Pre-E3 06: .hack//G.U.

The original .hack games centered around The World, a fictional online game. To save its players, it was utterly destroyed at the end of the saga. In .hack//G.U., a sequel has been launched. You've also got a different quest in .hack//G.U., one anyone who's spent any time playing online RPGs can appreciate. You're hunting player killers - the losers who attack other players - and kicking their asses off the net. Problem is: what happens when you run into a PK that's stronger than you? Well, you'll find out as soon as you get a chance to boot up .hack//G.U. and watch its intro. Haseo, the main character of .hack//G.U., amps up the attitude compared to the previous hero Kite. It will be interesting to see just how he deals with threats to his virtual world.

But it's not just the story that makes .hack unique. As in Kingdom Hearts, the main character of .hack prefers to get up-close and personal with his enemies, as long as he has back-up. You'll be wielding a blade in each hand as the game begins; tap the button to let loose a combo on your enemies. Once you've got enough power stored up, you can throw in a special move for good measure. The game's interface has been streamlined from the original's clunky menu-driven gameplay - just tap a button or two to pick a special. You'll be able to switch to massive sword or other weapons in later chapters - which should help stop combat from descending into the snore-fests that the original .hack' s battles eventually became. You can even throw out a cheap shot on enemies as you run up to them - as long as they don't see you first.