"If I were to describe the gameplay," said Yoshinori Kitase, producer of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII said, "I'd say that there are some elements [in Lightning Returns] with the severity of [a game like] Dark Souls." Oh, crap. Considering I was never able to clear Dark Souls, that's not very reassuring.
We've already heard a lot is different in the game system of Lightning Returns compared with the previous two chapters in the FFXIII trilogy. The game is more open-world, the combat is solo with a stagger mechanic, and there's an in-game 13-day time limit. But time, as it turns out, isn't the only limiting factor.
In an interview with Weekly Famitsu, Kitase and director Motomu Toriyama said that there are a limited number of slots for items you can carry in the game which adds an element of inventory management. Also, combat does not yield experience points or money, so while you can go to inns to heal up, you might not want to resort to that option unless you really need it. "Thinking economically is very important in this game!" said Toriyama.
So, not only will the world end in a limited time — during which you have to run around and fight alone against monsters and former allies — but you also have to watch your purse strings and how much you can carry? Is this Final Fantasy or Resident Evil?
Oh, and that time limit of 13 days? You actually start out with only seven, but can extend it up to 13 days by completing missions.
Currently, the game has been completed to the point where it is possible to play from beginning to end and the developers are tweaking the game balance. Hopefully they'll make the game as fun as it sounds difficult, if not easier (or at least add a difficulty setting).
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is scheduled for release on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in Japan on November 21 and in Australia on February 13, 2014.