The original Magna Carta launched on
the PS2 a few years ago to somewhat lukewarm response, and its critical
reception was mixed to say the least. However, many did notice that the game did
have plenty of potential, thanks to its good story details and lush and
immersive world. Luckily, that potential may see fruition, as NAMCO Bandai will
be publishing the sequel, Magnacarta 2, as an Xbox 360 exclusive. The game was
on display at NAMCO Bandai’s booth at this year’s E3, and presented some
fantastic graphics and art direction, and an all new real-time combat system.
Taking a cue from recent RPGs like
Infinite Undiscovery and Final Fantasy XII, Magnacarta 2’s combat will be fully
real-time. By tapping the left trigger, you’ll toggle between combat mode and
exploration mode, drawing or sheathing your weapon respectively. Magnacarta 2
will give you six total characters to play as through the game world, each of
which can be switched on the fly.
The game’s combat deals mostly with
chaining your attacks with other characters in your group via the game’s
overdrive system. Improper use of it will cause your character to overheat,
rendering him unable to attack at all. However, using the system well will
result in some truly effective attacks. Getting the hang of it takes a while,
but the results are pretty rewarding.
Graphically, the game uses the
Unreal Engine 3 to great effect. The character models look excellent, and
represent the game’s art direction down to the T, and the environments are full
and lush. While there were some pop up issues here and there, the game is still
quite a ways off and these were no cause for concern.
Magnacarta 2 is shaping up to be
quite a worthy successor to the original game, with great visual style and
overhauled gameplay. Fans should keep an ear out for more info before the game
launches this fall.