E3 2002: Breath of Fire heading to the PS2

A new installment in Capcom's long-running fantasy role-playing series will be available for the PS2 later this year.

Today at Capcom's pre-E3 press event, the company announced that a new installment of its Breath of Fire role-playing game series is coming to the PlayStation 2 this winter. The game will feature a brand-new 3D engine, an overhauled tactical combat system, and an original story.

In the next Breath of Fire game, players will assume the role of Ryu, a ranger residing in a vast underground city called Shelter. Long ago, the inhabitants of Shelter were driven underground by an ecological catastrophe on the surface of the planet. At the game's outset, Ryu is compelled to find out what exactly happened to the world and to learn about what remains on the surface.

Breath of Fire's gameplay will introduce what Capcom is calling the "positive encounter and tactics system," by means of which you will be able to set up traps and decoys in the environment before going into battle against monsters. Also, players will need to use their discretion while exploring, avoiding battle when necessary. Combat will involve an ability point system, wherein every action requires a certain number of points to be executed. Stronger attacks will require a greater number of ability points, so players will need to fight strategically and bide their time to execute the most powerful techniques.

Breath of Fire will also feature what's called the "scenario overlay system," which is reminiscent of the system found in SquareSoft's classic, Chrono Trigger. With this feature, players will find that the actions and accomplishments they've performed, and the experience they've gained, can be retained upon restarting the adventure. Presumably this will provide for some replay value.

We'll have more information on Breath of Fire for the PS2 soon.

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