Sunday, April 02, 2006

Guild Wars Factions

Every time I walk by the PC aisle, the box art above never fails to catch my eye. Guild Wars is not really my kind of game though. Still, I always admired the art style.

So it’s no surprise that Guild Wars Factions box also looked appealing to me. But all is not well. You can’t really make it out in the box art, but a look at the art used in ads (the one above is from the back of a recent PC Gamer) reveals a major costume flaw. The chest/arm covering is cool, the heavy armor only on one arm is nice, and can’t really comment on the pants since they are cut off. The throwing knives on her arms are really sweet. I like how the ones on the forearms are different than the upper armor area ones. The right weapon for the right situation.

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Where it all falls apart are the two knives that also seem to serve as belt buckles (they may not, but that’s not the point). The little knobs at the tips are pointy and would scratch or puncture the hell out of her stomach. Not only are they a functional hazard, they also have a slapped on look. The more I look at them, the more they bother me. You can’t tell from this angle, but I’ve seen in another ad that her chain belt is also too jagged and flat.

It’s funny how something so minor can totally ruin everything.


Metaly said...

Good catch pointing out those knobs on the knives. It really strengthens a costume when you can see the designer's really thought it through and taken into account function as well as aesthetics. Another thing that bugs me is that it seems like it would make more sense to have the forearm knives pointing the other direction so they could be drawn and thrown in the same motion. (Of course, I'm no expert on throwing knife technique.)

Actually, this image disappoints me for another reason: Her hair! I liked the look of this character when she showed up in ads and previews with sleeker, purple hair. It was a great example of Japanese characters' wild colors and stylized hairdos being adapted a little conservatively, probably so as not to scare away American PC gamers. So what's going on in this shot? It's definitely black, and it's sort of flipping up everywhere. She looks more like a medieval Wonder Woman, plus the lighter purple was a great complement to the rest of the outfit. Unity is good!

Brinstar said...

Great observation on those knives.

I'm a Guild Wars player and the great art style is a wonderful bonus to a game that I really enjoy.

Some of the Assassin's armour is actually quite practical, which is a plus for me. However, they do have armour types that are not... Most egregious are the various incarnations of the Elementalist female armour, though most of the female (and some male) armour doesn't look very protective.

I like this picture of the Assassin. She doesn't appear to have the knives around her stomach, just at her side.

Wataru Maruyama said...

metaly - From what I know, the knives on the arms are pointed in the correct direction. If she were to grab a knife from her left arm with her right hand, she would not cock it back again to throw (like a baseball). She would draw out the blade and throw it in one smooth motion (imagine how your arm moves when throwing a frisbee). That's the reason she has knives on both arms.

brinstar - yeah I've seen similar pics where you can't see the belt or knives, but I'm sure they're supposed to be there.

Metaly said...

Wataru - Ah, that makes sense. I wrongly assumed these were meant to be thrown more like a shuriken.

Brinstar - Thanks for the wallpaper link. I think I'll put some Guild Wars backdrops on rotation for a while. And you're right about the elementalist armor seeming to offer little protection. Maybe they can get away with it since they don't seem to be a melee class. (I've never played Guild Wars, so I could be wrong.)

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