It started off looking like Star Wars: Galaxies. This all changed, however, when Jeff Butler - the lead producer - showed the eagerly awaiting members of the media the scale and level of detail that was in the beautifully rendered gameworld of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Jeff first showcased the high elf village where the new players who choose this race will begin. The sheer amount of detail that was on display was a visual feast. The vegetation looked great and there was an abundance of it, the buildings were not few and far between, but here’s the clincher: Every building you see you can go into. None of the doors are just props that lead to nothing. You can go into every room as they are all individually modeled. This was apparent in the second city that we were treated to – 250 buildings with narrow, medieval streets that look like they came straight out of a movie, and are the exact replica of those streets you imagine in your mind when you’re visualizing a medieval town that you’re reading in a fantasy novel. Narrow, cluttered, dirty and busy all spring to mind to describe the scene.

The textures on the buildings were breathtakingly amazing. The walls looked stressed and worn, this was due to the fact that no textures were repeated; they are, in essence, an incredibly large texture that is wrapped around the building giving a sense of uniqueness and depth that is unparalleled in any MMO to date.

Height really plays a major part in this game. The world is not just one big, boring, flat piece of land. There are gigantic mountains and deep ravines, dungeons and caves, underwater harbours and so on. The mountains and tall buildings really play a part in the game as they can be used as landmarks for newbies and experienced players alike to find their way around and arrange to meet etc.

The game has been in development for 18 months, and while Jeff would not give us a release date, he told us that they reckon that it takes 3 to 3 and a half years to make a AAA MMOG title so by doing the math we can deduce that there is possibly a year to a year and a half left in development.

- Doug Kelly


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