Pink blobs and Raidou.
I had the opportunity to preview a portion of Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner. It's early enough in development that the playable version was still in Japanese, but an Atlus representative guided me through a little bit of the story and mechanics.
The main hero is an assistant detective in an agency; his boss is lazy and tends to order him around. When the agency receives a call from a girl asking to be met at a certain place, at a certain time, the boss sends him. The two meet on a bridge, and the girl immediately asks him to kill her. Before any further action can happen, the military suddenly kidnaps her. The beginning of the story is his search in trying to find out what happened to her. The setting is immediately before World War II, with a conflict between ancient and modern times.
The hero has a cat who acts as a familiar, and he has access to demons who will help him in the story process. Demons can be summoned and applied to characters, of whom there will be hundreds, and will then affect the characters in a variety of ways. In the demo, we met a detective who was being reticent about information, but after a little Pyro Jack summoning, the detective suddenly became more complacent after being set on fire. Each of the characters will have their own individual lives that will change over the period of the game, and they will comment on the progress of the story.
Demons on the loose.
Unlike previous Shin Megami Tensei titles in the US, Devil Summoner is an action RPG with instanced battles. The hero has access to both a sword and a gun during combat; the gun can fire bullets of different elemental properties. Demons will be used in combat and can be given directions but not directly controlled. Demons are gained through exploiting elemental weaknesses and being converted while in battle.
Though still an early look, Devil Summoner looks like a title to keep an eye on, especially for fans of previous Shin Megami Tensei titles.