Fair, unbiased review from a skepitcal mmo fan.
If you are playing an MMO, odds are graphics are not your main concern. With everything cranked to max, some of the areas are vastly above other MMO's, save perhaps Age of Conan, while still others are a bit dated. The simplistic art style benifits from good lighting and effects, as well as downright beautiful architecture.
Music / SFX: (10/10)
WAR is everywhere, and the constant explosions, sword smashing and axe grinding only adds to the experience. The music fits very well.
Difficult choice here... some elements of the UI scream for more work, and overall, the game does little to stray from the familiar mmo interface. However, when it does break new ground, it is quite brilliant. For example, being able to completely revamp your UI on the fly INGAME is a great feature. Add to that the abilty to have an offensive and defensive target simultaneously and you start to see Mythics effort shine through its work-in-progress UI.
Each zone is gigantic, with quests, landmarks and exploration for you to do in every direction. No invisible fences here, what you see is what you get.
The game does virtually everything you could think of to place an emphasis on group play. Public quests are a brilliant addition to the game... Working together with 5 or 6 complete strangers towards a common goal is easy and fun to do. Double the fun when reaching that common goal summons forth a Hydra monster the size of a schoolbus.
Smoothest launch of any MMO I've ever seen, and I've been around for many. Is everything working? No, but it certainly doesn't feel "unfinished" at launch. Lag is minimal at best, crippling at its worst.
And now, my closing thoughts, ala Jerry Springer:
Choosing an MMO is never an easy decision. Odds are if you are looking at this review, you've given some thought to buying this game. Maybe you've been burned by games in the past, or maybe you're still very much in love with an MMO of your own right now. But here's a thought: WAR is waiting for you, and while its not a "new-game", it certainly feels fresh, exciting and manages to push the envelope in many promising ways.
After a year....
This is a very polished high quality mmo, provided you dig RvR. They are doing more to get the PVE up to par, and I recommend this to ANYONE who is burnt out on their current mmo fix.