This has been one of the things that has me quietly anticipating FFXIV. Looking at the detail in the graphics for the game already. Not only is the detail in the characters very sharp but they have full out facial expressions and detailed faces. Honestly it blows most games out of the water already.
This will be without a doubt the best looking mmo in terms of technology use. Fully normal mapped with specular highlights on everything and motion captured animations. and imo this MMO seems to transcend the idea that MMOs don't look as good as single player games and I am frankly not sure how in the **** they are doing it. Must have a super huge team.
I remember when Spirits Within the movie came out in theaters. I was blown away by the CG effects, certainly not the story. Ever since, Square has really taken graphics to a new level, no matter the platform. If you look at the specs of the PS2, you'll shake your head how the game even manages to run at all on the robust 4MB of VRAM. Yet the SE team pulled it off. Now in their latest expansion pack WoTG, the CS's are vastly improved over all the other expansions. The facial expressions and animation are so top-notch, I can't believe it's FFXI.
Then SE goes and drops the bombshell. The Rapture project is really FFXIV. After checking out Conan, LoTR, WoW, Warhammer, Eve, and of course Aion, FFXIV blows all of them away and we've only seen the Alpha phase. The very first time I logged on the the official FFXIV site, I knew we were all in good hands. It was something about the music, reminded me of FFVI. Considering FFVI is known by the hardcore FF fans as the best FF title of them all, that's quite a complement.
On a ending note, this is Final Fantasy XIV folks, not FF online. I realize this is a MMORPG, but that's not the point. SE has long established high quality technology when creating FF games and the 14th game in the never-ending saga is no slouch. It's no surprise to me that Square managed to pump out so much power out of the PS3. I've been telling people for years that those Xbox 360 ports are holding the system back. What we have here is a game that not only looks good on the PC, but the console as well. Keep up the great work SE.