In a recent issue of Famitsu magazine, Tesuya Takahashi, director of Xenosaga revealed a few choice bits of information on his new game, which remains somewhat veiled in secrecy. Foremost, the game will almost certainly be a prequel to Xenogears, the highly popular Square title for the Playstation. The director stated that Xenosaga "is not a sequel or remake" and will be subtitled "Episode I: The Will for Power." He also hopes to make the new title a truer vision of what he wanted to achieve with
Visually, the most significant change will be a move to full 3-D, eliminating the character sprites of
Xenogears. In another leap forward, cutscenes will no longer be animated or pre-rendered; instead, they will be generated by the game's engine, leaving players with no control over the automatic camera. On a side note, character designer Kunihiko Tanaka will be returning for Xenosaga, ensuring the two games will have some similarity in appearance.
Fighting sequences in Xenosaga will follow the model of the Chrono series, where enemies appear onscreen and touching them will result in a fight. One major change may be a greatly reduced role for the gears in battle; Takahashi was rather oblique when asked about their use, and would only confirm that they would return in some form at least once.
The main character in Xenosaga will be Cion Uzuki, a bespectacled young woman with no apparent connection with Citan Uzuki of Xenogears. Additionally, any fantasy elements present in Xenogears will be eliminated in favour of an exclusively science-fiction setting.
At this point, Takahashi has indicated the game is 30% complete, and though MonolithSoft is still looking to flesh out its development team, the game is on track for a December release in Japan. It will be officially unveiled on July 8th.