Home > Gaming, Previews > Square Enix Officially Announces ‘Lightning Returns: FINAL FANTASY XIII’

Square Enix Officially Announces ‘Lightning Returns: FINAL FANTASY XIII’

This weekend marks not just the annual Penny Arcade Expo, but also the 25th anniversary of FINAL FANTASY, and Square isn’t taking that milestone lightly. Yesterday saw a big presentation from the developer, including the confirmation of a title everyone was expecting them to make: Lightning Returns: FINAL FANTASY XIII aka FFXIII-3. Hit the jump for all the details and some concept art.

Via Kotaku, who was lucky enough to be at the presentation:

From the start, Toriyama described features little seen in Japan’s renowned role-playing game series. The game will offer players a lot of ways to customize their version of Lightning. Her outfits will be about more than just aesthetics. They affect her abilities.

Character control will be more dynamic. She’ll be able to hang off ledges, pull herself up, jump, duck behind corners. You’ll be able to move her around in battle, a first, they said, for the series.

During the presentation, we got a look at what might be the first screenshot of the new game. (If not, then it’s a concept piece.)

We also saw some concept art that begins to illustrate how different this game is from the standard FF game. The world of Lightning Returns runs in real-time. When the game begins, the world, called Nobus (Novus?) Partus, is 13 days away from the end. She has 13 days and 13 nights to save humanity. The game runs on a doomsday clock, shades of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.

The whole game runs on a time-of-day system, with a monorail that moves through it on schedule, like everything else in the world—you can get stuck in one region waiting for the monorail to take you to another island.

The game world touches on three themes: gothic, mechanical and fantasy.

The game will be out for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2013.

I know people generally abhor anything “new” to the FINAL FANTASY formula, but you know what? This sounds good. I like the doomsday clock system, it was one of the most underrated and most enjoyable aspects of Majora’s Mask and it’ll be interesting to see how Square utilizes it. The game running on realtime with a time-of-day system seems awesome too.

We’ve also got some absolutely stunning concept art!

What do you think? Excited? Hate it? Guardedly optimistic? Sound off in the comments!

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