Yeah, they have been posted before, but that will not be the topic of this post.
These photos are starting to annoy me. I keep waiting to see something different from XI but I keep seeing the same.
Just because FFIV and FFVI had world maps, didn't mean that they were similar games. You're looking into two games made by the same company, in the same 'series' even. Not that you don't have the right to have opinions and concerns...
Area that looks like La Thiene
Well, if it makes any difference, it's by the seaside. Using Cape Riverne or Misareaux Coast is probably a better example. Honestly though, it's a beginner area outside of a major city. I happen to think it's quite beautiful and realistic.
It's easy to make some ridiculous environment that nobody has seen before. To make it realistic is, in my opinion, an achievement. It's what makes Al'taieu, in some ways, a far more interesting place. Being exposed to a world that is deceptively normal, when the strange enters, it becomes far stranger than a world that was odd and disproportionate to begin with.
Cactuar that looks like XI Cactuar
Say what you will about them, but at least they kept a similar posture in the pics rather than FFXI's. But, that could be a "anything is closer to the classic cactuar than FFXI's" kind of comment.
Puppet that looks like a a PUP pet
If it's any consolation, that's an enemy. You'll be able to kill it.
All Ahriman look alike.
Ahriman that looks like XI's Ahriman
At least in this case, it is looking a bit more like the classic final fantasy standard.
Fact of the matter is, I'm going to be a bit biased. I've never been disappointed with SE's major titles when it comes to interesting landscapes. They know how to work with the subtleties. I have faith, and maybe you don't. Maybe you'll need hard evidence of a really interesting area. Or maybe your standards are in some place mine aren't.
Whatever the case, the game is still more than a year away, I'd guess. Do what you will with the information. Personally, I think Aion looks exactly like Warhammer looks exactly like WoW. Everyone these days is playing with heavy, wild fantasy. It's a style. I just happen to enjoy a world I can relate with more. FFXIV seems to be going in that direction, and I couldn't be happier.
Different strokes for different folks...