One of the most innovative RPGs at the show was Bandai's .hack (dot hack). Set in a virtual world, it gives the players the chance to play an online RPG without actually being online. Bandai has been calling it a 'virtual MMORPG', as it plays and seems like an online game, complete with mail and chat, but is entirely offline. Along with the game, an anime disc will also be included, which further fleshes out the story, and may give players hints about things to do in the game.
It's a unique game to be sure, but how does it look? Well, take a look at 17 screen shots, 23 pieces of artwork, 2 packaging shots, and 6 OVA images.
.hack, or at least this one, is to be the first of a total of 4 volumes. There's no word yet on when or if all 4 game/anime combos will arrive in North America, but we'll keep you posted. .hack Volume 1 is due out in October. Check back here soon for a full preview.