Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis Makes You (Mostly) Restart From Scratch

Players will only be able to transfer certain elements to the world of Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis. Regular PSO2 content will stay too.

July 24, 2020

A few hours after the reveal of Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis at the Xbox Series X Games Showcase, Sega published a follow up video with additional details on this new update. Everything is included below.

Story, Exploration, Character Customization in Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis

First off, the storyline depicted in New Genesis is set one thousand years after the current PSO2 storyline, which already had timeskips but never as long as this one.

Both in Japanese and English, Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis is described as “open-field”. This is a fancy way to say it’s close to an open-world and appeal to those who like that. However, seeing the term “Open-World” isn’t used, it probably won’t be open-world in the sense of Zelda Breath of the Wild, Red Dead Redemption 2, and the like. Sega didn’t elaborate yet, but I’m guessing all locations in New Genesis are basically connected together. With players being able to travel on foot between them. We do see directional signboards in the gameplay footage after all.

The trailer highlights the fact that the world of New Genesis will have dynamic weather, but that’s already the case on regular PSO2 maps. What’s new is how it’s described as a “living” world. So perhaps persistent world elements similar to MMOs will be present, with maps not resetting each time you start a new quest. It’s actually unclear yet if the current quest systems are returning or not.

The jet boots-like abilities are called Photon Dash, which increases movement speed, and Photon Glide, allowing you to glide down from an elevated spot. One thing PSO2 maps lack is a sense of exploration and verticality, and it looks like New Genesis could be adding some.

The number of accessories you can put on your characters will be greatly increasing. The video mentions the past character creation system can still be used, along with lobby actions, emotes, and “other registered data”. I’m guessing all costumes you’ve acquired, and all accessory tickets you’ve used on your characters will still be usable in New Genesis.

The character creation part is slightly different in the Japanese version of the trailer, showing the characters in their underwear, as they always do, whenever new accessories or costumes are introduced. It’s pretty dumb this isn’t shown in the American version but I’m not surprised. Come to think of it, I’m guessing most of the high exposure outfits probably aren’t in the American version of the game. I’ve never tried it as I already play the Japanese version. Moreover, I don’t reside in the country of striking Freedom, Justice and Democracy, but in the country who invented UDHR (and forgot the “white cisgender men only” footnote). Japan society can definitely be racist in its own different way, but at least got out of ideas such as “female protagonists don’t sell”  since the 80s, and don’t really need lessons from others who don’t sweep in front of their own doors.

Character Progression Transfer, Battle System

PSO2: NGS will have everyone’s characters start back from level 1. Skills, Photon Arts, Techniques, Dark Blast, Compound Techs, and the like will not carry over. However, you’ll be able to bring your Weapons, Units, and Mags. There’s a catch though: they’ll have new, temporary “functions, abilities, and appearances”. They will probably be nerfed temporarily so everyone starts at the same base.

Meseta will not carry over, as well as FUN points. Only the game currency bought with real money, Arks Cash, and the currency won through playing or through real money, Star Gems, will be transferable.

At the end of the day, this is like the usual Episode update, with new content and classes, but with no way for older players to power-level it through their existing items or treasury.

The new enemies are titled dolls. They overall all look bigger than most of the enemies in regular PSO2. We’ll still be fighting many of them simultaneously as shown in the new gameplay footage of this video. We can also spot a Force character staying in mid-air while casting Techniques on the upper parts of the enemies. But overall, as someone who spent eight years on PSO2, the battle system doesn’t look that much different to me.

Lastly, Sega confirmed all the existing content in regular Phantasy Star Online 2 will be staying, and get a graphical update to match New Genesis. You’ll also be able to use your characters from New Genesis in regular PSO2 content.

Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis Follow-up Video

The Japanese version of the video, which is identical besides the underwear thing we explained above, can be found here.

I personally can’t say I’m particularly hyped for PSO2: NGS, and I’m waiting to see more of the update. Overall, even after watching this video, my initial impressions and comments don’t change much from what I’ve already shared.

Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis will launch on Windows 10, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X in 2021 in America. In Japan, the update is coming in 2021 to the same platforms PSO2 is already on: PC, PS4, and Nintendo Switch via cloud gaming.

Iyane Agossah

Living near Paris, Iyane (He/Him) is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. He speaks Japanese, has been loving anime and Japanese games for over 25 years and plays Genshin Impact for its story and exploration. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07.

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