Another episode is done folks. This time around it was Seeds of Truth. I got to say that I was really impressed with this one. More specifically, I’ll talk about how well-oriented the narrative in this episode is, the role the characters have and what made its gameplay stand out in my mind.
I always said that the best part that the original personal story had to offer was those chapters taking place during the first twenty levels of your character’s progression. Those focus on you being part of a specific civilization, a culture, doing things among your people, the way those tend to do them. It’s a matter of getting to know who you are before you get to understand what everybody else is. Think of the Shire in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Hadn’t those early chapters existed and I wouldn’t even care if Frodo and his company managed to get back home. Makes you think that your peacefulness, no matter its perception, is at stake.
This episode goes back to those roots (no pun intended). It focuses on a single race, the Sylvari, and the events that took place after the awakening of the Secondborn from the Dream of Dreams. With the help of the Pale Tree you get to relive some memories of the past through Caithe’s point of view. You witness the curiosity that was written upon the faces of her people during their first steps in Tyria who, much like human babies, were trying to learn more about the world around them. Sooner or later they realize how fragile they really are and they try to come up with ways that will help them stand on their own two feet.
Another strong point of Seeds of Truth is character development. There was a time before Guild Wars 2’s original release when ArenaNet used to publish some blog posts giving an insight around the races of the game. I remember reading about the Cycles the Sylvari awaken into and how those affect their personality and the acquaintances they get to interact with. The point is, I always imagined those personas to be someone special to the young ones when they open their eyes for the first time. And I’m happy to acknowledge that this is the feeling you get by being one among the Firstborn. These characters are like the Knights of the Round Table, a High Council. They take decisions on how to guide the rest. Needless to say that they have cool names. Nothing can beat a name like Dagonet.
As always, I won’t get into spoiler territory but you should keep an eye open for some very interesting cameos that belong to this period of Tyria’s history. It was nice seeing the writers spending the time to make those fit in there, giving them some additional backstory. Such things make me happy.
I’ll end my review talking a bit about the gameplay that the seventh episode offers. Being Caithe gives you access to a thief-like skillset that gets the job done quite nicely. Not only it’s efficient, but it also demonstrates how it’s like to be controlling a really agile and stealth-centered character. There’s an achievement for example that makes you go all Sam Fisher knocking down your opponents without being detected or triggering any kind of alarm. I quite like this. I wonder is there any genre Guild Wars 2 cannot cover anymore? I’m sure there is but that’s a topic for another discussion.
Anyway, thumbs up overall for this one.