Sunday, 30 August 2009

What is the best looking MMO?

I can't claim anything exciting on this, but I'm going to plump for Guild Wars.  Is it the best looking?  Well, it's the best looking I have played, and it was graphically different from all of the other MMOs before it.

Walking outside in Ascalon, in the first instance area was the first time I actually lost myself in the game.  The green grass, waving in the wind.  The creatures - both animal and monster - roaming the fields.  The bull next to the water-pool!  And that waterfall!  While walking, you could be followed by carefree Gwen just skipping along and playing on her flute.  There has been nothing like Guild Wars opening zone in the other games I've played since.  And since I couldn't spend enough time away from my beloved WoW, it stayed as second fiddle, and I only ever got one character to level 20 and out of that first campaign...  I think I spent too much time looking at the flowers than playing the game ;)

Oddly enough (bearing in mind that my 'home' MMO is Ultima Online with it's primitive but very, very useful sandbox-see-all design) I've now settled in World of Warcraft.  Not for its graphics (which I always thought of as cartoonish, and don't get me started on the ugly, ugly avatars) but because I'm playing with a friend to stay in contact with them now they've moved to America.

But I've found that the graphical 'style' of Warcraft gradually has its wicked way with you.  You get used to the awful mustaches and broad-brushstroke fields, and start feeling part of it.  I think WoW's contribution to 'best looking' is more like 'most varied' - because all places look so different, and have a unique flavour from zone to zone, it's easier to be taken in.

But if I want to go and sit by a waterfall and grin stupidly at a Waterfall, I'll visit Guild Wars again.

(And if anyone mentions the Charr chucking a rock out of the sky and destroying that beautiful waterfall?  Well la-la-la, I'm not listening to you.)