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Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis will give the ageing MMO a facelift

Phantasy Star Online 2‘s getting on a bit, isn’t it? Sega’s big ol’ sci-fi MMO might’ve only officially come to the West this Spring, but it’s been big in Japan for the better part of a decade – and boy, does it show. Announced during today’s Xbox Games Showcase, New Genesis is preparing to change all that with a massive overhaul to the MMOs visuals.

Sega flaunted PSO2’s new looks with a flashy new trailer. Gone are narrow corridors and claustrophobic fields – instead, we’re looking at vast open plains that coulda come straight outta the likes of Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

Described as simply “updating PSO2’s game system and graphics engine”, New Genesis looks to completely revamp parts of the MMOs open-world monster smashing. Frankly, it looks like a whole new game, with huge beasts to take down in sprawling open fields. Parts of PSO2’s DNA remain (I’d recognise those floating rollerskate-kicks anywhere) but it’s all looking quite a bit more modern.

What’s a little less clear is how this all fits in with PSO2 as it exists today. Where the trailer description calls it an update, the PSO2 twitter account calls New Genesis a “brand-new title”. If I had to speculate wildly, I’d reckon certain zones and many interface elements will find themselves replaced by these sparkling new visuals. There’s a decade of content to grapple with, after all – I wouldn’t expect them to re-do it all in one go.

What is certain is that North American players will gain access to New Genesis at the same time as their Japanese counterparts (still no word on a European release, soz). Expect the update, or expansion, or whatever this is to arrive sometime next year – and hopefully, sometime after Sega bring PSO2 to “more PC platforms”.

Whatever you call it, hit our E3 2020 tag for more from this summer's blast of gaming announcements, trailers, and miscellaneous marketing. Check out the PC games at the PlayStation 5 show, everything at the PC Gaming Show, and all the trailers from the Xbox showcase, for starters.

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