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Phantasy Star Online 2 dons a hazard suit for next month's Steam launch

Phantasy Star Online 2 is pretty bloody weird, right? A sci-fi romp that has your anime heroes fighting everything from goblins to WW2 battleships by way of Evangelion’s screaming hell-prism. Now, with a Steam launch due next month, you’ll soon be able to traipse through PSO2 as some kind of Valve chimaera – piloting a far-future mech in Gordon Freeman’s hazard suit as a tiny Stephen Merchant hovers menacingly by your side. Just another day on the job, eh?

Despite kicking around for the better part of a decade, Phantasy Star Online 2 has only made proper (ahem, “official”) headway in the West this year with a North American release back in April. While that release was muted by being a Windows Store exclusive, it came with the promise that PSO2 would eventually come to “more PC platforms”.

Now, Sega have announced that PSO2 is coming to a little platform called Steam – and as is the done thing these days, is arriving with a heap of crossover cosmetics with Valve’s catalogue. Swapping out your sci-fi rifles for the Heavy’s minigun or letting Portal 2’s Wheatley follow you about is fun enough, sure, but there’s something deeply strange with PSO2’s anime reimaginings of Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance.

PSO2’s Steam launch coincides with Episode 4 update for North American players, an arc that pitches the idea that real-world people can cross over into the world of the game (sorry, Europe, no word on when we’re getting our turn). A spokesperson for Sega also told USGamer that progress will carry over for existing Windows and Xbox players, with full cross-play and cross-progression between platforms.

From the looks of things, it also looks like Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis will be heading to Steam. Announced during Xbox’s NotE3 show, New Genesis is definitely a standalone new game that completely overhauls PSO2’s visuals and mechanics with a lush new open-world map.

Phantasy Star Online 2 will be free-to-play when it launches on Steam on August 5th.

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Natalie Clayton

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