Mark of Kri, currently in development at SCEA's San Diego studio, will be the first project fully designed and developed by that particular branch of Sony's internal development group. The game's visual style is very cartoonish, reminiscent of Disney's more "serious" features, such as Mulan. The game, however, draws inspiration from various Polynesian and South American cultures for its own style, and the overall look is very neat. Players will be cast in the role of Rau, a powerful warrior who's been charged with preventing some sort of cataclysmic spell from being invoked. Doing this will entail killing a whole bunch of "denizens of the dark," an act that is facilitated by the game's interesting combat system. Aiding Rau will be a black bird named Kuzo, the warrior's familiar and spirit guide, whose role in the gameplay will consist of scouting, item retrieval, and harassment of enemies. It was also revealed that the techno/trance group Juno Reactor will contribute genuine electronic music to the game.
Sony released a good deal of information about the game's combat system today. Essentially, players will use the right analog stick to "paint" targets onto enemies surrounding them. Each target players paint will correspond to a button on the PS2 controller, allowing them to seamlessly transition from one target to the next during their attack combos. Each weapon will grant players different combos, and thus far, a few have been revealed: the broadsword, the bow and arrow, the battle ax, and the taiaha, a double-pointed spear based on the Maori weapon from New Zealand.
The Mark of Kri is scheduled for release July 30. We'll have more on it for you very soon.