Anyone who has seen the Naruto anime series will know that its visual style is ripe for video game translation, and many developers have tried to create games around the universe to varying degrees of success. Now CyberConnect2 is stepping up to the table with a game that combines 3D fighting and an action adventure. We got an updated look at the game at the Leipzig Games Convention and posed some questions to the developers.
First of all, Naruto fans will be glad to hear that both Japanese and English audio will be included in the Western version of the game. Unfortunately, though, this is tempered with bad news--the game will lack trophy support. Still, the game is at least supporting DualShock3 controllers and is going to be released before the end of the year, with a rough third-quarter date pencilled in.
The first part we saw was the 3D fighting element. The developers chose Kimimaro to square off against an AI-controlled Naruto. The fighting element is framed in an interesting way, with the camera panning out if the fighters start to move away from each other. When the action starts, the camera comes back in and focuses on the attacking player, which can switch rapidly depending on each player's skill. There will be 25 playable characters in this mode, including the aforementioned pair as well as Kabuto.
The action adventure segment will form the meat of the game, and it seems to be shaping up nicely. Naruto has a number of cool moves at his disposal, from splitting into two and throwing himself through the air, to splitting into three parts to launch a multiple attack on enemies. The story itself will span the first series of the anime, or episodes 1-135, and some missions will feature brand-new animations created in the game engine. We got to see one such clip when Naruto met Gaara in the woods. Gaara then managed to call on a huge beast called Shukaku to attack. Once Naruto had chipped away at Shukaku's health with standard attacks, the game switched into a God of War-style minigame where you have to tap the buttons that appear onscreen to launch more devastating attacks.
The team from CyberConnect2 ended the demonstration with a warning to the Naruto: Broken Bond team currently at work on the new game at Ubisoft. "Everything in our game is superior over Ubisoft's Naruto." We'll find out once Atari's game is released in Q3 2008 exclusively on the PlayStation 3.