Whether you asked for it or not, the newest (and possibly last) installment to the FFXIII saga has been announced. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII sees Lightning return (duh…) to face her greatest battle yet. Seems like the same song and dance from last time, but Square Enix has yet again changed everything about the formula. Probably something about needing the game to stay “fresh and new”. Major changes are headed our way, so lets take a second and see how they stack up.
First off, Lightning will now have more freedom while exploring so you can expect to be hanging off ledges, pulling yourself up from said ledges, and crouching/covering behind containers. I assume they are trying to add a bit of espionage to the Overworld. As long as guards have giant exclamation points above their head when I’m detected I’ll feel right at home. Also, you will now have full control over Lightning’s movement during battle. Some sources are saying it will be used to target specific body parts of enemies to disable them (attack the foot’s weak spot to bring it down quicker). This seems like a fun concept, but I’m worried that the player might be stuck controlling Lightning the entire game. I personally enjoyed her dynamic in battle, but I know a lot of people who would rather control other characters instead.
The time travel concept is here to stay, but with a new edition. In the story, Lightning only has 13 days to save humanity and that is reflected through a real time world clock. Yup, you have a time limit. Imagine a sort of doomsday clock that will continuously be counting down to destruction. Roughly one to two days translates to one to two hours real time. So before you get your calculators out and ask, “Does that mean the game is only 13 hours long!?” Yes and no. While yes, the game will be much shorter than most in the series, they planned it that way. There will obviously be loads of cut scenes where the clock stops, but you also have opportunities to add (or subtract) time to the doomsday clock, such as when defeating hunts or completing side quests. It will be interesting to see how they balance the world now that you can’t grind for experience until the cows come home to defeat that secret boss.
Stay tuned as we bring you more highlights to the series’ grand finale! Do you think adding a doomsday clock to Final Fantasy is blasphemy? Even more blasphemous than Lightning sneaking around in a cardboard box? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!