The South Korean market is a hotbed of online game development, and Korean publisher Webzen seems interested in pushing the boundaries of the genre. To that end, the company has introduced SUN: Soul of the Ultimate Nation, what it bills as a classic action adventure online role-playing game that incorporates console-style game mechanics, as well as a number of other innovative features. And, on top of that, it's going to have a soundtrack by Howard Shore, the Academy Award-winning composer of The Lord of the Rings movies.
So what are console-style game mechanics? Judging from the early word from E3, it sounds like SUN will have elaborate battle sequences filled with "fluid movement and extravagant effects," much like the battle scenes in console games. There is also a very strong console-style look to the game, and the characters and monsters borrow heavily from the anime style.
SUN also has the kind of convoluted storyline featured in console games. In summary: The game is set on the continent of Blandis. The Geist emperor Schwarz possesses the secret knowledge of the essence of nature, which is known as ether. Schwarz converts the ether into dark energy and conquers the continent. Meanwhile, the continued extraction of ether impoverishes the land. As a result, an insurrection begins, and the rebel leader Ignis forms an elite force called the Guidance, which then wages war against the empire.
The combat system in SUN will allow for player-versus-faction and faction-versus-faction battles. You can have up to 40 characters battling it out on a combat map that's divided into multiple fields. The outcome of each battle in a field will affect the combat in adjacent fields. There aren't many more details about SUN available, but that should change in the coming months. SUN is scheduled to launch in early 2006.