A few more than half of a dozen screenshots for The Elder Scrolls Online have been released today, giving us an update on how the visual style of the game has evolved in recent months. Needless to say, it still looks like an MMO, but as seems to be the case in MMOs these days, sometimes the right setting at the right angle can look very pretty. Gotta give the guys at ZeniMax Online points for lighting, shadows and water effects at least.
That said, it's really difficult for me as an Elder Scrolls fan to see this as an Elder Scrolls title, visually. Yes, the monsters looks right, just like the daedra in the header image, and sure the armor look spot on, like the altmer bard in the gallery below. It's more, I suppose, lack of fine details, or maybe the thinness of every player character.
Then there's the setting photos. Compare the two ruin photos (08 and 05) and it's clear that one has been precisely angled for a very high quality screenshot the foliage, lighting and shadows showcased. The other could be any crumbling from any MMO in the past 15 years. I think I saw that broken cart in EverQuest.
Nevertheless, it looks like an MMO, and to be fair it's not fair to judge an MMO entirely by its visual fidelity. For all I know The Elder Scrolls Online could have a beautifully realized, immersive world the likes of which other MMOs cannot compare. We will see. Beta will be starting soon.