Sega announces new Phantasy Star title

Action RPG Phantasy Star Universe will breathe new life into the hallowed series.

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Today at its E3 booth, Sega revealed it is working on a new Phantasy Star game--an action RPG entitled Phantasy Star Universe.

The publisher made no mention of Phantasy Star Universe at its "surprise" press announcement this morning, where the only thing shown was a multiplayer demo of the Matrix Online. It didn't divulge much more information about the early-in-development game at its booth either, aside from showing a trailer for Universe. Neither information regarding a release date nor information regarding what platforms might see a release were made available.

The Phantasy Star Universe trailer contained only prerendered computer-generated footage starring characters and environments that looked stylistically similar to those seen in the recent Phantasy Star Online games. We observed one character fighting monsters with electroblades, another animallike warrior speeding through a desert environment, and a purple-haired girl who resembled Phantasy Star II's Nei.

The Phantasy Star series began aeons ago on the Sega Master System. After four popular single-player RPGs, the series took a multiyear hiatus and then reemerged on the Dreamcast in the form of Phantasy Star Online. Despite the series' recent focus on online play, Sega representatives are mum about whether Universe will center on off- or online play. Since the combat in the game is real-time instead of turn-based, it could go either way.

We'll bring you more details on Phantasy Star Universe as soon as they become available. In the meantime, keep an eye on GameSpot for the game's first trailer later today.

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