Square-Enix has announced Fullmetal Alchemist 2: Curse of the Crimson Elixir for the PlayStation 2. The game is a prequel to the action role-playing game released earlier this year. As the title implies, the game is based on the anime of the same name. Once again, you'll follow the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse, who possess the unique ability to transform any everyday item into a weapon. This ability plays a key role in the game's combat.
The story in Curse of the Crimson Elixir starts off in the desert city Lior. The Elrics begin uncovering a strange cult called Leto, when all of a sudden they are thrust into battle with mysterious creatures. After surviving the fight, a strange woman named Elma appears, hands the brothers a ring, and disappears. Meanwhile, people begin vanishing from various regions of the land, and it all seems connected to a powerful alchemist in the region of Resembool. Edward and Alphonse are sent to investigate the mysteries, which will taken them to the ruined city of Siam-Sid, the capital of an ancient civilization called Lebis.
Curse of the Crimson Elixir will maintain the same fast-paced combat style from the original game, Broken Angel, while introducing additional transmutable weapons and items. The developers have also added new combos and alchemy attacks. You'll still primarily control Edward, with the ability to command Alphonse to assist you. However, you can look forward to improved AI for Alphonse, who will be better able to act autonomously in battle. Those who played the original Fullmetal Alchemist game may remember that Alphonse's AI wasn't very good, so hopefully these tweaks will address those concerns.
The graphics in the game seem largely the same as the cel-shaded style of the original, with flashy special effects for combo attacks and characters who are obviously modeled from the anime series. Fans of the anime can expect to see cameo appearances by regulars from the show. The voice acting for the cutscenes in Curse of the Crimson Elixir is also done by the actual voice actors for the series, and there will be a total of 30 minutes of original animation created just for the game.
Fullmetal Alchemist 2: Curse of the Crimson Elixir is currently slated for release in July on the PlayStation 2. Keep your eye on GameSpot for more updates on the game as the release date approaches.