Square Enix Announces Lightning Returns for 2013
The Final Fantasy XIII saga is coming to a close next year and Lightning is back as your sole character in this third and final entry. Set hundreds of years after the events of XIII-2, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII pits our titular heroine in the middle of a new world called Novus Partus – a locale said to contrast against the previous two installments’ gloss and sheen, opting for a more mechanical, gothic backdrop.
Following the darker shift in atmosphere, Lightning races against an in-game clock counting down to the end of the world – a mere thirteen days after you begin the adventure. Gameplay makes use of this Majora’s Mask staple in such instances as being able to barter a re-do of a failed battle for a chunk of your precious time. Similarly, more powerful attacks can be traded for shaved time. Also markedly changed is the combat system, now retooled with a heavier emphasis on controlling Lightning in real-time. Not only will players be tasked with managing Lightning’s movement and attacks, but blocking has been added to her skill set, forcing players to perfect their timing and keep a keener eye on enemies.
Despite its high points (and its signature, unparallelled visuals), the XIII branch of the Final Fantasy vine has found ways to disappoint the ten-year-old kid inside of me that first discovered these spectacular worlds back in the PS1 days. Yet these early, broad ideas stemming forth have reignited my interest. This “XIII-3” may not be out to satisfy the level-grinding me from my formative RPGin’ years, but it doesn’t have to. It’s playing to its own strengths, and what I’m hearing sounds pretty damn intriguing for a Final Fantasy game.
While Lightning Returns just began life at the beginning of August, Square still projects a 2013 release for the game on both the PS3 and Xbox 360.