.hack is .gold

Action role-playing techno-geek game .hack//G.U. vol. 1//Rebirth finishes development, scheduled for October 24 release.

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Often a game can be so engrossing that those playing it can momentarily see their lives intertwined with what's going on in their monitors. Namco Bandai has been attempting to do that one better with its .hack series, a game about a game that has repercussions in the real world.

The latest installment of the franchise, .hack//G.U. vol. 1//Rebirth, has gone gold and is on schedule to hack stores on October 24. The PlayStation 2 game was developed by CyberConnect2, the studio behind other .hack games as well as Naruto: Ultimate Ninja.

In Rebirth, players assume the role of Haseo as he ventures into the digital realm known as "The World." Billed as an "offline massively multiplayer online role-playing game," players will play the game within the game, which in turn affects Haseo's world.

Namco Bandai's vice president of localization said,"[Rebirth] is a simulated MMORPG, yet the game itself is not actually online and no Internet connection is required. The [artificial intelligence] is more intelligent and acts like real players would in a true MMORPG."

.hack//G.U. vol. 1//Rebirth is rated T for Teen and will retail for $49.99. For more information, jack into GameSpot's previous coverage.

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