The Breath of Fire series' first outing on PlayStation 2 looks 'different'. That's our verdict based on a 97 second video shown at E3 and now available from IGN. We already know something of the game's premise, which we learnt from the developer's expo announcements last month. In a long-standing series tradition the story concerns a young Ranger called Ryu, who lives in the underground city of Shelter, and one day wakes up and decides to head upstairs to see what lies on the surface. Ryu - along with Yorda-esque central female character and some of the enemies shown in the video - boasts a strong black outline, but he and the world he inhabits is far from cel-shaded. The characters aren't as detailed as you might imagine but their environment is dark, claustrophobic and futuristic. The setting is a labyrinthine world built out of the rubble of society in the pursuit of survival, and the desperately constructed caverns are lined with railings, thick glass and gunmetal walls and gangways. In the video, Ryu comes up against lots of spider-like creatures as well as a huge dragon/dinosaur like boss whose roar shakes the screen, but by the looks of things our hero is only accompanied by his love interest, and the level her involvement is unknown at this point. Fleeting glimpses of the battle system suggest a very cinematic approach with heavy blows emphasized by slow motion, and lots of magic, but sadly the movie did not demonstrate the PETS system, which was highlighted in the original Capcom press release. PETS (Positive Encounter and Tactics System) will let people lace the battlefield with traps and decoys to aid progress, and we really want to see how it works. Due out this Winter, we're starting to get excited about Breath of Fire. Can it reinvent itself sufficiently and thrive exclusively within the confines of dungeons? We'll see. Related Feature - Deep Breath
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