At Atari's recent press event we got to see a new version of Kya: Dark Lineage, a PS2-exclusive action adventure game being developed by V-Rally creator Eden Studios. The game's storyline centers around the title character, Kya, and her brother--the pair has been mysteriously transported to a fantastical world, and Kya will uncover the reason for this as she makes her way through the game. She'll be assisted by the Nativs, a civilization that's being overrun and converted into vicious "wolfen" by the tyrannical Brazul. The Nativs are being wiped out slowly by the Brazul, and Kya will have to help them if she expects their help in turn as she fights the evil powers sweeping the land and attempts to return home.
What sets Kya apart from other platformers is the surprising amount of depth in its gameplay. You'll be operating out of a hub called Nativ City where the Nativ people once dwelled. A large component of Kya's gameplay revolves around freeing the wolfen from their mutation, returning them to their true Nativ form, and letting them get back to Nativ City. You'll free the wolfen from their imprisonment in hand-to-hand combat that's actually pretty complex--you can string punch and kick attacks into combos and nimbly dodge out of the way. Once you've taken out a wolfen opponent, you can restore it to normal and send it back to the village. The more Nativs you send home, the more Nativ City will be built up, and you'll have access to new shops that provide additional items and new abilities that let you move on to new areas.
Though it's not due out until November, Kya: Dark Lineage is looking pretty darn solid. The environments are lush and heavily populated with detail, and the character models are all well made as well. The game's look overall is quite colorful, and, from what we saw, it ran at a consistently smooth frame rate. Perhaps it's Eden's experience with fast-moving racing games that's given it an edge in creating Kya's engine and graphics, but whatever the case, Kya looks pretty impressive for a PS2 game.
We'll bring you more on a playable version of Kya: Dark Lineage soon.