If you’re in need of a new fantasy RPG meets farming simulator, you’re in luck. While Natsume won’t be doing the official gameplay release of Rune Factory 3 until next week at E3, they’ve decided to show off some screenshots and character art of the game today. The game will hit DSes and store shelves later this year, but no date has been set.

Rune Factory 3 takes place in Sharance, during a time where humans and the Univir are embroiled in a battle. Your job is to unite the two and stop an emerging threat that could destroy them both. The newest title adds the ability to recruit your friends from the village to aid in battle, mid-fight transformations for your protagonist and a multiplayer mode where up to three people can go exploring together.

You can check out the gallery and full press release below.

The full press release:

NATSUME TO RELEASE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED RUNE FACTORY 3: A FANTASY HARVEST
MOON FOR NINTENDO DS LATER THIS YEAR

Beloved Series Is Back With New Sequel, Will Make First Public
Appearance at E3

Burlingame, Calif., June 8, 2010 – Natsume Inc., a worldwide developer
and publisher of family-oriented video games, announced today that
Rune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest Moon will be released for the
Nintendo DST later this year. The Rune Factory series combines the fun
and rewarding gameplay of Harvest Moon with the fantasy and excitement
of an action-RPG, offering Harvest Moon fans and traditional RPG
players the best of both worlds.

“We can’t wait to give fans their first look at this title at the
upcoming E3 tradeshow,” said Hiro Maekawa, President and CEO at
Natsume. “This game has a powerful story, a compelling new cast of
characters, and a lot of exciting new features. It’s the best and
deepest Rune Factory yet!”

The people of Sharance and their horned Univir neighbors are embroiled
in a bitter conflict. An age-old hatred between humans and monsters
divides them. Micah is an adventurer with an unusual secret: he’s half
monster! He’ll have to unite the humans and the Univir in time to stop
the growing evil force that threatens to destroy them both!

Rune Factory 3 introduces a number of exciting new features to the Rune
Factory series: befriended villagers will now join you in battle and
lend you their unique skills, players can transform the main character
into his monster form to unleash a savage new arsenal of fighting
moves, and the game’s new multiplayer mode lets up to three players
work together to conquer unique dungeons packed with rare items and
fearsome monsters.

Rune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest Moon will make its first public
appearance at this month’s E3 show in the Los Angeles area and will
ship to retail later this year.

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