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Tecmo back in the Fatal Frame

New Fatal Frame / Project Zero on the way.

Tecmo is working on a third game in the Fatal Frame series, known as Project Zero over here (where it never sells, much to our continuing disappointment. Buy it you sods), which is around 60 per cent complete and due out on PS2 this summer in Japan.

We'd expect US and European releases to follow sometime thereafter - and given Tecmo's allegiances and the series' past history, an Xbox port is a perfectly reasonable expectation at some point too.

According to the preview in Japanese magazine Famitsu that heralded its coming (picked up on and translated by those caring souls at The Magic Box and GameSpot), it features three playable characters - 23 year-old female photographer Rei Kurosawa, Miku Hinasaki from the first game, and Kei Amakura, a male writer who shares a surname with the protagonists of the second game.

Rei is thrown into turmoil when she discovers a picture of her dead boyfriend among a stack she took during a job at a supposedly haunted mansion. She then discovers that a snake tattoo is spreading across her body, and that it's very much like the tattoos she finds on the ghosts she fights in her dreams - where much of the game will unfold.

The third Fatal Frame appears to be set in the present day, and some of it will also unfold in real life, before Rei is plunged back into her nightmarish exploration of a (definitely) haunted mansion when she goes to sleep. Fortunately this time the camera she's using to kill ghosts has a strobe light, which momentarily stuns them.

We look forward to seeing how it this pans out - and how the game makes use of Miku, who is apparently now assistant to a cameraman, and writer Kei, who was apparently a good friend of Rei's dead boyfriend, and whose skills are more physical and mental than spiritual.