Leading up to the release of Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis, I was given another opportunity to play the game during the May 2021 beta test. While my initial feelings haven’t changed too much since my first impressions, it allowed me to spend more time in its world and let those feelings really sink in. New Genesis is an upcoming MMORPG based in the Phantasy Star universe, built on the foundation of Phantasy Star Online 2. Steeped in Japanese sci-fi aesthetic with an action based combat system, it attempts to expand upon what the original brought to the market.
Unlike my previous beta experience, I decided to try a different class. My usual affinity for classes in MMORPGs tends to lean more towards the use of magic, specifically healing. The Force class in Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis is as close to what I would traditionally pick. This class uses a stylized staff weapon that shoots elemental based projectiles. While not as complex or as agile as the Gunner, Force is a nice healthy medium of movement and power. Slow attacks are punctuated with vibrant and flashy skill effects. And since you’re most likely to stay at a distance, you don’t have to worry too much about enemies reaching you before they’re destroyed by your elemental skills. It felt like it could potentially be a good class for those who want something more deliberate in its pacing and movement.
Strafing enemies and keeping distance in large scale battles on the overworld map felt good, and my contribution to taking down more dangerous foes felt palpable. Staying at that distance also helped prevent visual overstimulation in the Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis beta, since my view of various effects and upwards of ten players dashing around an enemy was mostly from a distance. The Force class can also use their skills while in the air to maintain momentum, keeping them away from dangerous attacks on the ground. This is a class that I would definitely recommend to newcomers and those who play MMORPGs a bit more cautiously. However, if you’re looking for a more straightforward approach to combat, the Force will still allow for that playstyle. It isn’t advised, but you can virtually do anything with the range of movement the game allows.
Little has changed between each Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis beta in terms of accessibility. There is still no true targeting system, which can easily lead to players gathering up more enemies than they can deal with while trying to complete fetch quests on the field. My transition times between areas were noticeably longer. Also installing the game through the Microsoft Store, as opposed directly through the launcher, had placed the game directly on my hard drive and not my SSD. (I am aware that this can be fixed through the Xbox application, but I felt like this is important to state for those who may want to install New Genesis directly on their PCs.) However, lag was not an issue when traversing the fields. Everything loaded in fine and the game still looked great despite my gaming laptop being on the lower end.
While this beta wasn’t too different from the one that was previously held on the Japanese servers, it still provided another look at how Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis will function. And with that being said, it still holds promise. The action based combat creates a more skill based playstyle, which action RPG fans will enjoy. However, as the release date for New Genesis draws year, one can only hope that loading times for the game installed on the hard drive of SSD will improve.
- Processor: Intel Core i5-9500 cpu @ 2.4 GHZ
- RAM: 8.00
- Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050