It’s official – Phantasy Star Online 2, the first numbered sequel in the online Phantasy Star subseries, is coming to North America and Europe. Sega revealed that the free-to-play sci-fi action MMORPG will be localized for western audiences in early 2013.
Phantasy Star Online 2 is a third-person action game at its core, with combat utilizing real-time melee and ranged attacks, attack-chaining, counters, dodging, defense and more. It is currently in beta in Japan, which means that prospective players can look forward to an even more polished game when it reaches Western shores next year.
PSO2 producer Satoshi Sakai reveals in a recent interview with Japanese gaming news site 4Gamer (translated via PSU Blog) that Americans and Europeans will be sharing the same servers. He was also impressed by how quickly the character-creator was fan-translated, and states that content may be changed to fit the culture of each region during localization.
There are three playable races in Phantasy Star Online 2. Humans, which are the “jack of all trade” class, adept at everything but proficient at nothing. The Newman are elf-like in appearance, and are weaker physically, but more efficient with “photon arts” – powerful skills and spells. CAST are a mechanized race of people, physically powerful but not as efficient with photon arts.
There are three playable classes in PSO2. The melee-centric Hunter is the traditional brawler-type class, with a focus on physical attacks and defense. Rangers are a projectile-focused class, utilizing ranged attacks to keep pressure on foes while keeping a distance. Force is the third class, which focuses on special techniques and arts. They can deal heavy damage or heal and enhance themselves (and allies), but they are also quite vulnerable to damage.
No details have been revealed on how the “free-to-play” model will work. Also, unlike past Phantasy Star titles, Phantasy Star Online 2 is a PC-only title. A PS Vita version of the game is currently in the works, but it has not been revealed whether this version will also be released in the West. Visit the official website for more details and updates.