous weaker weapon and spell effects that I feel the series has always struggled with. This is a stunning audio package overall that you should crank up, smile, rinse, and repeat.
What Could Have Been Better
Honestly, I like Path of Fire a lot. It's chock full of fun things to do, places to explore, and enemies to bash. That being said, it's just started to feel like we've already been down this road before. For uber Guild Wars 2 fans, this is an absolute no-brainer purchase and you're probably already deep into it.
What I think is needed is something to draw a fresh, new crowd. New players that come jump in, see what this world has to offer but instead, old dungeons, areas, and content is not really relevant any more and you can't just dive into the game knowing nothing at all. I feel that MMORPGs struggle with this overall but with Path of Fire, the gap between new players and veterans has never felt so wide or so deep.
I really wanted to get sucked back into this world but being out for so long, everything just feels awkward, foreign, and my skills and gear just sucked. How about a mode to either start fresh or a way to welcome players who haven't touched the game in years to want to reinvest?
There is a lot to love in Path of Fire. It's the expansion that many fans have been waiting for after the good but not amazing Heart of Thorns (IMHO) and it continues a long legacy of quality content with a huge, fresh new world to explore. That being said, I feel like the game is for hardcore fans only while new comers and people who've been absent for several years are just left to wither and die, eventually losing interest in a huge and confusing world that is immense and unforgiving.