Phantasy Star Universe has been officially announced for both North American and Europe release by Sega. Though this was obviously going to happen sooner or later, new information has been revealed. The game is scheduled for a February of 2006 release on both the Sony Playstation 2 and Windows PC.
The game will feature both a story driven single player game and a PSO inspired online game seperate from that experience in one package. The game will feature 40 hours of single player exploration, with many characters and cutscenes involved. The storyline follows a 17 year old Ethan Waber as he searches for his kidnapped sister from a mysterious force known only as THE SEED.
The online portion of the game is alot like Phantasy Star Online, featuring the ability to create your own character from scratch, this time from many unusual alien races. Players will have the choice to interact with the hundred human controlled characters or explore the 3 massive planets in the Grarl solar system. squad-based team up options, 15 massive bosses, and 20 different dungeons will be part of this mode. Players will also have the ability to ride in any of the few player-controlled vehicles to save time walking. Sega promises years of downloadable extras to come after the games release.
“Phantasy Star has a rich history, both as a single-player RPG franchise and as an online multi-player series,” said Scott A. Steinberg, Vice President of Entertainment Marketing, SEGA of America. “By fully supporting both gameplay modes in one package, we will be able to provide gamers with a fantasy role-playing experience of unprecedented depth.”
The game will be developed by both Sonic Team and Total Entertainment Software, with Yuji Naka leading the way. A December 30, 2005 Japanese release is currently scheduled. Stick around Sonic News for upcoming information on this game. Check out the sources for new screenshots, videos, and artwork on the game.