At a special 25th anniversary event for the Final Fantasy
franchise held in Tokyo, Square Enix has announced Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
which is set to arrive sometime in 2013. According to Square Enix, the game will feature Lightning as a solo playable character and will give the player “direct control over iconic heroine Lightning in a constantly moving, expansive environment, on a quest to save a doomed world from complete destruction”.
Producer Yoshinori Kitase had this to say on the announcement:
We are pleased to reveal that Lightning is returning as the playable character in this title, and are excited to see how fans react to the more direct battle system and expansive environment that can be explored at will.
Director Motomu Toriyama added:
Increased levels of player freedom, customisation and connectivity with the real world, will ensure that this concluding chapter will be an exhilarating finale to Lightning's story.
Details on the title are scarce at the moment but we do know that the main story will take place several hundreds of years after the conclusion of Final Fantasy XIII-2
and is set in a world known as Novus Partus, a group of four islands interconnected by a monorail.
One major change to the games mechanics over its predecessors is the inclusion of the doomsday countdown. With the apocalypse only 13 days away, a clock will continually count down in the corner of the screen to indicate how close the world is to total annihilation. Any actions that players take, including taking the monorail from one island to another, will spend available time. To add to the challenge, certain areas, missions, and people will only be available during selected periods, so players will have to use their time well.Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
will also feature a new battle system that will give players a level of direct control over the action unlike any previous Final Fantasy
game, while still including many of the iconic elements that are known and loved throughout the series.
The video below contains the full 37 minute announcement presentation for the game and includes an introduction from Yoshinori Kitase, a Game Concept Overview from Motomu Toriyama, Game design Concepts from Yuji Abe and Art Direction from Isamu Kamikokuyro.
Along with the presentation Square Enix also released a few pieces of early concept art.Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
is due for release in 2013.
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