But even though the game continues to throw new characters and situations at the player from the get-go, it will still be comfortable and familiar to fans of the series because of the presence of Shion and her compatriots. Even the enemies aren't all new - the scarred Margulis, who's been dogging the party since the original game, still has a single-minded intent on thwarting the party's every move. The threads of the story - political, scientific and religious - twine tighter. It feels very right for 2006. Though the concerns are far-flung fiction - nothing you'd ever mistake for reality - but they're broadly in line with our worries right now: terrorism, religious fervor twisted into hate.