Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Web Review: The Guild Season 4 Premiere

Well, it's finally happened: The Vault has been around so long that we're reviewing a sequel. You may recall that last September we provided you with an in-depth look at the viral sensation that is sweeping hard drives all across the world (kind of like Norton only without the malware) -- The Guild. Back then, we were discussing the highly anticipated premiere episode of Season Three, which introduced a whole new level (no pun intended) of intrigue by adding the guild's evil rivals, the Axis of Anarchy and their asshole leader Fawkes (played with verve by the legendary lord of all geekdom, Wil Wheaton himself).

Well, that was then. And if you followed through with the rest of season three (which I'm sure you did, considering I gave the series a good review and I know how much my opinion influences your daily choices), you know that following the epic PvP throwdown between the Knights of Good and the Axis of Anarchy, things got even stickier between Fawkes and Felicia Day's main character, Codex (okay, that time the pun was intended). So how would this play out when season four finally rolled around?

Well, that rolling has finally commenced, and like a fat man falling down a ski slope, it's already picking up serious momentum. And no, I don't know that from personal experience, thanks for asking, you douche. Codex makes the typically upriught yet incredibly naive and ill-advised decision to immediately tell the entire guild that [spoiler alert!] she slept with Fawkes. As you might expect, this goes over like a ton of bricks, or at least it does right up until the point when...

You know, what the hell. Just watch it yourself. That's what all this fancy internet code nonsense is for right? Take a looksee and after you're done, rejoin me on the other side for some insightful analysis and the all-important final grades:

<br/><a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&vid=9c194351-975c-4b54-9462-e85b3e87af8e&fg=sharenoembed" target="_new"title="Season 4 - Episode 1 - Epic Guilt">Video: Season 4 - Episode 1 - Epic Guilt</a>

So, what did I think? To be honest, it was just a tiny bit flat for me, but then again, it serves to set up the entire season so generally speaking I'm not expecting fireworks until we get a little ways into it. Vork (Jeff Lewis), as always, is a highlight for me and I have to say that during season three I thought Clara (played by Robin Thorsen) really got much stronger to the point where she had some of the best deliveries of the season; that looks likely to continue this year as well. And as always, the more you're into online gaming and MMOs in particular, the more you're likely to appreciate this episode; I, too, want a virtual guild hall, something that World of Warcraft has foolishly not implemented. Maybe during Cataclysm...

So what will happen? Will they manage to get the gold to build their guild hall? Will Fawkes and Codex stick together, or will their fling destroy them both? Will Felicia Day read this review and send me an email that leads to a hastily planned Mediterranean wedding? One thing's for sure: I'll be hooked to my internets waiting to find out the answer.

My Grades: This gets a solid B, though I am expecting it to pick up at it dgoes along, so no worries. Last season as a whole (since I only had a chance to review the first episode) gets an A-, with special props to breakout star Bruiser (J. Teddy Graces). Good stuff.

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