Following yesterday’s Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis reveal, there was some confusion over what, exactly, the newly announced experience was. Sega’s muddled messaging managed to refer to it as a both “brand-new title” and an “update”, but now the publisher has clarified it’s a completely new, standalone online action-RPG coming to Xbox and PC next year.
That confirmation comes via a new video posted to YouTube earlier today which outlines Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis in more detail. Sega describes New Genesis as the “next-generation of PSO2”, and explains that both the new and old experiences will co-exist, with players able to explore their respective worlds using the same character.
New Genesis unfolds in a new setting 1,000 years after the Oracle’s battle and the original PSO2, and features a visually striking “wide-open battlefield” that Sega calls a “new, living world that changes with the passage of time and weather”. It’s all rendered using an upgraded graphics engine, and Sega notes that PSO2 will be getting an engine upgrade too.
Fresh game systems are also promised, with the video highlighting new ways to travel across New Genesis’ open field of play, including a sprint ability known as Photon Dash and a drift ability enabling players to Photon Glide down from higher vantage points. There’s also a new character creation tool utilising higher fidelity character models (complete with wiggly fingers), and players can even define the placement of their favourite accessories.
Character creation and avatars are compatible between Phantasy Star Online 2 and New Genesis (clearing up a tease posted to Sega’s PSO2 Twitter feed following yesterday’s announcement), and it’s possible share emotes and other registered data between both games. Importantly, levels, EXP, skills, photon arts, techniques, and currency affecting game economy are not transferable. Star Gems and Arks Cash are, however.
Additionally, Sega notes that weapons, units, and mags from PSO2 will be usable in New Genesis, but warns their functions, abilities, and appearances may temporarily change.
New Genesis will, as with Phantasy Star Online 2, be entirely free-to-play when it launches on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC next year.