V'lanna Reveals New Information On Upcoming PS2 RPG

Thus far, the RPGs shown for Sony bright new light, the Playstation 2, have failed to set the gaming community alight, but with the announcement from Square involving a continuation of it's prolific Final Fantasy series, and the sudden upsurge into the limelight of Summoner, a game from Descent collaborators Volition, that is set to change. Initially announced only for the PC and Mac, Summoner has since been ported over to the PS2 and looks set to hit the latter "first" and possibly in time for the systems launch in North America.

Initially revealed a while back, has graced us with more details on the game's plot and general play. The game follows the story of a young lad named Joseph who has unwillingly been handled the burden of being born a summoner (thus the game's title). Ungrateful, some might say, but the full horror of this infliction is realized when a demon is called by him to defend his small village from the onslaught of an army loses the plot and turns on him and his poor village slaughtering his family and the rest of the village in the process. Joseph vows never to wield his powers ever again. A person named Yago takes Joesph in and nurtures him to fulfil his prophesy. The same army which tormented his past marches once more, and now Joseph is called upon to utilise his "gift" once more.

Gameplay takes place from a third person style view (behind person, Zelda or Tomb Raider style) and from reports combat appears to be similar to the one adopted in Chrono Trigger but more advanced. Enemies can be seen on the screen, and when approached, or when they spot the players character a battle takes place in real time. When in battle, the terrain will play a greater role in the precedings. The world will be full 3D and things like shots in the back, from above or below will affect the strength and ability of certain blows or attacks.

A nice feature in the game is that of enemy AI (Artificial Intelligence). Enemies don't just have the interest of killing the party, but also fight and bicker amongst themselves sometimes resulting in death. This kind of AI is seen throughout the game, with kids and people running around on errands or other business not directly involved in play or waiting for the player to trigger something in them by interaction. They interact for themselves.

This is the first RPG to cause real excitement among gamers (Final Fantasy X and XI are yet to be divulged in any real detail yet) and with good reason. Summoner looks fantastic and when released it should give the PS2 some much needed credibility and be the systems first standout RPG. What's more exciting is that this is developed in the west and will finally show that this side of the world can also make a good console RPG. RPGamer will keep you posted on this promising title. The expected release is in September and lets hope that the PS2 can launch with this title in the bag.

by John "LochNess" Hynd    
Source: []
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