PSO2 New Genesis First Live Gameplay, Details Revealed At TGS 2020
At TGS 2020, Sega revealed multiple new details and gameplay for Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis, the huge PSO2 update coming in 2021.
Sega revealed new details and gameplay for Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis at TGS 2020. We saw in action the three basic Class you can choose from: Hunter, Ranger, Force, and how the game is divided between exploration and battles. Note that while the gameplay sequences linked below are on the Japanese stream, there was a live translated English version of the stream you can catch here.
As a reminder, PSO2 New Genesis was first announced in July. New Genesis is accessible within PSO2 itself and isn’t a separate game. All of existing PSO2 will be upgraded with the new engine used by New Genesis as well, and you can freely switch between PSO2 original blocks or New Genesis blocks. Read more on the game here.
The stream started by reintroducing Phantasy Star elements for those unfamiliar with it, starting with the races Human, Newman, Cast, and Dewman (horns + heterochromia, not featured in the video but already playable in PSO2):
Following that, the three base Class were introduced, Hunter, Ranger, and Force.
Hunter are balanced classes between close-ranged attacks and defense. They can use close-ranged Photon Arts. The Hunter Class is still based on these same concepts as usual. The novelty here is that the normal attack combo is five hits long, with the last hit being more powerful. One thing that disappeared compared to regular PSO2 and PSO1 is the Just Attack. When you pressed the attack button at the right moment during the combo, you’d do more damage. They explained that they removed it so you can focus more on the action itself.
Hunter characters can also guard with their Sword, and if you guard at the right moment and attack right after, you trigger a counter attack equivalent to the more powerful, last attack of a normal five hit combo.
Playing a Hunter character with a Sword weapon is the recommended thing to do for beginners.
PSO2 NGS Hunter Gameplay:
The Ranger Class is the usual long range specialist. Like in current PSO2, as you shoot normal attacks you regain PP to activate Photon Arts. To deal the maximum amount of damage with the Rifle normal attack, you need to stay in mid range. If you’re too close or too far, you won’t deal as much damage. You can tell you do the max amount of damage when there’s a slash like effect on the enemies you hit. Rifle weapons have a special action called Slide Shot which lets you quickly correct your distance with enemies. Like in PSO2, you can switch to TPS mode with a target cursor to aim specific enemy parts.
PSO2 NGS Ranger Gameplay:
Lastly we have the Force Class, long range specialist. They shoot bullet attacks with their Rod weapon to restore PP, and then spend PP to use Techniques, with the usual Techniques coming back. In PSO2 New Genesis, Techniques change whether you charge them or not.
We have Foie, the fire Technique which deals high damage. If you use Foie as is, it’ll launch a fireball. If you charge Foie, it’ll summon an explosion directly on the locked enemy.
Next we have Barta, the usual ice Technique. When you shoot it normally, if it hits the enemy, it’ll make ice crystals appear. When you charge Barta, it’ll deal heavy damage to the enemy if they had ice crystals on them.
Note that they didn’t introduce traditional lightning Technique Zonde.
Like Hunter Class characters using Sword weapons, Force Class characters using Rod weapons can guard at the right timing to negate enemy attacks. It’s a pretty surprising change as Force in basic PSO2 didn’t have a guard action like this.
PSO2 NGS Force Gameplay:
Besides Sword, Rifle, and Rod, many more weapons for each Class are included in New Genesis, and will be revealed later on.
Next, we saw some of the new gameplay features. PSO2 NGS is described as an “Open Field”, it’s made of multiple large areas connected together. The gameplay is divided in two “Sections”, the Exploration Section and the Battle Section.
During Exploration, you can explore areas and gather items that will be useful for your adventures. Like fruits on trees. You can also fight big enemies named Teins on the field to get materials. They aren’t strong but run away when you start attacking them, so they’ll get away if you’re not careful. Overall it’s a revamped version of the Gathering system already present in normal PSO2.
PSO2 NGS Exploration Section Gameplay:
Next, we got to see Battle Section gameplay, with an explanation of the Party System.
Rather than meeting up with people at the quest counter, you meet them directly at the (seamless) entrances of Battle Sections and form a party of four players in total. Enemies appear randomly on the map, but are indicated with yellow E markers, with a number showing how far they are. We got introduced to the different Dolls, the monsters in PSO2 NGS. The smallest ones are called Fwan, they’re small enemies who fly around. Once you defeat enemies, there’s a certain percentage of chance that a Trial will trigger. This is the same thing as Emergency Trial in normal PSO2. If a Trial is triggered, the game will show you where with a blue T marker. The Trial has various conditions and most of the time like in PSO2 it’ll be defeating a set number of enemies.
You can still do the Step Action too, with a faster attack called Step Attack triggering if you attack right after Step Action. If you Step Attack at the right time, evading enemy blows, you’ll trigger a powerful counterattack. You can do Step Attack with Hunter + Sword or Ranger + Rifle.
We saw multiple type of enemies, each with their strength and weaknesses, like enemies who nullify damage from the front. Some monsters are also weak to specific elements of Force Techniques. If you attack them with the correct element, you can stun them for a bit with a “Element Down” effect.
PSO2 NGS Battle Section Gameplay
Later on in a press release, Sega explained additional details. Up to 8 players / two parties of 4 players can fight in the same Section together. The traditional Lobby system is still there too, with up to 100 players in a lobby. In Sections, you can also recover HP at specific points called Resta Sign.
Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis is coming in 2021. In Japan it’ll be on the same platforms as PSO2, PC, PS4, Switch via Cloud. In the west it’ll be on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Windows 10, and on Steam.