Graphically impressive videogames are a dime a dozen nowadays, and while some games push that visual envelope into the stratosphere (Crysis 2, Uncharted 2, RAGE, Killzone 2 etc.), most electronic entertainments at least pass the bare minimum requirements to keep players engaged long enough for the gameplay to take over: or not.
Graphically impressive massively multiplayer online games (MMOG), on the other hand, are much more rare. Some games go with a stylised visual aesthetic to keep everything looking good and fresh for years at a time (World of Warcraft being a prime example). Other games try to ‘wow’ us out the gate with realistic graphics, and end up looking dated a year later (Age of Conan, we’re looking at you).
This new and upcoming MMOG, Final Fantasy XIV, looks like it’s trying to hedge its bets with wonderful and realistic visual effects, but using stylised environment and character design to instil a sense of fantasy into the game.
If you watch the recently released trailer for Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIV below, you’ll see what I’m on about:
Final Fantasy XIV ‒ E3 2010 Trailer
Final Fantasy XIV is set to release on both the PS3 and PC later this year.
As a bonus, the US PlayStation Blog posted up a quick interview with Square Enix’s senior vice president of software development, Hiromichi Tanaka:
Q: How do you feel about the challenge of developing the first MMO on PlayStation 3?
A: “We had a similar experience with Final Fantasy XI as that was the first MMO on PlayStation 2 [in Japan only]. So this time, things came quite naturally for us and it helped us having the technology in mind from the very beginning.”
Q: How do you intend to reach out to those console gamers that haven’t experienced an MMO before and are used to more instant gratification in their games?
A: “Because Final Fantasy XIV is designed as a cross-platform MMO, there is no difference between the PC version and the PS3 version. We believe that previous attempts to bring MMOs to consoles have been unsuccessful because they focused too much on adapting their style to suit that audience and they lost the feel of a true MMO. Therefore, regardless of the platform, we are aiming to produce a real MMO with Final Fantasy XIV.”
Q: How much co-operation has there been between you and Sony Computer Entertainment in bringing an MMO to PS3?
A: “Sony [Computer Entertainment] has been extremely helpful to us, particularly with technical data while we were at the programming stage of development. We’ve also held talks regarding PlayStation Network functionality and we will be making the most of what that offers, integrating trophies and other features.”
Q: What do you think of the PlayStation Move motion controller?
A: “Unfortunately, we haven’t had chance to try it out yet but we’ve heard very interesting things about it and we’d like to look at supporting it in Final Fantasy XIV, if we get the chance to do so. However, at the moment I would say that there are no current plans.”
Source: US PlayStation Blog