Today in Akihabara (Tokyo) a press conference was held to showcase Phantasy Star Online 2, the upcoming online RPG by Team Sonic, scheduled for release on PC in Japan this year.
The producer Satoshi Sakai introduced several aspects of the game to the crowd, generating quite a lot of interest between the Japanese press. A trailer was also shown (you can see it past the cut).
Players will be able to chose between three races. Humans, Newmans (beings with enhanced mental powers), and Casts (an artificial life form) and to explore multiple planets alongside their friends online.
While exploring a planet players will find ever changing environments. Areas will be created at random (starting and goal points excluded), and monster placement will follow the same philosophy, even the weather will change dynamically over time. Random events defined “Interrupt Events” will also happen, ensuring that gameplay will remain always fresh.
Each area will also host multiple parties, for a total of twelve players split in three different groups.
The development team is trying to achieve a more action oriented combat system, thanks to the introduction of the ability to jump and to attack in mid-air, and to the introduction of the TPS (Thid Person Shooter) System, allowing players to use ranged weapon by aiming manually, with the possibility of hitting enemies in their most sensitive areas.
The game will have an extremely extensive character creator, allowing the player to customize basically every aspect of his avatar. While Humans and Newmans will be able to take advantage of a complex morphing system based on bi-dimensional sliders, Cast will chose different mecha parts to assemble their body.
Elements like body mass, lips, eyelashes, eyebrows, eyes, nose, ears, skin color, breast size and shape and many others will be fully customizable. Even freedom in decoration will be exstensive thanks to a full RGB color picker and a decal system.
Alpha testing is scheduled to begin in Japan in August. With further phases slated to be announced at a later date. Below you can see a full gallery of screenshots and art from the event.