Fuelled by the appetite of the Korean MMO market, comes Blade and Soul. NCSoft have brought the artistic talents of Hyung Tae Kim, who we know from the artwork of Magna Carta, to the title and thus we get lots of highly exaggerated characters and exotic clothing.
I love the way art like this can still exude a style that so evocative of a vigour and superheroic quality. It is much more than simple illustration, it cleverly pushes at the edges of our artistic eye in the same way as high fashion, graffiti, modern art and tattoos.
Back to Hyung-Tae Kim, this Korean artist has his stuff can be found all over the internet as part of the hype that surrounds the games he does work on, try some at http://hyung-taekim.org/. His Manga/Comic styling makes for great concept art, but with the power of modern game engines allows game creators to attempt to re-create his works in living 3D.
Here are some of his art/design imagery for Blade and Soul from MMOsite which has lots of imagery to admire (with an over-abundance of girls):
[Blade and Soul Art by Hyung-Tae Kim via MMOsite]
Looking at screenshots of Blade and Soul, they are definitely trying to capture the concept work, check these out for a great looking MMO visually and conceptually. Indeed, I feel that the art team on the game have taken the idea and run with it, creating an alluring cinematic version of the art.
[Blade and Soul Screenshots via MMOsite]
I would stop there, but there are some more cool screenshots on ThisIsGame via Gamespot - here are a few of them (which show more how the art was translated to game):
[Blade and Soul Screenshots via Gamespot]
And lets not leave out the Video - WOW: