In a very much expected turn of events, during an anniversary event held in Japan Square-Enix announced the future of Final Fantasy and the fate of Lightning.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is the supposed ‘final chapter’ in the Lightning trilogy. Fans have expected a third title since the release of Final Fantasy XIII-2.
Lightning Returns looks to encapsulate the best bits of Final Fantasy throughout the years, featuring a fully customizable character and ‘transforming weapons’, which will change appearance based on loadout as well, along with huge open world featuring three islands each with their own unique themes, all joined together via an expansive transportation system.
Unique to the game is the day/night cycle which will require the player to beat the game in 13 days. This will change the game as shops will open and close, specific nighttime scenes, and even the travel system (a monorail) will abide by the clock. To slow down the clock players will have the ability to add more time to the clock, it is assumed this is done by completing various tasks.
Here’s a video of the games producer Yoshinori Kitase introducing the game:
Here’s a video (courtesy of IGN) of Art Director Isamu Kamikokuryo talking through the world and art of Lighting Returns:
And here’s some artwork that Square-Enix have released:
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is expected to release in 2013 on Xbox 360, and Playstation 3.