Editorials

Gamescom Screenshots: Lion’s Arch

With at least some of the things I need to do this week done, it’s time for a pictoral tour through Lion’s Arch!

The first image shows the inside of… well, a something. The rows of chairs could signify an audience for a chouncil meeting, a trial, or a theatre – without seeing what they are facing, it is hard to tell, but the lavish decoration (including a squid in one window giving a subtle Lovecraftian flair) indicates that this is a building of some significance.

Next is a view of the primary arch of the city. Of note that the terrestrial lions have been replaced by fish-tailed sea lions, symbolising both the fate of the old city and the nautical focus of the new inhabitants. Furthering this nautical focus are the awnings beneath, coloured and shaped to give the illusion of waves breaking against the arch. Looming over the cliffs above is a ruined fortress, possibly the remains of Lion’s Arch Keep.

Here we have the viewpoint of a traveller arriving in Lion’s Arch from the landward side, showing the full effect of the awnings seen in the shot before… and the walkway into the city giving the impression of arriving on a boat being swept in upon those waves.

I’m going to break ArenaNet’s order here, since we have three shots of the same building from different angles – possibly one that will prove of some importance to the story, or maybe just one they were proud of. It certainly makes a good example of local architecture, appearing as it does to be inspired by the designs of ships without going so far as to look like a beached vessel being repurposed as a building. The windows appear to match those of the interior in the first shot, so it’s possible that this is the same structure.

Returning to the main arch, the view from the other side makes it perfectly clear how the ‘swept in’ effect is achieved – showing what is under the awnings that formed the apparent waves, and the steep set of stairs hiding their presence until the visiting traveller is almost upon them.

Side arches such as these appear to be common features through the city, serving as a place to build as well as providing access to higher parts of the city. With the city’s history, the structures on and above these arches may serve as homes for the wealthier citizens or as refuges, built as they are at a higher level that may stand a greater chance of surviving another tsunami.

This appears to be one of the back streets of Lion’s Arch, with houses built on stilts to raise them above the shallow water of the area. The rowboat near the bottom of the picture is probably an indication of the main form of transport in this part of the city. A keel built out of the wall shows that the nautical themes continue in this part of the city.

The pirate-like attire modelled by this lady is likely a demonstration of the fashion available at Lion’s Arch, either scholar attire or town clothes. While this is probably a PC, the elderly lady and other figures in the background are likely NPCs, possibly traders and citizens of the city looking to purchase their goods.

The lady from the previous shot goes for a run under the awnings with two companions – one in the leather of an adventurer, the other in the plate of soldier almost blending into the background. If the vegetables on display to the left of the image is any indication, this might be the market district – it would certainly be conveniently placed for farmers to bring in their produce.

In the last of this group of screenshots, a scale-armoured soldieress takes a more leisurely stroll underneath the awnings, walking past a group of three women and one man gathered around some of the same display containers as seen in the previous shot.

So that’s the city of Lion’s Arch. Does it look like a place you’d like to live, visit, or to spend as little time in as possible? What do you think of the fashion? Comment below!

Next up, we’ll take a stroll through the ‘miscellaneous’ folder…

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