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, Summoner.com 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.
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.