.hack Part 1: INFECTION - PS2

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Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Adventure: Role Playing
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Bandai Soft. Co.: Bandai
Publishers: Bandai (US/JP)
Atari (GB)
Released: 2003 (JP)
26 Mar 2004 (GB)
11 Feb 2003 (US)
Ratings: PEGI 12+, ESRB Teen 13+ (T)
Features: Analogue Control Compatible: analogue sticks only, Vibration Function Compatible
Accessories: Memory Card

Summary

.hack//INFECTION Part 1 is the first episode in a four-part series of video games signalling a new direction for the RPG genre by offering a simulated MMORPG experience - that's Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game to you and me. Software supremos Bandai reckon it's the first of its kind. Coming from a production team with huge experience of anime and manga production, the .hack series is indeed an ambitious project from Japan.

Set in the year 2007, a network game known as 'The World' is taking the gaming community by storm with its massive playing space and infinite possibilities. Somewhat sinisterly, and behind the scenes, a new type of AI is actually feeding on information within 'The World', hiding within the depths of the network program.

In .hack//INFECTION Part 1, players assume the role of Kite, and battle through corrupted levels of cyberspace in 'The World', taking on and eliminating any unfriendly types as they go. It's all about decoding myriad cryptography in order to get to new locations and setting out on several quests at once. The highly-detailed environments transform in real time as 'The World', the Network, and the contamination lives and breathes all around you.

Taking Kite on the epic journey to discover who or what is lurking behind 'The World' will please fans of older games such as Ghost in the Shell and Bandai's own Neon Genesis Evangelion. The combination of Manga-style presentation and 'shoot it before it kills you' attitude makes for an entertaining experience. All this, and there are three more titles in the .hack series (at the time of this game's European release) to come.