'Oh, not another MMO' you say? Well I will simply answer with, you haven't seen one with this level of visual quality.
MMO's seem to be a dime-a-dozen these days and most don't really seem to deliver to the expectations of your standard and hardcore MMO player. From what I've found, if it's not World of Warcraft, then you're playing the wrong MMO.
However, the talented team over at Korean based Bluehole Studio are raising the bar for visual quality for MMOs featuring normal mapped characters/environments, dynamic lighting and the most fluid and stylised animation I have ever seen in an MMO to date and combined it with a lot of Action RPG gameplay.
The style of the game blends with anime-esque characters, a touch of sci-fi and coated in a fun and playful style. The playable character designs range from your standard busty female elves and brutish male humans to demonic races and even a cutesy teddy bear like race called the Popori that would rival the likes of an Ewok.
GDC 10 Walkthrough - featuring in-game footage
Each race seems to have a distinct armour/costume style to define the race, yet it all seems to tie in so seamlessly. The designs can vary from something crazy detailed to a simple and elegant design and both are superbly executed in the style of the game.
One of the most stunning things I've found with the art are the scope and execution of the environments. The way the scenes are lit to create the right atmosphere to suit the environment. Whether you're out doors, indoors, a magic filled area, an industrial style area or within a giant city. The lighting sets the theme and it's really obvious to the player what the area is like, the technology of the race occupying it and it's visually stunning to look at.
I'll leave you with the Trailer created entirely using in-game assets.
At present the game is scheduled for a winter release.
For more information, videos, concept art and screenshots. Check out the TERA official website.
Seeing as the term "Next-Gen" is thrown around a lot, in your opinion what makes a game "Next-Gen" specifically an MMO?