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E3: Summoner 2 Impressions

Summoner 2, the follow-up to THQ's launch title RPG for the PlayStation 2, was on display at E3. RPGFan spoke with the sibling duo of lead designer Sandeep Shekar and producer Anoop Shekar to gain new information about THQ's upcoming RPG.

Set in the same sci-fi/fantasy world as the original Summoner 2, Summoner 2 takes place 20 years after the conclusion of its predecessor and stars Queen Maya, who is aligned on the opposite "side" of the hero of the first game. The series' second installment promises more action than the first, but a deep storyline is said to be featured as well.

Some of the intricacies of gameplay include:

- A total of 8 playable characters in the game, with 3 in the active party at any given time

- All 3 party characters are playable, but only one at a time; the other two are AI controlled

- Over 13 different creature forms for Maya to change into.

- An assortment of minigames, including creature raising/training.

- In combat, characters who use ranged weapons can fight in a first-person view mode.

- Soul gems acquired from defeated enemies can be infused with weapons, increasing their strength and lending special abilities to them.

- Unfortunately, Summoner 2 does not support multiple players.

The NPC interaction in Summoner 2 will also have greater depth; only 3-4 towns will exist in the game's world, but they will be densely populated with NPCs that Maya can converse with. The first town alone promises to have over 150 NPCs. In addition, dialogue choices will affect side stories and sub-plots in the RPG, though they won't affect the main plot.

The playable demo yielded detailed graphics and relatively smooth animation, and the pop-up that was so prevalent in the first game seems to have largely vanished. However, control was sluggish, and the gameplay seemed hampered by the fact that the playable characters cannot jump in the heavily action-based combat. THQ will not be adding jumping to Summoner 2, but hopefully they'll be able to sharpen up the controls in time for the game's release later on this year.


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Updated:
05.24.02 - 5:00 PM
Commodore Wheeler





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