Over the past couple of years I saw many discussions about the visual styles of EQ2 and WoW, comparisons of their engines, critiques of their art direction, or lack thereof, etc.
The game that really shines, to me, is Guild Wars. It has:
- a visual style all it's own -- a definite look and feel to characters and armor and settings
- a variety of zones with distinct differences between them
- silky smooth performance even on machines with cards as old as the GF3 Ti 200 (which I used as recently as last November to play in the GW Preview events)
They're still lacking in the spell effects dept. (I'm hoping most of the current effects are just placeholders.) And their camera controls aren't all that hot.
But overall, the bloom effect combined with stunning lighting and imaginative terrain and architecture just make me smile when I see screenshots like these